Data breach, ransomware, phishing… OH MY! These are just some of the terms that send chills down an IT manager’s back. And, if you’re a business owner, they should scare you too! Cyberattacks are a significant threat to businesses of every size and industry. They can damage a business’s reputation and even take it offline for good. But unfortunately, you may be unaware of the impending vulnerability to your data. Here’s what you need to know to prepare and help prevent a cyberattack.
What is a Cyberattack?
A cyberattack is when there is a deliberate and malicious attempt to gain access to the network and data of an individual or organization. There are multiple ways cybercriminals do this, but they all have the same goal: stealing your information, compromising your infrastructure, and disrupting your business.
Common Types of Cyberattacks
While there are dozens of different types of attacks, here are three of the most common ones all employees and organizations need to be aware of.
In a Phishing attack, a cybercriminal masquerades as a reputable organization or person in email or other forms of communication to “lure” their victim into responding and ultimately giving them access to sensitive information. Attackers often make it seem like an emailed invoice or link to a payment portal is legitimate. Unfortunately, if your employees are not properly trained in cybersecurity and social engineering, it can be incredibly easy for them to fall victim to a phishing scam. And when they do, it can be detrimental to both businesses and their customers.
Ransomware, as the name suggests, is when a cybercriminal holds a company’s important information for ransom. Hackers infiltrate a company’s computer network and lock down the system, preventing the company from doing business. They may also threaten to expose sensitive information, such as customer data. Then, the hacker demands a ransom from the company to release their hold on the system.
Malware, or “malicious software,” is a blanket term for viruses, trojans, and other destructive computer programs that cybercriminals use to infect systems and networks in order to gain access to data. There are three main types of malwares: trojan horse, virus, and worm.
- Trojan Horse: A scam where malware is hidden in an application, like a game or internet download.
- Virus: A malicious code that attacks programs, files, or parts of the operating system. We’ll explain more about viruses in the next section.
- Worm: A type of malware that infects a system and other associated programs.
How to Protect Your Business
There are many things that companies can do to try to help prevent and prepare for a cyberattack, but the most important is to train and educate their employees. Many cyberattacks rely on human interactions to spread a virus throughout an organization. Train all employees in best practices like identifying a phishing attempt, using multi-factor authentication, and creating strong passwords. Develop an Access Control Policy to limit employee access to only the information, applications, systems, and resources needed to perform their job. Install malware and virus protection to scan for threats and inhibit them from contaminating your computer and network. Finally, perform regular security audits and updates to ensure that there will be no vulnerabilities in your network.
Cyberattacks continue to increase. A small business breach can cause an insurmountable amount of damage. At GTS, we offer a variety of security solutions and are happy to help identify places where your defenses could be stronger. To learn more, call (904) 606-6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us help protect your small business today.