Common and Notorious Cyber Attacks Businesses Need To Be Aware Of

Cyber security is a necessity for businesses, with the ever-increasing risk of cyber attacks, including phishing, social engineering attacks, malware distribution, password theft and data breaches.

Common and Notorious Cyber Attacks Businesses Need To Be Aware Of

Business cyber security has become a necessity, with an increasing number of businesses more technologically reliant than ever before. With that being said, many businesses that operate online today find themselves in unfamiliar territory and end up exposed to some of the most common cyber attacks.

Between phishing, social engineering attacks, malware distribution, password theft and data breaches, there has never been a greater need to take precautions.

Acknowledging cyber threats and investing in cyber security teams is vital, as all businesses are at risk and vulnerable to the significant hidden costs of cyber attacks.

TryHackMe can help businesses mitigate this risk.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing ranks as the second most expensive cause of data breaches, resulting in loss of money, damage to reputation and the disruption of operations. In addition, data and assets could be stolen or damaged.

All it takes is an inexperienced user within your corporate environment to open a phishing email, click a malicious link or download and run an attachment, giving an attacker a foothold into the network.

With as many as 42% of employees admitting they cannot identify phishing emails and half of cyber attacks in the UK involving phishing, protecting your business against phishing attacks is paramount.

“Many people think that computer security concerns only relate to viruses, but personal security is equally important. There are numerous types of fraud that can endanger computer users on a personal level—and e-mail is an extremely effective way to distribute fraudulent messages to potential victims.”

Kathy Kimball, director of Security Operations and Services (SOS)

In recent weeks, ride-hailing giant, Uber, fell victim to a severe systems breach through social engineering targeting an internal Uber employee. The hacker gained access to Uber’s email dashboard, endpoints, Windows domain and Amazon Web Services console, while internal systems were made inaccessible. Uber’s data breach highlights the importance of reevaluating security defence and utilising multi-factor authentication.

Malware Attacks

Malware is a form of software or web content intending to harm your organisation and disrupt the system/network, in the form of adware, spyware, trojan horses, and worms. As new strains of malware grow and evolve, implementing appropriate security measures, educating employees and eliminating any weaknesses is vital.

Malware is a severe threat to any enterprise, from small business owners to huge corporations alike. This highlights employees' essential role in maintaining the company’s cyber security.

Common mistakes made by businesses are the lack of antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software. Creating awareness, developing cyber skills, and early intervention can significantly reduce the likelihood and repercussions of malware attacks.

Ransomware Attacks

As one of the defining cyber threats of modern times, ransomware can be devastating for businesses of all sizes. Ransomware attacks begin with a threat to permanently restrict access or publish sensitive data, followed by a demand for a ransom to be paid.

In a recent study, over 80% of ransomware incidents were traced back to misconfigured cloud services, untested security tools, and the enablement of macros.

Looking to the future of cyber security, ransomware is estimated to be a factor in 10% of all breaches. While risks to data security will always be present for any business, the best thing you can do to keep your data secure is to implement adequate security measures and ensure all members of staff are educated on data security.

Not only should data be kept safe, but it should also be kept accessible with sufficient measures taken to prevent data from becoming lost during ransomware attacks.

In recent weeks, Microsoft SQL servers were hacked in a FARGO ransomware attack, with victims threatened by the possibility of leaking the stolen files, unless a ransom is paid. Following the attack, users were advised to keep machines up-to-date with the latest fixes for security vulnerabilities, while administrators were instructed to use strong and unique passwords.

Password Attacks

Ensuring secure passwords and multi-factor authentication across your business is a core element of cyber security. With businesses using multiple cloud-based services more than ever before and with only 26% of companies using two-factor authentication, the risk of a cyber attack becomes much greater.

In a recent study, 44 million users were found to be reusing passwords. Using easily guessed passwords or repeating passwords across multiple accounts is a common mistake made throughout the workforce.

To prevent a password attack, organisations should introduce a password policy whereby all passwords used within the organisation are unique and strong. Multi-factor authentication for business is vital.

DDoS Attacks

DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks are designed to exceed a website’s capacity to handle multiple requests and have been steadily increasing in frequency over the past few years. While hackers often use DDoS attacks to blackmail businesses into paying a ransom, other motives include disruption to service, distracting an incident response team and even inflicting brand damage.

DDoS attacks are a danger to businesses of all sizes. In a recent study, nearly 70% of surveyed organisations experienced up to 50 DDoS attacks per month, with the average number of annual DDoS attempts expected to rise to 15.4 million by 2023.

A common mistake businesses make is failing to have a DDoS incident plan in place, which should contain an evaluation of current protective measures alongside the defined roles and responsibilities of your security teams.

Other common mistakes include failing to test your DDoS defences, not having firewalls, a lack of awareness of the warning signs to look out for, and irregular network traffic monitoring. Firewalls are critical in detecting Denial of Service (DoS) attacks that disrupt a targeted server's normal traffic.

“Organisations should regularly conduct risk assessments and audits on their devices, servers, and network. While it is impossible to completely avoid a DDoS, a thorough awareness of both the strengths and vulnerabilities of the organisation's hardware and software assets goes a long way.”

Fortinet, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Attacks

Cyber Security Training for Business

Human error poses the most considerable cyber vulnerability to businesses, followed by inadequate security measures.

Employees should be armed with cyber awareness knowledge in order to prevent threats and reduce the implications. With more of us working from home and cyber attacks more prominent now than ever, the need for business cyber security awareness has never been greater.

With over 560 training labs, TryHackMe has training catered to a plethora of cyber threats and patterns. Show your team how to analyse and defend against phishing emails. Investigate real-world phishing attempts using a variety of techniques.