Cybersecurity is all about staying ahead of threats, making it important to know the types of cyber attacks that may target your small business.
Cybercriminals use many types of cyber attacks to carry out their malicious behavior, from attempting to steal your passwords to asking for urgent payment. Luckily, knowing the types of cyber attacks most commonly faced by small businesses can help you be prepared and keep your business safe.
Here are the types of cyber attacks to be aware of:
Phishing is a common type of cyber attack that tricks you into performing a particular action. With phishing emails, an email pretends to be sent by someone they are not to lure you into providing information or downloading malware, often by clicking on a bad link within the message. Also, websites, voicemails, and text messages (smishing) are not always safe as attackers constantly create new ways to scam your team, using the tools they rely on every day.
This type of cyber attack makes it more personal. While phishing attacks are sent to many people using a more generic approach, spear phishing focuses on a single target. Using information available on social media and other public records, they learn about you and then craft a tailored email to create a false sense of trust.
Malware attacks are the types of cyber attacks using software to cause damage or steal your data. It's malicious software. Often downloaded to a computer without you knowing, there are many types of malware that attack in different ways, including:
- Exploit kits that scan for vulnerabilities in your software that they can use to deploy malware.
- Keyloggers that record your keystrokes on the keyboard, looking for sensitive information like your usernames, passwords, or credit card details.
- Malvertising that uses online advertising to spread malware.
- Spyware that spies on your computer's activities and internet usage
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data, preventing access unless you pay a ransom. If companies weren't giving in to the demands from these types of cyber attacks, criminals would stop using ransomware. And, unfortunately, payment does not always unlock the data.
Passwords are extremely valuable, which is what these types of cyber attacks are after. With your username and password, an attacker can easily bypass your organization's cybersecurity defenses and gain access to your systems. These attacks are on the rise because we're doing more of our day-to-day online, making it easier for anyone to login from anywhere.
What you can do to protect from these types of cyber attacks
Cyber threats exist, and attacks are on the rise for small businesses. And although the types of cyber attacks are varied, you can still protect your business with planning and an organization-wide commitment to cybersecurity.
At WorkSmart, we recommend that you consider the following best practices:
- Educating yourself and your team, so you know how to detect and avoid scams.
- Investing in the right tools to prevent an attack and to detect any possible threats within your system.
- Making sure your software is up-to-date so that you can patch any known vulnerabilities.
- Enforcing strong password security like requiring unique passphrases and using a password manager to keep track of passwords.
- Adopting multi-factor authentication to require both a password and some other form of identification, such as a biometric or a mobile phone number, to access an account.
- Backing up your data regularly so you can quickly recover from an attack.