Understanding the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks

There is a growing disconnect between the types of cyber threats business executives think they will encounter and the actual risks their company faces. Business owners hire consultants to install state of the art software to address relatively small problems while leaving larger issues unchecked. Below are some of the most successful types of cyber attacks most companies will encounter at some point.

Socially Engineered Trojans

This is the single most successful type of cyber attack businesses will face. Hackers will manage to gain temporary access to a trusted website. When an employee visits the site, a message will pop up and inform them they have a virus. It will prompt them to install a program to help remove the virus. It will be a fake program imitating an application the employee is familiar with and trusts, such as Adobe Reader. This executes the malware. The employee’s computer will display a warning that the program is potentially harmful. However, most programs, even safe ones, trigger this message so the employee does not pay it any mind. Thus, the hacker now has access.

Phishing Attacks

Most cybersecurity failures are the result of human error. Many individuals think that using a work computer will prevent them from being hacked. They assume the company’s existing firewall and security measures are sufficient. As a result, they drop their guard while checking their work email. Phishing scams have come a long way in recent years, so they are not as obvious as they were in the past. Companies can provide employee training to help their staff understand how to recognize this kind of threat.

Network-Traveling Worms

Individual viruses are not the major threat they used to be. Network-traveling worms, however, are still a nefarious threat. This type of worm is better at hiding itself and harder to detect. Employers should ensure all employee emails block executable files to defeat this type of cyber attack. Instituting strong password policies can help as well. Many worms run programs to try and brute force their way past logins by using common passwords (i.e. 12345, qwerty, password1, etc.).

Businesses need to make sure they are employing the right kind of cyber protection. Many of the above issues are easy to mitigate with the proper cybersecurity and preventative measures. Businesses cannot afford to lose data related to their top dollar projects. To learn more about cybersecurity, contact The Reilly Group.

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