They may sound fun and exotic, but watering hole cyber attacks can have disastrous effects on your business’s operations. Hackers, for instance, may gain access to your business’s data during a watering hole cyber attack. Depending on the type of data that’s compromised, they may end up selling it on the black market or using it for other nefarious purposes like identity theft. What steps can you take to protect your business from watering hole cyber attacks?

What Is a Watering Hole Cyber Attack?

A watering hole cyber attack is a digital attack against a business that involves targeting websites or platforms frequently used by the business’s employees. It receives its namesake from the small pools of water, known as watering holes, that are sprinkled across arid safari landscapes. Animals, of course, often visit these pools of water to drink from. But there are typically predators waiting nearby to strike.

Watering hole cyber attacks are similar in this regard. The pool of water is a website or platform that your business’s employees frequently use. The predator is the hacker who targets the website or platform with malware. And your business’s employees are the metaphorical animals who drink from the pool of water.

Train Employees

Your business’s first line of defense against watering hole cyber attacks is well-trained employees. Employees should be trained to spot signs of malicious websites, and they should also be trained to run virus scans on their computers and devices. With the right training, employees are less likely to inadvertently visit malicious websites that could otherwise pose a risk for a watering hole cyber attack.

Prohibit Personal Devices

Prohibiting employees from using their personal devices while at work can better protect your business from watering hole cyber attacks. Statistics show that over half of all employees use at least one personal device for work-related purposes. The problem with personal devices, though, is that they are often unregulated. You may have standards and requirements for employees’ computers but not their personal smartphones, for example. By prohibiting employees from using their personal devices, your business will be better protected from watering hole cyber attacks.

Change IP Address

Another way to protect against watering hole cyber attacks is to change your business’s Internet Protocol (IP) address. Many hackers identify employees based on their IP addresses. They’ll look for traffic with a particular IP address, which they’ll use to identify your business’s employees and the websites that they visit. Changing your business’s IP address regularly will mask your business’s employees so that they are harder for hackers to track.

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