4 Most Common Cyber Security Threats and How to Avoid

Raxxos Media Team
October 15, 2019

The constant advancement of computers and the internet have been quite a blessing. But as with many blessings, there are a few underlying setbacks that you need to look out for.

Data and other information used to be stored in old school filing cabinets, but now it resides in the cloud or a hard drive. While going paperless is convenient and digital documents are typically easier for you to access, it also makes it easier for them to land in the wrong hands.

Cybersecurity threats can be a bit sneaky and attack when you’re least expecting it. But when you take proper precautionary measures, you can protect your business from pesky cybersecurity threats.

Let’s dive into the ins and outs of common cybersecurity threats and how you can keep your systems and sensitive information safe from predators.

Identifying and Protecting Yourself Against Common Cyber Security Threats

Although you may believe purchasing the strongest antivirus software is the only step you need to take in protecting your systems from cybersecurity threats, there is much more that goes into the mix.

Hackers and other online predators are super sneaky, so it is easy to walk right into one of their sly traps. Getting caught up in that sort of mess is an absolute headache. You never know what information can be stolen and used against you.

Knowing how to identify common cybersecurity threats is the first step in avoiding them, so today we will go over some of the peskiest threats to your systems’ security.

1. Malware

Malware, the shortened name that combines malicious and software is probably one of the most well-known cybersecurity threats. It is exactly what its name says: software that is malicious, or threatening, to your computer.

Two major types of malware are viruses and ransomware, but it also includes things like Trojans and spyware. Some people create malware to steal some sort of info or take over a system. But sometimes malware is nothing but bored people computer scientists trying to see how far they can get with their codes.

No matter what the purpose of the malware is, you don’t want it. Nothing good can come from software on your computer that doesn’t belong.

Learn more about how to stay safe from ransomware.

What are Viruses?

Viruses are a specific type of malware that take over computer systems in a similar way that viruses such as Ebola, Hepatitis and polio take over human bodies.

Once the bad cell infiltrates the system, it attaches to one of the computer’s programs and continuously replicates until it dominates the system.

You can get viruses from sites on the internet or even software that you’ve downloaded.

Some telltale signs of computer viruses include strange pop-ups, missing files, slow operations and more.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is malicious software used to spy and steal information from your computer.

It can be difficult to detect spyware if the predator is simply taking data without making visible alterations to any of your files, systems or software.

Spyware infiltration can cause a ton of damage and potentially impose legal implications if your clients’ or employees’ sensitive information is stolen and possibly used in a way that causes them harm.

How to Stay Safe from Malware

The best way to avoid malware is by installing top of the line antivirus software. Personal computers typically come with free trials of different antivirus software. But when it comes to your business, you want the best antivirus software that’s designed specifically for business systems.

In addition to investing in protective software, avoid downloading suspicious files or software from the internet. Let your employees know what software is approved for downloading, and enforce rules against downloading music, computer games and any other files that are unnecessary in the workplace.

If your system has been attacked by malware, contact us about our disaster recovery services to bring your system back to safety.

2. Formjacking

Formjacking is one of the trickiest cybersecurity threats to protect yourself from.

How often are you prompted to fill out forms for trusted sites for changing passwords, making online purchases, retrieving information or filling out a survey? Probably every day.

Predators who are out to steal your information know how often you fill out forms without thinking twice, so they take advantage of this blindspot. They create forms that look almost exactly like those that you can find on the sites that you use regularly or they latch onto legitimate forms that you’re entering payment information into.

The way that formjackers get you is by making sure that your transactions or sign in goes is carried out without disruption. That way, you never notice that your information was snatched.

This cybersecurity threat is so dangerous because you’re giving your information away almost willingly. It makes things so easy for the predators.

How to Avoid Formjacking

It is very difficult to avoid formjacking since the jacked forms look and operate very normally. ‘

There are a few suggested formjacking protection tools that are recommended from different browsers, including ScriptSafe, JSBlocker and NoScript. Identify which tool is best suited for your preferred browser and install it right away!

3. Past and Present Employees

Inside security threats are very real and can come from past and present disgruntled employees.

Naive mistakes can happen and even angry ex-employees can be some of your biggest threats. People who know your systems in and out and are out for revenge after being fired are probably your worst enemies.

On the flip side, green employees who don’t completely understand computers or who are especially naive may be a threat, too. They might fall for the pop-up that says they’ve won $1000 or a brand new iPhone and click the link to accept it.

How to Avoid Inside Security Breaches

Educate your employees on the importance of keeping airtight cybersecurity from the moment they’re hired. Give cybersecurity training as part of new employee orientation, and explain the consequences of seemingly minor slip-ups.

Limit the work that people are able to do from their personal devices. Also, forbid personal devices from connecting to the office wifi.

As for dealing with feisty ex-employees that are no longer part of your team, be sure to change your communal passwords and revoke their access to all accounts as soon as they leave.

4. Outside Hackers

Hackers want to get in for a variety of reasons. They most likely are trying to get some sort of information or use your identity. They may be looking for passwords, credit card info or even information from your contact list.

Email hacking, social media hacking, and database hacking are all pretty popular. It is annoying when your personal accounts are hacked, but there is much more damage to be done when business accounts are hacked.

Email Hacking

Emails are often hacked through phishy emails. Senders often pose as someone you’d expect to pop up in your inbox with some sort of attachment that could let them into your server. They could take over your email accounts and use your identity to hack your contacts.

Many inboxes are equipped with strong junk mail detectors, but if something comes from one of your contacts, it will likely come through. Be very careful when opening any attachments that you’re not expecting.

If you receive a document that seems a bit out of place from somebody that you know, shoot this person a text or call to find out if the email was legitimate.

Database Hacking

Your databases are obviously rich in information that a predator may be after. Depending on your business or what kind of databases you have, a lot is on the line. We’re talking names, passwords, email address and possibly even more sensitive information like social security numbers, credit card info and bank account numbers.

You absolutely do not want your databases to be hacked.

Hackers can get into databases one of three ways. They can get in through an unprotected wifi access point, cracking database passwords and by using an SQL injection.

Social Media Hacking

Have you ever gotten a private message on Facebook from somebody who is on your friends list because you met them once at your neighbor’s cousin’s kid’s New Years Eve party?

The message was likely a link with some text claiming that there is a video of yourself that you have to see, but there is no way that this guy has a video of you. You click the link just to make sure there isn’t actually a video of you that could hurt your reputation

Over the next couple of days, the same message is sent to your entire friends list and your account is taken over by a hacker.

If your business’s Facebook page is hacked there are a few repercussions that you may face. Your private information runs the risk of being stolen, and the hacker has the ability to use that information to replicate your business’s page.

When somebody is posing as your business, the reputation of your brand is in their hands. They can prompt your followers to give up personal information, or they could post inappropriate content that can tarnish your brand’s image.

How to Avoid Hackers and Predators

Protect your database by securing the three points of entry that hackers tend to use. Keep your databases in secure environments that expose them to as few threats as physically possible. Use various firewalls and encryptions, as well as complicated passwords to keep your data safe.

To avoid social media hackers, refrain from clicking on any links that are suspicious. Report messages that seem a little phishy, especially if they are from somebody that you don’t normally talk to.

Keeping Your Information Safe from Cyber Security Threats

Protecting your business’s private information is very important. You don’t want anybody to steal your identity, your passwords or, even worse, your clients’ personal information.

Be more mindful when clicking on unfamiliar links and entering information into forms that you’re skeptical of. Keep your networks in the office on lockdown, and enforce rules that forbid employees from logging onto the office network or using the computers for personal use.

With the proper precautions, your chance of being infiltrated by any of these four cybersecurity threats greatly decreases.

What measures will you take to ensure your cybersecurity? Contact us for help keeping your business safe.

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