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Today, nearly 70% of business leaders believe their cybersecurity risks are growing. One of the top things you can do as a business owner to protect yourself is to learn about the common types of cyberattacks.
After all, you can’t educate yourself or your team if you don’t understand cybercrime or how viruses, malware, and phishing attacks can impact your life in the short and long term.
There are many issues and risks out there regarding cybercrimes. Because of this, you must know some of the most common attacks. Keep reading to learn more.
Cyberattacks to Be Aware Of
Part of protecting your company is knowing the types of cyberattacks that target users today. Here’s a quick list of the top cybercrimes we’ll cover:
- AI-Powered Attacks
- Internet Fraud
- Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
- Identity Theft
- DDoS attacks
You may have heard about some of the cybercrime examples listed here in the past, but others may sound unfamiliar. Now is the time to learn more.
With the following list of cybercrimes, how they affect you, and how you can protect yourself, you will be well-equipped to protect your business. Failure to do this will leave your business vulnerable and at risk for severe issues and losses.
The use of AI or Artificial Intelligence for launching sophisticated cyberattacks is daunting and challenging. Unfortunately, there’s no way to know what these types of attacks will be capable of in the future.
One of the most potent AI attacks seen to date involved using AI-powered botnets. These botnets attack machines to perform large-scale DDoS attacks.
The capability of these attacks is likely to grow in the future. AI-powered software can learn the best approaches and adapt attack methodologies. These attacks will use intelligence feeds to identify various software vulnerabilities and scan systems for possible vulnerabilities. Also, unlike human hackers, AI-powered attacks will work around the clock to hack into your devices.
Ransomware is a type of cyberattack that can affect consumers and businesses of all sizes and industries. It has particularly affected corporations across the globe to date.
Ransomware comes into your system network and encrypts the files. When this happens, you will no longer be able to access them. At this point, the attacker will send a notification demanding money (a ransom) to hand over access to your files.
The goal is to make a quick buck. One way to prevent issues with ransomware is by backing up your data regularly. You should also consider an Adblocker, which can help prevent these malicious attacks.
Phishing On The Rise
A phishing attack occurs when an attacker attempts to trick someone into providing valuable, sensitive data. The victims of this crime usually have no idea what is happening to them. This can include intellectual property, credit card information, passwords, and more.
Sometimes, phishing attacks arrive in the form of an email or text that is disguised as a legitimate company. It may be your bank, a local utility company, or another known and trusted entity.
Phishing is considered one of the most common forms of cyberattacks. Unfortunately, it is also highly effective.
Malware is Abrupt & Dangerous
Malware is any application that performs malicious tasks. Some types of malware are designed to have ongoing access to your network, while others will spy on users to gather credentials or other types of valuable data.
Malware can be extremely challenging to remove from your system. It’s essential to invest in quality antivirus software, firewalls, and password protection to prevent malware from taking over your system.
Spyware & Long-Term Consequences
Spyware and malware are often interchangeable terms. However, spyware is designed to get into your computer or network, gather information about your systems or you, and then sell it or provide it to third parties without your consent.
Spyware may also refer to legitimate software that will monitor your data for commercial reasons like advertising. Hackers use it to profit from the data that is stolen. This type of cyberattack can seriously impact your business by stealing customer information, which will impact users or buyers.
In some situations, internet fraud looks like someone impersonating you or one of your employees. This makes it hard to detect and prevent.
With man-in-the-middle attacks (MITM), the hacker or nefarious individual will intercept the communication and messages sent between two individuals. The goal of this interception is to spy on the victims, change the conversation, or even steal data and credentials from the victim.
Fortunately, MITM attacks are not as common today because most chat and email systems use end-to-end encryption, effectively preventing third parties from adjusting or tampering with data moved across a network. This is true no matter if the network is secured or not.
If this type of attack occurs, it can prove problematic for businesses, especially those with remote employees.
Cyberstalking occurs using the internet or other technologies to stalk or harass someone else online. In some situations, it’s considered a crime in the US.
Online harassment can occur via text messages, emails, social media posts, etc. Usually, cases of cyberstalking are persistent, deliberate, and systematic. The interactions tend to not end, even when the recipient asks the stalker to stop. The content sent is often inappropriate and, in some cases, disturbing. This may leave the receiver worried, anxious, distressed, or fearful.
Identity Theft is Rising Rapidly
Another type of common cybercrime is identity theft. The goal of identity theft is for the nefarious individual to achieve financial gain. Criminals typically steal others’ identities, such as email addresses, credit card information, addresses, etc.
When an individual has this information, they can take on someone else’s role, create new bank accounts, get credit cards, and more.
The impact of identity theft can be extensive, especially if it isn’t caught in a timely manner. It’s smart to implement identity theft protection, which many ISPs currently offer. It’s even more important to secure your devices as you store sensitive information like your passwords, digital wallets, and contact list.
A DDoS attack stands for Distributed Denial-of-Service. It is when an attacker floods a target server with traffic. The goal is to, at a minimum, disrupt the target, with the ultimate goal of bringing it down completely.
Unlike traditional DDoS attacks, which modern firewalls can find and respond to, more sophisticated DDoS attacks can leverage several compromised devices and then bombard the target (your business) with traffic. In the end, this can bring your operations to a screeching halt.
Your business or home network may suffer significantly if this type of attack occurs. Therefore, it’s essential to take steps to prevent DDoS attacks.
The fact is that cybercriminals are out there, and they will do anything they can to make money and steal your information. As the world becomes more digital, it increases the possibility and instances of cybercrime.
The impact of cybercrime can vary in severity. It isn’t something that users or companies can take lightly. If you are handling sensitive or personal data, you may risk exposing your clients to significant risks. This can have severe consequences for your business reputation and even negatively affect your customers’ lives. Many businesses that have become a victim of cybercrime struggle to recover fully. One reason for this is the financial implications; however, it’s also because you have lost trust, which means customers will be hesitant to return for more services.
With the right software and hardware protections in place, it is possible to prevent the cyberattacks mentioned here. To learn more, read our guide on securing your home network.
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