Wednesday 8th February 2023

BLOG: The Hidden Dangers of Cybersecurity – Protecting Your Business from Online Threats

One of the biggest dangers in cybersecurity is the hidden nature of cyber threats, more and more sensitive information is being stored and transmitted online, which means that the risk of a cyber attack has never been higher. Unfortunately, many businesses are unaware of the full extent of the dangers they face. Hackers and cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, using sophisticated techniques to evade detection and compromise systems. As a result, many businesses are unaware that their systems have been compromised until it’s too late.

Social Engineering

One of the biggest hidden dangers of cybersecurity is the rise of social engineering attacks. These attacks have been on the rise, especially within the last decade, social engineering attacks use psychological manipulation to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as login credentials or financial information. Social engineering attacks can take many forms, including phishing emails, fake customer support calls, and more. It’s important to educate employees on how to spot these attacks and train them to be vigilant against them. Threat actor tactics grow more sophisticated and advanced

One of the most notable incidents was in March 2019. The CEO of a U.K.-based energy firm thought he was speaking on the phone with his boss, the chief executive of the firm’s German parent company, who asked him to send the funds to a Hungarian supplier. The caller said the request was urgent, directing the executive to pay within an hour, according to the company’s insurance firm, Euler Hermes Group SA. Cybercriminals used artificial intelligence-based software to impersonate the chief executive’s voice and demand a fraudulent transfer of €220,000 (£196490.79/$243,000) cybercrime experts described as an unusual case of artificial intelligence being used in hacking. Euler Hermes declined to name the victim companies.

Authorities and AI experts in 2018 predicted that criminals would use AI to automate cyberattacks. The threat actors behind this incident appear to have used AI-based software to successfully mimic the German executive’s voice by phone. It was claimed that the U.K. CEO recognised his boss’ slight German accent and the melody of his voice on the phone. Several officials said the voice-spoofing attack in Europe is the first cybercrime they have heard of this nature. Euler Hermes, which covered the entire amount of the victim company’s claim, hasn’t dealt with other claims seeking to recover losses from crimes involving AI, according to Mr Kirsch.

Cybersecurity researchers suggest that in 2023, we will see more sophisticated types of social engineering attacks like business email compromise (BEC) schemes and romance scams which bad actors will have integrated with modern tools.

Third-Party Risk

Another hidden danger is the threat posed by third-party vendors and partners. Many businesses rely on third-party vendors to provide services, such as cloud storage or payment processing. However, these vendors may not have the same level of security as the business itself. This can result in sensitive information being compromised, or a cyber attack being launched through the vendor’s systems. It’s important to conduct thorough background checks on third-party vendors and ensure that their cybersecurity practices are up to standards.

Third-party risk refers to the potential threats and vulnerabilities posed by entities outside an organisation that has access to its systems, data, or other sensitive information. Online threats related to third-party risk can arise from several sources, including:

  1. Cybersecurity weaknesses in the third-party’s systems, networks, or applications
  2. Insider threat or intentional misuse of data by third-party employees
  3. Data breaches caused by hacking or malware
  4. Inadequate data protection and privacy practices
  5. Legal and regulatory violations by the third-party

Organisations must carefully assess and manage these risks to protect sensitive information and maintain the trust of customers, partners, and stakeholders. This can include performing background checks and security audits, implementing strict data protection policies, and regularly monitoring third-party activities.

We have seen businesses and organisations, whether small or large experience near-catastrophic third-party risk incidents. The July 2nd, 2021 Kaseya supply chain ransomware attack is still one of the most discussed cyber attacks to date. It was discovered that the REvil ransomware group had exploited a vulnerability in Kaseya VSA, a remote monitoring and management software platform. Kaseya shut down both the on-prem and cloud SaaS servers as a precautionary measure, and later it was revealed that as many as 1,500 companies worldwide were affected. This included a Swedish grocery retailer co-op chain, which was forced to close more than 800 stores. Following the attack, REvil demanded a $70 million payment in bitcoin to decrypt all the systems.


The rise of the Internet of Things (IoT) has also introduced new cybersecurity risks. IoT devices are often connected to the internet, making them vulnerable to hacking and cyber-attacks. This can result in sensitive information being stolen, or the devices being used as a launchpad for a wider cyber attack. It’s important to secure IoT devices with strong passwords and to keep them updated with the latest security patches.

  1. Unsecured Devices: IoT devices often lack proper security measures, leaving them vulnerable to hacking and exploitation.
  2. Network Vulnerabilities: IoT devices can become entry points for hackers to gain access to a larger network, leading to data breaches and system compromise.
  3. Malware: IoT devices can become infected with malware, which can spread and infect other devices on the network.
  4. Weak Passwords: Poorly chosen or easily guessable passwords can leave IoT devices open to attack.
  5. Data Privacy: IoT devices collect and transmit large amounts of personal data, which can be intercepted or exploited by malicious actors.
  6. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks: IoT devices can be co-opted into botnets and used to carry out massive DDoS attacks, disrupting Internet services.

It’s important to be aware of these risks and take appropriate steps to secure IoT devices and networks.


Incident Response

Many businesses are unaware of the importance of incident response planning. A cyber attack can cause significant damage to a business, both in terms of financial loss and damage to its reputation. To minimise the damage, it’s important to have a plan in place for responding to a cyber attack. This should include steps for containing the attack, restoring systems, and communicating with stakeholders. Researchers in 2019 found that 20% of IT security leaders said their organisations got hit six or more times annually, and 80% said they had experienced at least one cybersecurity incident over the last 12 months that was so severe it required a board-level meeting. It is expected that this

Incident response is a vital element of an organisation’s cybersecurity strategy as it helps to reduce damage and resume normal operations in the event of a security breach or cyber attack. Effective incident response enables organisations to quickly identify, contain, and resolve security incidents, thereby reducing the risk of sensitive data loss, reputation damage, and financial loss. It also helps organisations to comply with relevant regulations and standards, such as data protection laws, which may impose hefty fines for non-compliance.

Incident response threats:

  • Lack of Preparation: Organisations that are not adequately prepared for incident response can struggle to effectively respond to incidents, leading to increased damage and longer downtime.
  • Slow Response Time: The longer it takes to respond to an incident, the greater the potential damage and impact on the organisation.
  • Ineffective Response: If incident response processes are poorly designed or not followed correctly, they can exacerbate the situation and cause additional harm.
  • Reputational Damage: Incidents that are not handled properly can harm an organsation’s reputation, leading to a loss of trust from customers and other stakeholders.
  • Compliance Issues: Organisations may be subject to legal and regulatory penalties if they do not meet incident response requirements.

Therefore, incident response is a threat to organisations because it helps to manage the risks and consequences associated with security incidents and cyber-attacks. By having an effective incident response plan in place, organisations can minimise the impact of these events and quickly restore normal operations.

The hidden dangers of cybersecurity pose a significant threat to organisations, regardless of sector. By being aware of these dangers and taking steps to protect against them, organisations can help to secure their sensitive information and protect their bottom line. If you need help protecting your business from online threats, click here to understand how Orpheus Cyber can help.

Here are some steps that can help you can begin to keep your business safe online:

  1. Regular security audits: Regular security audits can help you identify and address any potential vulnerabilities in your systems. This includes reviewing your network infrastructure, applications, and data storage systems to identify any potential security risks.
  2. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication: Passwords are one of the weakest links in cybersecurity, so it’s crucial to implement strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of protection to your systems, making it harder for hackers to gain access.
  3. Keep software and systems up-to-date: Outdated software and systems are more vulnerable to attack, so it’s important to keep them up-to-date with the latest security patches and upgrades. This helps to close any potential security loopholes and prevent attacks.
  4. Training employees regarding cybersecurity best practices: Your employees are a critical line of defence against cyber threats, so it’s important to train them on cybersecurity best practices. This includes educating them on how to identify and avoid phishing scams, how to create strong passwords, and how to report any suspicious activity.

By being proactive and taking a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity, you can help ensure that your business remains secure and protected from online threats.

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