The Beginner’s Guide to Cybersecurity Risks 

Does the thought of cybersecurity threats keep you up at night?  

From one-person consultancies to multinational corporations, every business is at risk of a cyber attack. That’s why all organizations—regardless of industry or size—need to strengthen their defenses against threats.  

But cybersecurity is a complex discipline. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the information out there. If you’re not sure where to begin, start by familiarizing yourself with some key cybersecurity terms. By gaining a basic understanding of common risks, you can start reducing your company’s exposure to threats. 

In this post, we will go over the basics of cyber risk.  

What Are the Biggest Cybersecurity Risks? 

A common formula to describe risk is Risk = Threat x Vulnerability x Impact 

Cyber threats can disrupt your computer system by exploiting your vulnerabilities. Consequently, your organization can suffer a damaged reputation and financial loss. Here are some common cybersecurity risks and how to manage them: 

Neglecting the Cybersecurity Basics  

People generally know very little about cybersecurity, which makes them vulnerable in the digital world. Since your business, like all others, is at risk of cyber attacks, you need to practice strong security risk management. Neglecting to do so can threaten your entire organization. 

Ask yourself the following questions to determine where your company stands:  

  • Do you know where all your data is stored?  
  • Do you regularly monitor your systems and applications?  
  • Do you have a formal security incident response plan?  
  • Do you provide all employees with security training?  

By neglecting to cover your security bases, you’re unwittingly inviting a cybercriminal to attack your company.

Lacking a cybersecurity policy 

A thorough cybersecurity policy is essential for all businesses today. To protect your company’s sensitive data and ensure everyone is on the same page, take the time to develop clear policies and communicate them to all employees.  

Here are some points to include in your policy:  

  • How to spot and respond to cyber threats  
  • Data storage and access methods  
  • Guidelines on password requirements  
  • Updating endpoint security software  
  • Internet usage  
  • Securing all personal devices 

Only Focusing on Compliance  

Compliance does not equal cybersecurity. When developing your security strategy, don’t simply check off the necessary boxes to pass a compliance audit.  

When it comes to safeguarding your company, this checkbox approach won’t cut it. While you want to ensure your staff meets compliance requirements, keep in mind compliance and security have different functions. Strong cybersecurity protects your company’s sensitive data, while compliance demonstrates that your security program meets specific standards. Compliance requirements can’t keep up with just how quickly the cybersecurity landscape is evolving.  

Do more than the bare minimum to protect your company. Take a proactive approach to cybersecurity and create a multilayered, cohesive security strategy. 


Your employees are your greatest assets—but they’re also your biggest threats.  

In fact, 58 percent of all cybersecurity incidents can be attributed to insider threats, according to a report by Clearswift.  

Human error is a leading cause of security breaches—for example, an employee might click on a link in a phishing email or misdeliver sensitive information. Employees are the weakest link in your cybersecurity architecture since they often prioritize convenience over security. If your employees aren’t aware of the dangers or if they carelessly share personal information, they can cause some serious damage to your organization.  

What’s the best way to mitigate risk? Educate your employees about cyber threats, security policies, and their responsibility in protecting company information. Incorporate cybersecurity into your onboarding process and maintain education programs throughout the year.  

While it may be difficult to accept, terminated or disgruntled employees also pose a big risk to your company. They often have financial motives to corrupt company data or share information with a competitor.  

How can you protect your company from malicious insider threats? Know where your sensitive data is stored and monitor your employees’ daily activities. You should also conduct exit interviews to ensure all company property is returned before an employee leaves. 

Cyber Crime

In the world of computer security, cybercrime generally refers to the attempts to exploit systems and gain unauthorized access to data.  

While some hacking terminology seems to come straight out of science fiction, cyber threats are in fact a big part of our reality.

Common Cyber Threats


A group of internet-connected devices that create infected computers (known as zombies). Remotely controlled by a hacker, botnets largely go undetected and spread malware, spam, and more.  

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) 

A form of attack where multiple zombie computers overwhelm a website or server and cause a complete system crash.


Different types of software—including viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware—that infiltrate and damage computer systems.  


The attempt to steal personal information by sending fake emails or messages for use in fraudulent activities.  


A type of malware that blocks access to a computer system until the victim pays a ransom fee. 


A technique hackers often use in conjunction with phishing to hide their identity or pretend to be someone else to steal information. Website spoofing is when hackers recreate a website that closely resembles the authentic one to trick users into entering personal information.  


Software that enables a user to secretly gather information about a person or organization and send it to third parties.  

Trojan Horses

A malicious computer program disguised as legitimate software that gives a hacker remote access to a computer. A Trojan Horse can collect information, delete your files, or use your computer to hack other computers.  


A type of malware that replicates itself and spreads from one computer to another. It can find personal information, send spam, and corrupt your computer system.  


Malware that can replicate itself and spread to other computers in a network. Unlike a virus, a worm is a standalone software that doesn’t attach to files or programs.

How can you protect your organization?

Protecting your company from cyber risks takes time and effort. But with the rise of sophisticated attacks, you know you can’t afford to put cybersecurity on the back burner.  

Since they don’t have the expertise in house, many companies are turning to cybersecurity consultants to strengthen their defenses against cyber threats. By partnering with industry experts, you can confidently manage your cybersecurity risk and gain peace of mind. 

Have RBF? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Treating Ransomware Breach Face!

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Ken Perkins

Biography coming soon.

Megan Miller

Megan Miller’s energy and passion for learning flow into all aspects of her work. As the Growth Manager, North America, she brings a background in sciences which she has transitioned to the tech sector in her role at Difenda.

With a Bachelors of Science in Geology, Megan is a lifelong learner who is voracious about learning anything she can get her hands on about cybersecurity. Her positive energy has built a sales strategy with a focus on expanding in the United States while nurturing the Canadian presence. She is responsible for recruiting and training the sales team. Together with the company’s leadership, she creates the sales process and the company’s product strategy in order to better serve the customer base. This ensures that our customers have a highly trained and highly motivated team to help them every step of the way, Megan has completed Microsoft SC-900 training and working towards mastering Microsoft.

Whether at work or play, Megan is fully committed. She took her love of hockey all the way to the semi-professional level as a competitive hockey player. Megan loves all things sports including water skiing, scuba diving, cycling, and snowboarding. She also enjoys time with family and reading about alternative energy, innovation, and cybersecurity.

Natasha Phanor

As the Microsoft Partner Manager at Difenda, Natasha Phanor is responsible for driving growth within our Microsoft Partnership. With six years in the industry, she offers a fresh, energetic approach, and the ability to focus on our customer’s needs throughout the entire process. Natasha has the innate ability to foresee customer needs and solve problems before they arise, which creates a smooth road for each customer she encounters.

As the recipient of the Outstanding Services Partner of the Year Award in 2018, it is clear that Natasha responds quickly to customer needs, creates a platform for understanding a customer’s business requirements, and walks them through the process to ensure their complete satisfaction.

In her spare time, Natasha is as energetic and passionate as she is on the job. A self-proclaimed foodie-extraordinaire, she enjoys dinner parties, traveling, downhill skiing, hiking, biking, and reading. Natasha has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in Dance, from Ryerson University.

Lisa Templeton

Lisa Templeton is the perfect combination of human empathy and technological prowess. In her role as People Services Manager, she takes care of our team members to support them in their daily work, as well as on their personal life paths. Happy employees make for happy customers, and Lisa excels in giving our employees the tools they need for success in order to become the best possible versions of themselves. Along with employee formation, she shines in the service delivery support domain to continuously improve the process. Her 24 years of experience in IT Operations and Service Management help her create quality and efficiency at Difenda.

Having attended the Information Systems Management certificate program at Ryerson University, and with various other certifications to her credit, Lisa is perceptive and innovative when it comes to information technology, but also sensitive to the needs of her human constituents. Responsible for achieving the first privately owned company HDI Support Center certification in Canada, she has also designed and implemented Service Management excellence programs and 24×7 IT Operations departments for multiple IT organizations, and has created corporate rewards and recognition programs to keep her employees engaged and motivated.

On the personal side, Lisa passionately supports the cause of breast cancer research, having lost her mother to the disease. She reads voraciously in her spare time, and enjoys the art of home renovation. The summer months also bring time on her boat and exploring new hiking trails.

Miranda McCurdy

Miranda McCurdy uses her myriad super powers in all aspects of her job and personal life. As the Marketing Director at Difenda, Miranda McCurdy brings over a decade of experience to the table, which includes expertise in all facets of operations, brand management, and content marketing, as well as a multitude of successful strategies for the ever-expanding digital world. She is an expert at simplifying the message the company is trying to send, filling in gaps in the information, and strengthening the content in order to create compelling narratives that strengthen the brand and developing programs that bring teams together.

With several Addy Awards issued by the American Advertising Federation Cleveland to her credit, and her never say die attitude, Miranda understands both the broader picture and the minute details that are needed to successfully market a product. With her abilities to harness both the talent needed to spread the message, as well as to create the message itself, she is an integral cog in the company’s ability to communicate with customers and other stakeholders.

When she is not building a brand, she shares her ability to fill the gaps in her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, the Special Olympics, and the Charleston Food Bank. In her spare time, Miranda spends time with her family, enjoys fitness and health, paddle boarding, reading, and arts and crafts.

Juliana Zaremba

Connections are the name of the game for Juliana Zaremba. As Strategic Partnerships Director, she is responsible for Difenda’s channel partnerships and the development and ownership of the channel partner program. She is also responsible for the global Microsoft Partnership, including the creation of strategic plans with MSFT contacts that will facilitate the continued growth of the business and establish certification and training protocols in all security technologies. Her role is multifaceted, as she acquires partners, manages relationships with them, and develops strategies that will provide cutting edge security solutions to our customer base. Another integral aspect of her job is to facilitate growth.

With a Bachelor’s in Math from the University of Waterloo and 14 years of experience from her previous roles at Herjavec Group and CDW, her cutting edge focus and ability to develop long-lasting relationships and strategies provides world class security solutions to our customer base.

Juliana thrives on connections outside of work as well. She is a philanthropist and contributor with Women4Change based in Hamilton. This group of local women is passionate about supporting local causes, and she focuses her efforts around Women in STEM. She is also a member of Club Italia in Niagara Falls and supports their youth events throughout the year.

When not managing the Microsoft Global partnership, Juliana enjoys reading, often reading several books at once. Juliana enjoys exploring the Niagara Escarpment with her family, as well as sharing meals and experiences with her extended family. Juliana’s competitive nature has her always trying new things, like Whoop band challenges and Peloton.

Jeffry Jacob

Biography Coming Soon