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Understanding Common Cyber Threats

Posted by Sophie Ashwood | 19-Jun-2019 10:30:00

Cybercrime is an umbrella term for a variety of criminal activity that occurs online. Ever since 2017, when cybercrime was no longer a rare, unspoken occurrence in the business world, cybersecurity has been (or should be) at the forefront of every business. In this article, we’ll breakdown the different types of threats that are continuing to grow in popularity.

One of the fastest growing forms of cybercrime used in a cyberattack. This type of malware is used to lock and encrypt your files, and once encrypted, will be held for ransom. Typically, cybercriminals demand payment in bitcoin to decrypt and unlock your files.

A perfect example of how severe this type of attack can be is the 2017 WannaCry Ransomware attack that affected the NHS, which then spread to multiple businesses throughout the UK.

Paying the ransom never guarantees the recovery of your data, which is why it’s crucial to have a disaster recovery plan and data backup in place to help future-proof your business.

We can help by creating a comprehensive disaster recovery and business continuity plan that’s tailored specifically to the needs of your organisation. Get in touch to find out more.

Short for ‘malicious software’ – a generic term used for any software that’s been purposefully designed to disrupt, cause damage or gain unauthorised access to a computer, server, client or computer network. The code is often described as worms, computer viruses, Trojan Horses (aka Trojans), adware and spyware.

Your antivirus software and firewalls are your first line of defence against malware – they are designed to routinely check for the presence of malware and malicious activity, containing and removing any attacks.

It’s essential that you keep your antivirus software up-to-date so hackers can’t take advantage of any vulnerabilities in previous versions.

Social Engineering
Social engineering, in the context of information security, is defined as ‘the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information’.

There are multiple types of social engineering, such as:

  • Baiting
    Depends on the victim taking the bait, e.g. a USB device loaded with malware left for the user to find

  • Phishing
    Email or text with malicious links to gain access to your PC or to gather information about you

  • Email hacking
    Emails that appear to be from someone you know so you let your guard down, allowing them to spread malware or trick you out of your data

  • Pretexting
    Use of an interesting pretext, e.g. you've inherited a considerable amount of money, they've been trying to get in touch with you for a while and need your bank details so you can access your money, but the deadline is nearly up

  • Vishing
    Similar to phishing, but over the phone - the criminal may pose as your bank, co-worker, or a place where you shop, to try and gather personal information about you and gain access to your accounts

Outdated Software
Having outdated software can be severely damaging to your business as it makes you an easier target for cybercriminals. As mentioned above, the WannaCry Ransomware attack in 2017 was devastating to multiple businesses, but it could have been easily avoided:

While Microsoft had issued a patch to fix the vulnerability before WannaCry was released, many trusts had failed to deploy it, leaving their computers exposed when the virus started spreading. Thousands of computers around the world were affected.

Software gets updated for many reasons, one of which is to patch any security issues that have been found. If your software is outdated, it means that cybercriminals have had more time to analyse and find weaknesses in the code, putting you and your business at a higher risk of becoming a victim of cybercrime.

Cyber Security eBook

How can we help?

We know that if your IT goes down, your business is left vulnerable. That’s why we will help you plan for the worst, ensuring your assets are protected while helping to reduce downtime and speed recovery.

We take a broad view of disaster recovery and business continuity, working to ensure that every element of your critical infrastructure, applications and data is protected.

We can provide you with a tailored solution for your business, ensuring your IT security plan suits you and your business.

Get in touch to find out more.

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Topics: IT Security, cybersecurity, cybercrime

Written by Sophie Ashwood

Marketing Executive at AZTech IT Solutions

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