5 Common Cyber Attacks to Protect Against

by David Rose
| August 18, 2022 |

In the modern digital environment, hackers are constantly evolving. There are new infiltration methods and software breaches. However, the most common cybersecurity risks remain the “tried and true” methods that are favored by hackers across the board in terms of both skill level and self-direction. The most common cyber attacks don’t even require skill to implement, hackers can download a copy of malware or ransomware to release with their own infected links. Let’s take a close look at the five most common attack methods used by hackers and how to prevent the risk of business disruption.

1. Malware

Malware is a combination word meaning malicious software. It is the single most common form of cyber attack because every infected link or phishing attempt typically leads to malware. The negative result of most hacks is malware, and malware itself is often equipped to enact is own spreading. Malware can explore and spread through a network and the malicious nature of the software may vary. Some malware steals information, some malware hosts a botnet, and some malware just opens a back door for future hacking attacks. Malware often disguises itself as a necessary file or hides completely in the background processes of your computer.

The best way to protect yourself from malware is to avoid unknown links and downloads and to regularly run your virus scanning program.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware is the single most sensational variant of malware. It is malicious software, but it’s malicious software with a specific business model. Ransomware specializes in putting your files at risk – typically encrypting your files so they are inaccessible and demanding a ransom to decrypt the files. Today, ransomware may also come with the threat to expose your files rather than simply encrypt them.

Ransomware cannot be trusted. Hackers often target vital industries like hospitals and food packaging plants, but even if the ransom is paid, the data may not be decrypted. The Colonial Pipeline attack is a recent example, which was due to a compromised password.

The best way to protect yourself from ransomware is to back up your critical data and encrypt everything you store. When you can enact backup recovery, you can simply wipe ransomware from your system and reload your data. Keep ransomware at bay by staying up to date on patches and software updates.

3. Phishing

Phishing is a personal attack that often leads to identity theft and/or malware infection. Phishing is typically done through email, but any messaging system can be used. In a phish, the hacker pretends to be a person or organization you trust (ex: your bank or your boss) in order to trick you into clicking an infected link or revealing personal information that can be used later for identity theft.

Phishing is often the first step in a targeted ransomware infection.

To protect yourself from phishing, always use multi-factor authentication – including double-checking with people and organizations if you receive an unusual email or call. Never share personal or private business information unless you are 100% certain of the person you are speaking to.

4. MITM Attacks

MITM stands for “man in the middle” attack. this is, essentially, when a hacker places skimming malware at a key “doorway” where your data passes through. For example, there might be a skimmer on your POS card reader that collects card numbers as they are processed for purchases, or a program that reads your data as it travels from devices to your main server.

Businesses are especially vulnerable to MITM attacks because they have a large number of transactions involving private data. MITM attacks often target SAAS businesses that serve multiple companies through their online transactions. Subtypes include session hijacking and IP spoofing.

Protect yourself by keeping up with your cybersecurity and virus scanning measures. Watch out for unusual popups, UI, or processes, and unknown wifi networks.

5. DoS/DDoS

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS attacks are when a hacker floods your servers with generated activities and connections so that the website goes down and real customers can’ get through. This causes the target system to overload with requests and is different from other cyber attacks because the focus is to disrupt your work and business instead of stealing information or eliciting a ransom payment. However, sometimes a DDoS is used as a cover when another attack like a MITM is being put into place.

Protect yourself from a DDoS attack by reducing the attack surface. Employ firewalls, keep a close eye on unusual network traffic, and prepare server scalability to deal with any increased activity without losing availability.

How Rose Computer Technology Services can Help

Rose Computer Technology Service can help prepare your business to resist an attack and recover quickly. Every modern business faces the risk and likelihood of cyber attacks. Preparing now is the best way to protect your business. Rose CTS will help you implement a zero trust framework using a security-first approach. You can rely on our Trustmark + certification from CompTIA, the non-profit association for the world’s information technology industry. We will help you detect malware when there is a risk and respond swiftly to prevent or eradicate malware that threatens your business. Early detection and limiting Dwell time is critical and really statistically significant in preventing damage.

Contact us today to partner with Rose CTS to protect your business from both common and uncommon cybersecurity threats.

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