Generally, a cyberattack can be described as any form of digital assault launched by one computer against another computer(s) or network. Cyberattacks can also be defined by one of two categories – active attacks and passive attacks.
Active Attacks – The attacker’s end goal is to disable the device and/or its online accessibility.
Passive Attacks – The attacker’s end goal is to gain access to the device and/or network data.
In addition, a recent study has revealed nearly one in five businesses polled have been affected by a cyber attack in the last two years - with nearly half estimating the attack cost them over $100,000 (others had no idea how much they spent as a result of the breach). In addition, half of small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners surveyed believe their organization is vulnerable to a cyber security attack, with the same number stating they are worried about how a breach could affect their operations.
However, the good news is, a solid understanding of the types of threats to which your SMB is most vulnerable, combined with the right IT solutions, will prevent your business from being victimized by malicious cyber criminals.
Below are four of the most common types of cyber attacks being used against SMBs today and how to prevent them:
Phishing attacks are an extremely common form of cyber attack, with four in every ten Canadian SMBs affected. While phishing attacks can come in many forms, they are typically disguised as a well-intentioned email, masquerading as a credible company, institution, or colleague. Here, cyber attackers attempt to trick the victim into entering personal or company information or to download a malicious attachment to their device.
See our previous post: 6 Common Phishing Attacks and How to Prevent Them
Short for “malicious software”, malware can be defined as any type of software exclusively created to cause damage to devices, wreak havoc on sites and steal data. Delivered in the form of ransomware (more on ransomware below), viruses, Trojans, spyware and more, malware can lead to serious data breaches as well as damage to devices and networks.
Prevention: Employee education on email best practices, reliable anti-virus software with regular updates, regular firewall updates.
Just as the name implies, ransomware is when hackers hold the victim’s device and data “ransom” until their demands (usually monetary) are met. In this scenario, the attacker will encrypt the user’s files, forcing them to either pay to obtain the decryption key, or spend potentially thousands in an attempt to restore the hijacked data.
Prevention: Employee education on phishing scams and email best practices, regular operating system and security software updates, cloud solutions and data back ups.
Denial of Service (DoS) Attack
A DoS attack is where cyber criminals shut down an organization’s website by means of overwhelming it with traffic and data. This form of attack can render your site virtually unusable for customers and can be extremely costly in terms of both lost sales, downtime, and website repairs.
Prevention: Regular traffic monitoring, security patches and security software updates.
At GAM Tech, we work hard to earn the trust of small to medium-sized companies. Responsive, reliable, and accountable, you can count on us to act in the best interest of your business 24/7/365. For more information on our variety of affordable services, Book Your Free Consultation or reach out to us, we’ll be happy to tell you more.