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Types of cyber threats facing businesses today

There are so many cyber threats facing organisations it can be overwhelming for business owners when trying to protect their data.  We have explained 6 of the most common cyber threats that users face today so you can understand the different ways in which hackers are attacking businesses.

1. Malware

Malware is a broad term used to describe any file or programme intended to harm a computer, and encompasses trojans, worms, viruses and spyware. Users often see this type of threat in the form of pop-ups on websites and devices.

Cisco reports that malware, once activated, can:

  • Block access to key network components (ransomware)
  • Install additional harmful software
  • Covertly obtain information by transmitting data from the hard drive (spyware)
  • Disrupt individual parts, making the system inoperable

2.  Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering where an attacker sends a fraudulent message designed to trick a user into revealing confidential information. Phishing was by far the most common attack performed by cybercriminals last year, with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center recording more than double the number of phishing incidents as compared with other types of computer crime.

3.  Untrained Users

Untrained users can cause problems from minor hiccups in day to day operations to a complete system failure.  Users need to be trained and kept up to date on a few aspects to prevent a failure, such as the latest best security practices to prevent social engineering attempts and functionality of a system to prevent misconfigurations. When working on a company devices users should remember to think twice before clicking on links they were not expecting and don’t take anything for granted.

And always remember if you see something, say something!

4. Weak Passwords

A weak password is a password that can be easily guessed. With the right password, a cyber attacker can gain access to your organisations sensitive data resulting in a possible data breach and lockout from your systems. Passwords should be long enough and meet some sort of complexity to be hard to guess or be cracked by a password cracker. When creating a strong password:

  • length is the most important factor to consider.
  • This is closely followed by complexity, which uses upper-case, lower-case, special characters, and numbers. 

Rob Collins, Sophos describes how attackers can gain access to passwords and how to protect yourself in his blog: Hindsight #4: Prevent threat actors getting (and using) your passwords

5.  Denial of Service

A denial of service (DoS) is a type of cyber-attack that floods a computer or network so it can’t respond to requests.  Cyber attackers send a wave of attacks on your system to disrupt your network and carry out a DoS.

6. Man in the Middle

A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack occurs when hackers insert themselves into a two-party transaction. After interrupting the traffic, they can filter and steal data, according to Cisco. MITM attacks often occur when a visitor uses an unsecured public Wi-Fi network. Attackers insert themselves between the visitor and the network, and then use malware to install software and use data maliciously.

If you would like to find out more about the types of cyber threats your business faces and how to protect yourself from these attacks, contact us today. We’d be happy to talk you through the process.



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