Modern businesses need to be able to prevent cyber security breaches at any time. No matter what industry sector they operate in. However, the training and equipment to combat cyber threats often requires more time and effort than a typical business can spare. This is why an experienced IT company is so critical.
It is important that your staff has a basic understanding of common types of cyber attacks. Even if you outsource your IT. Cyber security threats affect thousands of businesses every year.
Just a small amount of training may save your business money, time, and breaking trust with your customers. The bottom line is that cyber attacks are expensive!
No matter if you operate a small business or a large corporation, cyber threats apply on all levels. Any business can become a target, which is why we encourage our businesses in Bend, OR and beyond to be prepared.
Here are some of the most common types cyber attacks that can affect your business:
The most well-known form of identity theft affects countless individuals every year. This method involves hackers using stolen social security numbers to open lines of credit or obtain loans. However, identity theft poses an additional concern for businesses. If individuals manage to access a business’s customer database, they can then obtain sensitive information on a larger scale.
Phishing is a common tactic where cyber criminals attempt to craft convincing emails to trick recipients into revealing sensitive information. This info may include passwords, contact information or even financial info and social security numbers. These emails will often have branded letterhead or similar assets to enhance their appearance of legitimacy.
Most phishing attempts will be sent to a large audience and are generally easy to identify. This tactic could likely be devastating if the business’s customer base is compromised and their contact information obtained.
Unlike normal phishing, spear phishing is using similar tactics to target specific individuals. In a business context, these emails can be made to appear as if they came from a leader or supervisor. The email often requests or demands details about access into company control systems or databases.
Successful spear phishing attacks could lead to more widespread phishing campaigns. This is especially true if the attackers get access to company data such as employee rosters or customer databases.
Spam is not as malicious as phishing and is far easier to identify. However, filing through and disposing of spam can significantly reduce productivity of any business. A simpler solution is to deploy a mail service filter that can scan incoming messages for common characteristics of spam. This filter determines if the suspicious email address lines up with any internal contact info or from verified customers or vendors.
However, there will always be a need for human judgment for the more convincing emails. Training is often required to identify complex spam. Then, the ability to follow up with team members to confirm if a message is legitimate or not.
Websites have become vital to businesses as a way to engage with their customers. They are especially critical if customers can order products, services, or make payments through the site.
Hackers can either find ways to render the website inoperable or change the content on them to mislead users. They can also embed programs that will automatically install dangerous files and malware on users’ workstations, often without their knowledge.
How to Prevent Types of Cyber Threats
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have released a framework for organizations to follow. Keep in mind that these national standards are still being created and revised. The NIST framework is designed to educate businesses on how to secure themselves more effectively against cyber attacks. While they also have crafted specific versions of this framework for particular industries, there is a base that applies to all.
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