4 Common Cyber Threats and How to Avoid Them

When your cyber defenses have held up well so far, it’s easy to relax a little about potential threats. But if you’re going to continue keeping your business safe, you need to start considering the new threats that are out there. With the average cost of a malware attack hitting $2.4 million in 2017, it’s clear you need to pay close attention to common cybersecurity threats. Here are a few to watch out for.

Phishing attacks

Most people are aware that phishing emails exist. What they’re not aware of is how clever those emails can be.

Not all phishing emails are obvious, which means you or your employees may click a link and invite malware into your system without realizing what happened until it’s too late. One of the best ways to prevent them is to educate your employees. Teach them to never click on links, ask them to report any emails that seem suspicious, and remind them to never give sensitive information via email.

Malvertising tricks

Although malvertising is one of the lesser-known cyberattacks, it can wreak havoc throughout your business. Malvertising involves using an advert that looks legitimate, but it actually links to malware or ransomware. After clicking on the link, that malware or ransomware has a chance to take hold of your system. According to some estimates, around 1 in 100 adverts are malverts.

Of course, it isn’t always easy to recognize malvertising. Instead, you need to reduce the likelihood that one will affect your system. Make sure you install all updates and patches as soon as they’re released. Additionally, use a professional service to keep your system secure and monitor for threats. Ongoing vulnerability monitoring is a reliable way to spot flaws in your system and address them before they become a problem.

Password attacks

Just as the name suggests, password attacks involve a cybercriminal trying to gain access to your system by guessing the password. They can use specialist software to achieve this, which makes it a hands-off process as far as they’re concerned.

As data leaks are becoming more common, password hacking is getting a little easier. Because of this, you should educate your employees on the importance of varying their passwords. Additionally, use passwords that are difficult for hackers to guess. Such passwords should include letters with varying cases, numbers, and special characters.

Social engineering

Sometimes cybercriminals can smooth talk their way into gaining sensitive information. They use what they know about you and the systems you’re using to gain the data they need.

For example, someone may call you pretending to represent your bank. They’ll ask for two numbers from your code, but then they’ll tell you those numbers failed. If you use a four-digit passcode, that person has just engineered their way into getting it. 

It isn’t always easy to spot social engineering. But you can use certain tricks to avoid it. For example, if someone calls claiming to be a representative of your bank, hang up and call the number associated with your bank. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly more sophisticated. When they notice that one tactic isn’t working, they’ll try to use another. To stay ahead of the game, you need to adjust your approach to security as time goes on. With a continuously evolving security plan, you’re less likely to fall victim to cyberattacks.