A Simple Guide to the Most Common Cyber Attacks:

78% of senior IT and IT security leaders don’t have confidence in the cybersecurity posture of their company.

Considering that cyberattacks are increasing worldwide, that lack of confidence should be concerning to businesses large and small. The good news is that, in the case of cybercrime, knowledge is power.

Knowing what you’re company may be vulnerable to is half the battle. Once you know the most common cyber attacks, you can start building better IT infrastructure.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’re first going to explain what a cyber attack is and which are the ones you have to focus on preventing first.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack involves the use of technology to gain access to an IT system, including computer systems, networks, and devices. This is done with malicious intent such as to steal, extort, or disrupt.

Cyber attacks can be perpetrated by individuals outside of the company. Many times, though, it’s caused by insiders. Sometimes this involves disgruntled employees and sometimes it’s a case of negligence. 

The Most Common Cyber Attacks

Some cyber attacks are easier to perpetrate. Others carry the potential of a greater payoff. Either way, the most important part of preventing cyber attacks is knowing where they may come from. 

1. Malware

Malware is a combination of the words “malicious” and “software”. It refers to software used by cyber attackers to harm or exploit devices, services, or networks. Some types of malware, once installed, provide persistent access to the network, others spy in order to steal credentials or data, and others simply disrupt.

Once attackers have obtained the data they want, they can leverage it for financial gain. Ransomware is one particularly harmful form of malware that does exactly this. It encrypts files and requires a ransom to be paid in order for access to be restored.

2. Phishing

You’ve likely heard of emails from long-lost aunt’s claiming that they have an inheritance for you but you have to send your bank details in order to claim it. This is the perfect example of a phishing email.

Phishing is when a cyber attacker attempts to trick their victims into divulging personal information. They might ask for passwords, credit card details, and other data.

3. IoT Attacks

The internet of things (IoT) is comprised of all the devices we use that rely on an internet connection. These are things like smartwatches, smart speakers, smart lighting, etc.

The connection that these devices rely on aren’t secure, and cyber attackers know it. IoT security is important because once one device is compromised, an entire network is at risk.

4. Denial of Service 

In these types of attacks, cyber attackers attempt to overwhelm the system resource’s of a company in an effort to stop them from running their business. Attackers may overwhelm an internet site, for example, in order to prevent the business from responding to requests.

The purpose of this type of attack is to disrupt businesses, stop them from trading, damaging their reputation, or simply cause mischief. They may also be used to distract a security team from a simultaneous attack.

More Cybersecurity Tips and Tech Advice

The most common cyber attacks are malware, phishing, IoT attacks, and denial of service attacks. All of these types of attacks can damage a company’s reputation or cause financial hardship. But the first line of attack is knowing what to look for.

So for more cybersecurity tips and tech advice to keep yourself and your business safe, be sure to check out our Technology section regularly.

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