If you are a business owner, you need to give sufficient thought to the crucial element of cybersecurity. There are more hackers than ever before, and their global reach has never been greater.
While many of them are not particularly competent, hackers have become a danger just because there are so many these days. Besides, there are a select few that are genuinely dangerous.
With that in mind, here are seven of the most common ways in which hackers can infiltrate a business.
This is by far the most common means by which businesses get hacked. Phishing is basically just old-fashioned con artistry in a more high-tech form. These scams revolve around the idea of tricking the victim into revealing sensitive information. This might be login credentials, financial information, or anything else that they can use.
Most phishing attacks work through impersonation. They either impersonate a particular person with legitimate credentials or create a fake webpage that impersonated a trusted one. The goal is to trick you into entering that sensitive information on a page that they control. Once you do that, the information is theirs.
Malware is another key tool that hackers can use to infiltrate and harm your business. The name tells you what it is: software that is intended to harm.
Social engineering tactics can be used to install malware on the targeted device, but there are other ways. For instance, if they can trick you into downloading something that looks legitimate, they can potentially get the malware installed without any need for phishing emails or elaborate impersonation scams.
This is a complicated concept, but the basic idea is simple. SQL is a programming language that servers use to store various information. Those who understand this language can manipulate an SQL server and make it divulge sensitive information that would normally be protected. There are a lot of variations of this kind of attack, but server encryption will prevent most of them.
Ransomware can be installed using phishing or via a disguised download. It is a special type of malware that uses encryption as a weapon.
Once they have gained a sufficient level of access through other means, the hacker will use encryption to lock you out of your systems (and any data contained therein). Then, they can demand a ransom payment in exchange for the password. Ransomware is incredibly common and has even been used against government-level targets.
Distributed Denial-of-Service Attacks (better known as DDoS attacks) work by overwhelming a particular website with more connection requests than it can handle. A particular site or server can only handle so many incoming connections at one time. If that limit is exceeded, the site or server will overload and shut down. These attacks are most frequently carried out through the use of bots although "hacktivist" groups also tend to use this tactic heavily.
As you use the Internet, you are constantly communicating with other devices and servers throughout the globe. This sometimes involves the transfer of sensitive information, and so that information can be targeted by hackers.
Basically, hackers use a variety of methods to insert themselves between you and the other servers and devices with which you communicate. This allows them to intercept information from both directions.
An attack like this requires the guidance and experience of experts. So, in addition to your IT team, you may need to seek services for cybersecurity in Australia, or wherever your business is located, to help you avoid these “man-in-the-middle” attacks.
There isn't time or space to get into all the specifics of these attack types, but this should give you a good overview of how the most common tactics work. Most of them rely on deception as the initial hook, although some of them involve directly hijacking sites, servers, or devices. Either way, those who are well-educated are always going to be better protected.