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What every business should know to prevent these 5 cyber attacks

A cyber-attack is when someone gets unauthorized access to your company’s computer systems and networks. Attacks like this can compromise customer data, erode client trust, and result in significant financial losses.

How can you prevent risks like these in your business? The first step is to understand the threats that are out there and what cybersecurity measures you can put in place to guard against them. To get you started, here are some of the most common types of cyber threats and the cybersecurity measures you can use to prevent them.

Download our free infographic on the 10 most common cyber-attacks to look out for in your business.

In a phishing attack, the attacker sends you an email pretending to be a person or business that you know and trust. The email typically contains a malicious link or attachment that, once clicked or downloaded, installs malware onto your device or gives the attacker access to your account.

Prevention: Make sure you know the sender before you click a link or download an attachment in an email (hover over any email buttons or links to view the URL it directs to). If the email looks suspicious, report it – there’s a report option available in MS Outlook on emails received from new senders – and delete it immediately. To be on the safe side, update your password regularly and consider using an anti-phishing tool that scrutinizes your emails.

Malware is any malicious software. The attacker exploits a network vulnerability to install the malware on someone’s system, and in most cases, the victim is unaware of its presence.

Common types of malware include:

· Trojans: These disguise themselves as legitimate software

· Spyware: Software that steals sensitive data, like your business’s financial information

· Adware: Displays ads on your computer screen

· Ransomware: Locks important stakeholders out of your network, demanding a ransom to restore their access

Prevention: Antivirus software is a viable solution for malware prevention. As an individual, you can also use the built-in firewalls on Windows and Mac systems for additional protection (though this should be upgraded substantially for businesses). Updating your system software and using an anti-phishing toolbar can also help.

This type of cyber attack targets a particular individual or organization, first by identifying the websites they routinely visit, and then by infecting one or more of them with malware. When the victim visits one of the infected sites, their system is immediately compromised.

The watering hole attack is typically used to steal personal information and financial data. The attacker may also use it to gain unauthorized access to your system.

Prevention: The best way to avoid being a victim of a watering hole attack is to hide your and your organization’s online activities from prying eyes. A quality VPN paid virtual private network, encrypted with online privacy and security built-in, can help you do this.

A zero-day exploit is when a hacker is aware of a security vulnerability in an organization’s system, but it isn’t yet patched or identified by the developer. Hacker uses this security gap to gain access to their systems before they’ve had a chance to patch them.

Prevention: Keep an eye on the latest vulnerabilities related to your business systems, tools, and software. Prepare and implement patch-management processes so you can control vulnerabilities until your developer can provide a complete solution.

An insider threat comes from someone working inside your organization. With access to financial, customer, and business data, any employee with malicious intent can trigger significant damage by sharing it with cyber attackers.

Prevention: Limit who has access to different data and IT admin roles. This ringfences any

potential suspects so you can easily pinpoint the culprit of a particular type of data breach (it may even prevent a data breach altogether as the chances of getting caught are higher). You can also create a cybersecurity culture where employees can blow the whistle on anyone misusing organizational data

Secure your data

You must know what to expect from cyber attackers before you can protect your organization’s networks and systems. By understanding the common threats listed in this article and what you can do to prevent them, your data will be substantially better protected.

Want to make sure your business data is secured against cyber threats like these? At JEC Tech, we provide a free cyber-fit assessment to help you determine the strength of your organization’s cybersecurity and identify the gaps and vulnerabilities in your network.



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