Cyber-attacks cause more than just headaches for a company; as of January 2019, cyber-attacks could cost more than $1.6 Million on average.
So, even if your company has a state-of-the-art comprehensive cloud platform like ServiceNow with vulnerability and security incident response features, it’s still important to know the common cyber-attacks so that your company, your IT Staff, and perhaps even the security software provider, could plan on what to do before, during, and after a cyber-attack. So, let’s explore the common cyber-attacks that target companies and IT experts’ advise on how to manage them:
Malware is any unwanted software that is installed in a device/system which could replicate and cause harm or steal file and information from the system.
Prevention: There are dozens of malware, but they’re relatively easy to avoid. Most of them come from phishing so one should be careful about clicking on unknown or embedded links. But a company’s primary line of defense is to have holistic security software that has anti-malware, anti-virus, anti-spyware, and other similar security features. One should also be wary of thumb/external drives and CDs as they can be infected by malware, so it’s crucial to perform a scan before using them in the company’s system.
Management and Aftermath: If a system or device in the company is infected, it’s best to isolate the malware by isolating the affected systems, and then do a scan or scrub to remove all traces of the malware.
DoS and DDoS Attack
Denial-of-service and Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks can disable a system by overwhelming it with data, rendering it unusable. It can shut down a network and/or website and could cost the company quite much in terms of hindered operation.
Prevention: DDoS attacks can be prevented by having an updated and effective security software and firewall. A company should also check on actual physical network connections as the attacker could be tweaking with the network cable to conduct the attack.
Management and Aftermath: During a DDoS attack, it would be best to have a company’s IT department or IT security team look into the traffic and detect where the attack is originating, cut if off, “patch” the vulnerability, and restore services ASAP.
Phishing is a social engineering method wherein the attacker tricks their victim to steal private data such as login information, credit card numbers, or even social security numbers. Phishing can be done via email, text messages, or even social media instant messages, and deceives the victim into opening a link wherein one either enters the aforementioned private information or installs a malware that attacks the system and reveals sensitive information stored in the victims’ device.
Prevention: Phishing preys on a person’s trust, gullibility, and/or curiosity. So to prevent phishing attacks, a company’s employee should think thoroughly before clicking any links on emails or providing sensitive information over email or text messaging.
Management and Aftermath: If an employee suspects that they have been a victim of phishing, it should be reported to the IT department and have the system checked for any malware or ransomware, and any login credentials changes. Additionally, the employee should also change their personal login information on their emails and online bank account access (and perhaps even contact their bank or credit card company that their information has been compromised).
Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attacks
A man-in-the-middle attack happens when a hacker manages to eavesdrop on a conversation between two parties and would be able to steal sensitive information.
Prevention: MITM attacks can be prevented by not getting into links that don’t have a security certificate (or has a security certificate that isn’t trusted). An employee should also make sure not to use a company laptop to connect to public networks for internet access, or at least use a virtual private network VPN to protect communication.
Management and Aftermath: If an employee thinks that their communication has been compromised, it should be reported to their manager and the IT to ensure that the MITM attack is cut off, and plan what to do regarding the possible information that may have been stolen.
Even the most prominent companies that spare no expense on cyber-security have become victims of cyber-attacks. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop trying to secure your company’s data; if any, it means that you have to be more aware and more prepared. Which is why it’s just as crucial for a company to know the common cyber-attacks that prey on businesses, as it is to have an IT security or security incident response team and a high-security platform such as ServiceNow.