12 Nov Cyber Security Checklist – The Threats
The modern world of work requires you to have cyber security at the forefront of your business concerns at all times. This is partially due to our dependence on technology having grown to heights at which we couldn’t have dreamt of a mere decade ago – and this applies to both the workplace and the comfort of our own homes. Your team must have, at the very minimum, a basic understanding of cyber security, what to look out for, and the fundamentals that will allow them to use tech safely. The security of many small to medium sized businesses simply isn’t good enough – the level of security for some is comparable to leaving the windows to your home wide open when you go out – businesses are practically inviting cyber criminals in.
Everyone in the civilised world has internet connected devices intertwined into their lives, both in the workplace and otherwise, so it comes as no surprise to learn that the criminal community has seen an opportunity and are taking advantage of it. Criminals are opportunistic. Why would they go out and commit crime when they can do it from their own front rooms? We don’t have to simply accept our fates though, there are actions we can take to be sure that our systems are as protected as they can be. Predominantly, the main reason that people are becoming victims of cyber attacks is a lack of knowledge regarding the subject; this article will hopefully change that by enlightening you and therefore better prepare you going forward.
Here, we will highlight the different methods that cyber criminals are using to gain access to your systems and steal your data. In the next article, we will explore some of the cyber security fundamentals that you need to have on your checklist to ensure that an attack won’t be able to inflict debilitating damage to your business.
So, what are some of the methods that cyber criminals use to attack your systems?
Ransomware encrypts the data on your system and denies you access to it – this can make it one of the most frustrating forms of attack of them all. The cyber criminal will take over control of your data and demand a ransom for its safe return. Cyber criminals will force you into paying the ransom quickly by setting tight time restrictions on when it needs to be paid by. They do this under threat of deletion – or even worse – distribution of your sensitive data.
We understand that it is tempting to just pay them and get it over with. Your data is likely worth far more than the amount demanded anyway. But do you really think that the cyber criminal can be trusted? It would be a big mistake to pay, because paying does not guarantee that you will ever be granted access again. You are in fact doing the opposite, merely advertising that you are willing and able to pay whatever they demand, whenever they demand it.
Phishing is a form of cyber attack that takes place via email. The attacker sends email that is cleverly masked as though it is sent from a trusted source, be that a person within a business that you regularly engage with, or perhaps a brand or government department that would carry an equal level of recognition and trust from most people.
The emails themselves create a problem, which could take the form of an invoice or fine to pay, or a requirement to reset or update credentials or personal information – a problem that within its nature forces you to act with a sense of urgency, and with that urgency, act rashly and therefore fail to fully vet the legitimacy of the email and fall victim to the cyber attacker.
Success for the hacker would be the receipt of personal, valuable information from their target – be that credit card details, personal contact information or login credentials. To get this information, the phishing attack, with its sense of urgency, will lure the unsuspecting victim to act by clicking a link embedded within the email that may result in malicious software being downloaded to the victims’ machine or simply arrive at a spoof website with a form to collect such data.
Malware can be particularly devastating. Its main aim is to steal your data but is designed with the intention of causing damage, destruction, and chaos on your system. Malware is unique in the fact that it is often designed, orchestrated, and managed by a group of cyber criminals rather than just one person. The group will sell the software on the Dark Web for others to use or use it themselves.
The list of potential ways that your systems could be under attack is endless, but with knowledge on these – the most common of attacks – you and your team can begin to implement ways to protect your organisation from what could be a business debilitating attack. You must purchase, implement, and maintain the right tools to protect your business – we will help you to establish what’s best for you in our following article.
Cyber security guaranteed
Since our conception back in 2005, we at Vostron have operated under a series of predetermined guiding principles, agility, people, and approachability. With those principles adopted wholeheartedly throughout everything that we do, along with our progressive approach in helping our clients to achieve their business goals in the most cost-effective and secure way possible, we are proud to say that we have earned the trust of a loyal customer base across the UK (from our home in Southampton).
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