The internet is an amazing tool that has revolutionized our world. While it has brought us all to new heights of possibility, it has also brought all new sorts of danger with it. If you aren’t trained in cybersecurity, these cyber threats may be invisible to you until it’s too late.
From fake emails that contain dreadful viruses to attacks that shut down your entire system, cyber-attacks can wreak serious havoc on your system.
Read on to learn more about some of the most dangerous threats that you may not even be aware of yet.
Ransomware is one of the worst cybersecurity threats out there today. Once you have ransomware on your computer, it’s all but impossible to get rid of.
Ransomware accesses your system and encrypts as many of your files as it can get its hands on, locking you out of them. Then the virus creators contact you demanding money for them to send you the password to decrypt your files.
Because of how sophisticated encryption tools have gotten, jailbreaking your files can be just about impossible.
Email is one of the most common vectors for cybersecurity attacks. Most of us get dozens of emails every day, many of them from lists we didn’t necessarily sign up for. And hackers have gotten very good at impersonating sources that we would trust to send us a legitimate email.
In some cases, as soon as you open the email, your computer is vulnerable to whatever virus is implanted there. In other cases, the email may trick you into clicking a link or downloading something.
In many cases, the only way to tell that these emails are not legitimate is to look at the sending email itself; it may be nonsense gobbledygook of random numbers and letters. Or a very close variation to your organizations email domain, such as a .net instead of .com.
Social engineering, also known as phishing, is one of the most common cybersecurity scams today. These schemes work by tricking people into giving the scammers personal information, usually bank account or credit card numbers. They may often do this by pretending to be a legitimate organization, either one that the victim recognizes and works with or one that has some other expertise or authority.
You may get an email or a call from someone claiming there are viruses on your computer and that you need to pay them money to clean up your computer. Or you may get an unexpected email or call from someone like the IRS saying you’re overdue on some fee. These schemes can look very convincing, and once they have your money, it’s gone.
In the same vein as phishing, some viruses get onto your computer by posing as an update to a program you already have running. You might think nothing of it and download the “update” to put on your computer. Once you’ve downloaded the file, the virus has access to every part of your computer.
Fake updates could take the form of ransomware or could simply allow the perpetrators remote access to your computer. Most often these will come from an unexpected source, such as a popup or email that says you need to update a program. It’s always a good idea to check the source of these updates before you run them.
Formjacking is one of those attacks that goes through your website and targets your customers. It works through forms on your website to steal customer information. In many cases, the customer may be legitimately inputting this information – such as an address, email address, or credit card information – into your website when it’s stolen.
This formjacking isn’t only harmful to your customers; it’s also damaging to your reputation. If people are having their information stolen when they visit your website, they won’t want to spend money with you anymore. This is why it’s so important to make sure you’re running good updates and solid patches as needed.
Distributed denial of service attacks, or DDOS attacks, overwhelm your network and block any legitimate network access. The first major reason this is a problem is that it can shut down customer access to your website. It can also slow your network to a crawl, reducing your productivity and blocking your access to information.
But worse still, DDOS attacks are often a screen to distract you from more malicious activity happening in the background. Hackers may be working on stealing information, including credit card information or other personal data, from your system while you’re trying to get access to your network back. And there’s nothing you can do about it except try to run damage control once the attack is over.
Discover the Biggest Cyber Threats
There are a number of cyber threats that your business can fall victim to. From phishing and ransomware to formjacking and DDOS attacks, prevention is key with these attacks. Be sure everyone in your company is educated about warning signs of these attacks, and always make sure your updates are solid and security-focused.
If you’d like help preventing and managing cyber threats, check out the rest of our website, or consider reaching out to a cyber security professional at OSIbeyond. We offer managed technology services, including IT support and strategy, cloud solutions, and cybersecurity.
Contact us today to start building a safer web experience for your staff and customers alike.