The Most Common Cyber Threats Faced by a Business (and How to Recognize Them)

Cyberattacks are on the rise, and it’s up to you to take the right steps to protect your business. Despite the clear risks of cyber threats, many companies significantly underinvest in cybersecurity.

So what, exactly, are the threats that your company faces? And, how can you minimize the risks? This article tells you everything you need to know.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the biggest cyber threats that your business faces in 2021. In no exaggeration to say that ransomware has the potential to completely bankrupt your company.

Ransomware involves a cyber attacker encrypting all of the files on your system. This renders your files inaccessible unless you pay the ransom and acquire the decryption code.

Generally, ransomware attackers expect you to pay the ransom through a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. This allows the criminals to stay relatively anonymous.

Many victims are tempted to just pay the ransom, but you should be cautious. Since you’re dealing with criminals, there is no guarantee that you’ll even get your files back.

Some forms of ransomware don’t even have the capability to decrypt any of your files. In other cases, the attackers might demand more cash after you’ve already paid.

Thankfully, there’s a way to deal with ransomware that is practically foolproof. All you need to do is run a comprehensive backup system, and ransomware is rendered powerless.

All you need to do is roll back to a previous backup, and you’ll get all of your files back. On the other hand, without backups on hand, a ransomware attack could be devastating.

Managed IT services could help you with installing an automated backup system for your business.

Cryptojacking

This is another form of a cyber attack linked to cryptocurrency. It’s possible to earn cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin by “mining” for it. Crypto mining involves using your computer processing power to run calculations. The more powerful your setup, the more likely it is that you’ll earn crypto.

The trouble is, running a suitable setup can be awfully expensive. Not only do you have to buy all of the equipment, but you also need to pay the electricity bill.

Cryptojacking essentially involves using malware to push all of these expenses onto a victim. Attackers run crypto mining software on the victim’s computer, but all earnings are siphoned into the criminal’s account.

Generally, cryptojackers will target people who powerful machines. If you’re a company that works with powerful workstations, you could be a target for this kind of attack.

Make sure you’re running antivirus software capable of detecting this kind of malware. Some forms of cryptojacking are hard to detect as they are designed to only mine when the user isn’t at the computer.

Denial of Service

Denial of service attacks may be a less novel form of cyber criminality, but they still pose a risk to your business. A denial of service attack is when a cybercriminal floods your network with fake requests.

This overwhelms the system and prevents legitimate traffic from getting through. This is a big problem if you’re trying to run something like a webshop, as this could cost you money.

A variation of the denial of service attack is the distributed denial of service attack. This involves hacking other computers to use in a botnet. This botnet then carries out denial of service attacks on behalf of the cybercriminal.

Thankfully, these kinds of attacks have become less effective. If you think you’re at risk of a denial of service attack, you can implement denial of service protection on your website.

Essentially, this involves screening every visitor to the site and making sure they’re legitimate. A managed IT services company could set this up on your website.

Phishing Attack

Phishing attacks are another classic cyberattack. Phishing involves tricking a user into putting their username and password into a fake website. A fake website is set up that is almost identical to the real site. The criminals then attempt to get victims to open the site and input their credentials.

For example, phishing attackers might send an email to the victim with a link to the site. Of course, when the victim logs in, the site doesn’t work, and the password is sent directly to the criminals.

The trick to avoiding compromising your password in this way is to know the signs. Sometimes, phishing attackers will set up a website with the exact same URL as the target website with just 1 letter changed.

By only navigating to sensitive sites using your own bookmarks and never through something like an email link, you can avoid being a victim to this kind of scam.

One of the Biggest Cyber Threats is Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks are possibly the most dangerous form of cyberattack. They’re also the type of attack that most companies are the least prepared for.

Social engineering involves using clever social trickery to convince people to give up information to a cybercriminal. For example, a social engineering attack might involve calling up an employee and pretending to be from the head office of your business.

If the attacker can convince the victim that they’re genuine, they might be able to trick the victim into giving up their password.

Social engineering attacks are very hard to protect yourself against. This is because firewalls and antivirus software have no effect against these attacks. Your only line of defense against social engineering is to have a strong security culture at your company.

Your employees need to be trained in the art of recognizing potential security risks. You can also take steps to limit the damage by making sure people only have access to the data they need to do their jobs.

Protect Your Company With Managed IT Services

One of the most effective ways to protect your company is by working with a managed IT services company. Managed IT services are always informed about the latest cyber threats, and they can protect your company against cybercriminals.

If you want to hire IT support for your company, contact us today.

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