5 most common cyberattacks and how to avoid them

Posted in Business

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Cyberattacks are a major threat to all businesses no matter the size. Cybercrimes are so advanced and sophisticated that many businesses can be targeted at once. Whether you're the owner of a small business or a large corporation, now is the time to prepare your business for the most common cyberattacks. But before you prepare, you should get familiar with these common cyberattack risks:

Email phishing

You’ve probably experienced a phishing attack and didn’t even realize it. They can look like very obviously fake email requests for payment sent to employees. However, they can also look like a rather convincing email requesting phone numbers or passwords from the president or CEO of a company.

Not responding is the best phishing attack prevention, but not clicking the links within the email is a close second. Clicking on random, unsecure links can put your device at risk of unintentionally downloading malware. It’s best to just send the phishing email straight to the trash.

Your company should utilize anti-phishing software as well. Anti-phishing software identifies untrustworthy emails and filters them out of your inbox. It’s a small prevention tactic that yields big results. Firewalls are another great precaution to set. Block the toxic links before an employee can accidentally download anything from them.

DDoS attacks

A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack’s purpose is to prevent a site from working correctly. They are usually directed toward sites that provide an online service. The attacker sends in multiple requests for service on the site all at once causing it to crash.

Fortunately, the frequency of DDoS attacks has decreased in recent years, but it’s still a risk nonetheless. Learn the signs of an attack so you can identify and respond as quickly as possible. Implementing a solid response plan in the event of an attack is a must for lessening the blow.

Improving overall network infrastructure security is a reliable method in preventing DDoS attacks. Implementing firewalls, anti-virus software, VPNs or intrusion detection systems is a foolproof method in preventing an attack, but having cyber coverage helps with peace of mind.

Insider threats

Cyberattacks from inside an organization happen more often than not. An insider is anyone with access to sensitive data or login information for an organization: former employees, current team members, third-party vendors, among others.

Not all cyberattacks from the inside are for immoral reasons. User error is included in insider cyberattacks. This could be anything from sending an email containing sensitive information to the wrong person or accessing sensitive information via a personal computer. Limiting privilege is a good place to start in preventing an attack.

For example, doing work at a coffee shop and using public WiFi opens a gateway for cybercriminals to steal your login credentials. It’s technically an inside attack since you accessed the information outside of the protection of your company network. The obvious way to avoid this is by not working using public WiFi, but one more layer of protection is setting up two-factor authentication when logging into your account. A cybercriminal can steal your username and password, but they can’t access anything without the randomly generated code.

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Ransomware is a form of malware. The only difference is a cybercriminal steals your data or takes your network hostage using malware but demands payment before giving the data back. Back up your data outside of its original location and wipe your device to avoid paying the ransom in the event of a ransomware attack.

While backing up your data doesn’t prevent a ransomware attack, using an updated security software might. Make sure the software is up to date to avoid vulnerabilities for an attacker to exploit.

Drive-by attack

A drive-by cyberattack is a common cyberattack. It’s similar to phishing, but it doesn’t require you to click on anything. Simply browsing secure or unsecure websites can initiate downloads of malware or spyware, so it’s best to browse with extreme caution.

Drive-by attacks mostly happen on unsecure sites, the perfect hiding spot for cybercriminals to use ads as a channel for distributing drive-by attacks. Installing a company-wide ad blocker is a good way to prevent an attack. Using extreme caution is essential in avoiding a drive-by attack since this cyberattack doesn’t require you to click on any links or browse on an unsecure site.

Cyber insurance

Sometimes, cyberattacks are inevitable and unpreventable. We know cyberattacks happen to businesses of all sizes.

Choose Integrity Insurance to help with your remediation in the event of a cyberattack in addition to prevention of them altogether. Talk to your local, independent Integrity agent about cyber insurance coverage today!

This article is for informational and suggestion purposes only. Implementing these suggestions does not guarantee coverage. If any policy coverage descriptions in this article conflict with the language in the policy, the language in the policy applies. For full details on Integrity’s business insurance coverages and discounts, contact your local independent agent.

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