Types of cyber threats
Types of cyber threats
Businesses of all sizes are open to cyber threats when hackers access a computer system or network to gain access to an organisation’s data. Once in to the system, the hackers can copy, change or destroy sensitive information that they can then use to their own benefit or to interrupt an organisations normal business processes.
There are a number of different cyber threats that businesses can be susceptible to. These include:
Phishing is the most common type of cyber-attack. Hackers send fraudulent emails that appear to come from a reputable source asking recipients to click on a link that then infects their computer or the network. These emails often resemble emails that users are accustomed to receiving or are about things they are familiar with, like getting a delivery or receiving an invoice, so they click without a second thought. The aim is usually to steal sensitive data like credit card numbers and login information.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that hackers put on an organisation’s systems. The hackers then extort money from the organisation by blocking access to files or the computer system until the ransom is paid. As with any ‘ransom’ situation, there is no guarantee that paying the ransom will mean that the files are recovered and the system restored.
Malware is a type of software designed to gain unauthorised access or to cause damage to a computer, network or system. It is often contained within an email attachment that a user inadvertently clicks on.
Social engineering is a tactic that hackers use to trick targets into revealing sensitive information for example, a payment or access to confidential data. Often, social engineering is combined with other cyber threats to make people more likely to click on links or download malware. It is more commonly used with individuals but can also be used to target businesses and organisations.
How to protect against cyber threats
So what businesses do to protect their IT networks from the risk of a cyber-attack? How can organisations eliminate unwanted access into their IT system?
Firstly, firms should educate their employees about the various types of cyber threats and advise on how to identify suspicious emails and to avoid clicking on malicious links or attachments, divulging details and so risking a major security situation for the organisation.
Secondly, organisations should protect their IT networks from cyber threats by installing protective software solutions using a specialist like STL that knows about cybersecurity measures, as these solutions are constantly changing to meet the latest cyber threats.
If you’d like to know more about ransomware you can read some statistics and ways to defend against it in our Scary Ransomware Statistics blog.