Top 10 Cyber Security Risks Organizations Face Today

An image showing top cyber security risk in text form


As Cyber Security threats proliferate globally impacting companies large and small across all sectors, understanding the leading attack vectors hackers leverage helps prioritize defensive security controls properly. By examining the most frequent initial compromise pathways deceitful actors penetrate environments ultimately threatening data, identity and financial loss consequences, security teams gain frame of reference building strategic responses minimizing probable risks within present budget limitations. This guide explores the top 10 cyber security risks plaguing technology infrastructure requiring vigilant controls.

1 – Phishing and Social Engineering

The predominant tactic duping employees into voluntarily surrendering account access credentials or installing malware occurs through urgently worded but fake emails mimicking trusted business contacts like IT administrators or top-brass executives. Links often direct to convincing yet fraudulent login portals harvesting passwords. Attachments contain persuasive cover stories masking infected documents or rich content silently executing malware downloading additional threats. Ongoing employee education helps limit trickery success significantly.

An image showing phishing and social engineering work
An image showing phishing and social engineering work

2 – Third Party Risks

With heavy reliance upon external vendors for essential functions like cloud infrastructure, application services or contractor/consultant access privileges, third-party security practices introduce enterprise risks with poorly visibility and controlled unlike internal operations directly. Maximizing supplier security questionnaires during evaluation plus updating risk assessments routinely post-engagement ensures accountability monitoring protections, mitigating overdependence through redundancy where plausible.

3 – Cloud Misconfigurations

Improper cloud service configurations frequently leave databases openly exposed missing authentication requirements or vulnerable services misconfigured granting attackers paths scanning activity escalating into headline breaches leveraging oversight negligence. Robust change control procedures managing infrastructure as code templates minimize ad hoc human error significantly.

4 – System and Software Vulnerabilities

Despite extensive software security advances, exploitable code defects constantly surface requiring ongoing patch updating plus upgrading end-of-life legacy solutions still active beyond retirement increasing breach likelihood greatly. Securing continuous budget for updating hardware/software minimizes window of exposure balancing both startup needs and technical debt obligations simultaneously at scale.

5 – Weak and Stolen Passwords

Where possible expanding multifactor authentication registration plus enacting strong identity and access controls policy helps overcome insecurities of users selecting poor passwords, granting excessive access inappropriately and failing to revoke permissions promptly upon role changes. Additionally enabling single sign-on (SSO) reduces total credentials needing protection outright.

AN image showing stolen password

6 – Denial of Service Attacks

Sometimes with hacktivist motivations but primarily financially through ransom demands, denial of service attacks aim disrupting business operations by overloading infrastructure with excess bogus traffic denying legitimate requests access temporarily yet impacting revenues until restored. Maintaining high availability and auto-scaling capabilities offsets impacts continuing servicing existing users minimizing interruptions through redundancy.

7 – Insider Threats

While external attacks capture headlines frequently, insider risks also plague through intentional sabotage, theft or even innocent yet disruptive mistakes losing data, deleting configurations or exposing secrets accidentally from positions of higher privilege. More auditable system changes, principle of least privilege access and masking sensitive data visibility together limit internal actor risks substantially.

8 – Web and API Vulnerabilities

Public web and API recent vulnerabilities provided initial access vectors into several high profile merchant breaches infiltrating deeper internally often pivoting onto payment systems shortly thereafter illustrating dangers exposed endpoints pose granting gateways into core critical business systems proximate storing valuable data requiring controls specifically. Input sanitization, WAF filters, API security testing and remediation processes strengthen posture significantly despite rapid release pressures today.

9 – IoT and Supply Chain Attacks

Exploiting security flaws within external supply chain elements or embedded IoT devices functioning inside organizations enable attackers pivoting deeper after small footholds emerge gaining operational command despite not directly targeting central servers storing data. Rigorously testing patches plus scrutinizing device software bills of materials impedes weaknesses passing through trusted channels later weaponized remotely.

10 – Rogue Cloud Instances

Failure decommissioning unneeded cloud compute instances entirely thereafter leaves doors unlocked increasing attack surface needlessly should overlooked assets get discovered scanning target networks seeking any bridgeheads feasible. Thus best practices involve automated shutdown routines ensuring decommissioned section removal preventing forgotten stray assets accumulating similar enterprise WiFi access vulnerabilities historically occurring physically now manifesting virtually in cloud space as well presents parallel prevention opportunity through vigilant lifecycle controls.


Myriad risks challenge technology professionals universally requiring ongoing evaluation examining defenses against most likely and highest impact threats specifically to business objectives prioritizing budget allocations defensibly. Regular penetration testing also reveals overlooked weaknesses providing remediation roadmaps consultants tailor minimizing gaps cost effectively without unnecessary layers diminishing user experience or productivity negatively. By routinely assessing top risks, astute security teams steady organizations securely easing future disruptions through preventative data, identity and operational integrity preservation earning greater leadership support deploying safeguards proactively.

Stay vigilant out there!

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