The Top 5 Cyber Threats You Need to Look Out For
When it comes to data breaches, some users don’t know or suspect one has occurred until it’s far too late to do anything about it. Sometimes viruses or malware will lurk on a device until certain criteria are met. Others will execute immediately. We’ve listed some of the potential threats that you will encounter in the business world, as well as what you can do about them.
Viruses are a common occurrence, even by normal computing standards. It doesn’t take much to contract one. Even clicking on the wrong link or downloading the wrong file could infect a computer with a virus. Viruses are known to cause PC performance issues, in particular slowdowns. In fact, viruses are often symptoms of deeper-rooted problems, and should be handled as such.
If you’ve contracted a virus, it’s worth checking for infections by other malware. Malware, or “malicious software,” is designed to fulfill a certain task. The task… well, that can vary. Some types of malware will steal data or destroy it, while others will run scripts that make it more difficult to do your job. Regardless of its function, it’s clear that malware is not something you want to take lightly, and you should always be running an antivirus program to promptly eliminate any infections.
Trojans are a specific type of malware that work in much the same way that the Greek’s Trojan Horse worked. Trojans will install backdoors on your devices to allow remote access for future campaigns. Trojans are often installed on devices while the organization is suffering from another type of breach, like a virus or malware issue, effectively making use of a diversion tactic to ensure future access. It’s most often the case that only the most powerful antivirus or antimalware systems can detect trojans.
This is the cream of the crop in terms of major threats that your business needs to watch out for. Ransomware is exactly what its name implies--it’s malware that locks down your data using encryption and demands a ransom for its safe return. In most cases, unless the organization has a backed-up copy of the data, businesses have no choice but to pay the fine. Since ransomware spreads in many of the same modes as normal malware, like spam and malicious links or attachments, it’s best to implement a spam filter and to educate your team on how to avoid clicking on the wrong link.
Phishing and Spear Phishing
These types of threats leverage technologies like email to find those foolish enough to download viruses and malware on their system or hand over sensitive data. These spam messages are called phishing attacks. More targeted attacks tend to include personalized messages that could include the victim’s phone number, physical address, and so on--all to make the message seem legitimate. Phishing attacks often come disguised as messages from law enforcement or special government agencies, threatening “legal action” for a supposed crime or unpaid fine. A spam filter can cut your organization’s phishing and spear phishing messages down considerably, and it can save you plenty of time in the long run.
To learn how you can protect your business from all manners of threats, reach out to White Mountain IT Services at 603-889-0800.