Common Cyber Attacks Your Business Should Try To Avoid, Part One

Cybers attacks have become more and more common in the workplace due to business’ dependence on internet connectivity. When a criminal hacker tries to hack into an organization’s web portal, they’ll draw upon a common arsenal of attack methods that are known to be highly successful. If you’ve been trying to make sense of data breaches on the news, or your organization’s private information has been compromised through the web, it can help to understand the different ways a hacker might try to get into your system. In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common types of cyber attacks your business should try to avoid.

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Cyber Attacks #1: Malware

Have you ever seen an antivirus alert pop up on your computer screen? Have you ever accidentally clicked on a malicious email attachment? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’ve had some close calls with what is known as malware. Malware refers to several different types of harmful software, like viruses, worms, Trojans, and ransomware. When malware is introduced to your computer it can cause all sorts of problems. From taking control of your machine to monitoring your actions and keystrokes, malware can provide your attacker with a plethora of private information. Malware can even silently send confidential data from your computer or network to the attacker’s computer.

How Does Malware Work?

Malware is most often introduced to a system through harmful email attachments, software downloads, or through other operating system vulnerabilities.

How Can I Prevent A Malware Attack?

The best way to prevent a malware attack in the workplace is to avoid clicking on harmful links or downloading attachments from unknown senders. Many organizations have taken action against these cyber threats by deploying robust firewalls, which can prevent the transfer of large data files over your network. This can help to weed out dangerous email attachments that may contain viruses. Another line of defense against malware is to make sure your company’s computer operating systems are all using the most up to date security updates. Software programmers who create these systems are constantly updating the programs to address any holes or weak points in their programs. Installing updates on a regular basis can help to decrease a malicious malware attack in the future.

Cyber Attacks #2: Phishing

Phishing can be defined as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce people to reveal their personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. These scams are crude social engineering tools that are designed to incite panic in the reader by often claiming that they will lose something if they do not take action immediately. Over the past several years, phishing emails have become even more sophisticated, making it more difficult for people to discern a legitimate request for information from a false one.

How Does Phishing Work?

Phishing emails will often include a link that will direct the user to a dummy site. Once the user has clicked on the link, they dummy site will prompt them to input private information such as their passwords or bank account information. Since these cyberattacks are often directed at specific individuals or organizations, hackers will often go to great lengths to gather specific personal or institutional information.

How Can I Prevent A Phishing Attack?

In order to prevent a phishing attack at your workplace, make sure to verify any incoming requests from institutions that arrive in your email. If the email has a phone number, don’t call that number directly. Instead, find the institution’s phone number independently online and give them a call to verify their request.

Cyber Attacks #3: Password Attacks

As their name implies, a password attack is when a third party intruder tries to gain access to your business’ computer systems by cracking your user password. The earliest hackers would often obtain passwords by looking for clues in discarded computer printouts. Since then, hackers have invented other ways to gain access of your system’s critical information.

How Do Password Attacks Work?

This type of attack doesn’t normally require any type of malicious code or software to gain access of your personal information. If a cyber hacker is using a program to access your account passwords, they are likely running the software on their computer system, rather than yours. Most hackers will attempt to steal your password information through brute force attacks. These are trial-and-error methods that will automatically generate a large number of consecutive guesses before they find the desired data they need. These types of cyber attacks can be used to crack encrypted data as well.

How Can I Prevent A Password Attack?

One of the best ways to safeguard your company from a password attack is to encourage employees to create strong passwords. This means that they should be using a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols in their passwords, and it should be at least eight characters long. As a point of reference, when hackers use brute force to crack your password, they can typically crack passwords with all lowercase letters in just a matter of minutes! It’s also a good idea to change your password at regular intervals. Many businesses require their employees to change their passwords every three to six months.

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In part two of this series, we’ll take a look at a few other common types of cyber security attacks that your business should try to avoid. Learn more about how to protect your business with the Identity Card today!

For the next part in this blog click here.  Part Two.