Many small businesses often think they are immune to cybercriminals. However, hackers target anyone whose security has vulnerabilities. To avoid being caught off guard, you need to know some of the different ways a hacker will attack your business. Here is a list of the popular tactics used by cybercriminals to gain unauthorized access to the databases of small businesses.
1. Malware and Ransomware
Cybercriminals use malware to steal information from their targets. In most cases, the hacker will compromise the workstations and servers by planting malicious software on a person’s devices, sending malicious links or attachments through email, using bruteforced passwords, and exploiting vulnerabilities. The main types of malware are viruses, Trojans, and worms.
Viruses replicate themselves and destroy information on the computer. Viruses stick themselves to a host program like executable files, songs, and videos. Typical examples of viruses include Accept.3773 and ABAP.Rivpas.A. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans delete files on your computer. The task of Trojans is to provide access to malicious programs to steal valuable data. A typical example of a Trojan is JS. Debeski. Worms are computer programs that replicate themselves to increase and transfer themselves to other computers through storage media or the internet. Worms do not harm your computer, but they take up hard drive space, which slows down your machine. Typical examples of worms are the SQL Blaster and Code Red.
Ransomware is a form of malware that alters how your machine operates. Ransomware encrypts data and keeps you from using your computer. This software also displays messages demanding money to retrieve the regular operation of your device.
2. Social Engineering and Denial of Service Attacks
This is a new approach used by hackers to gain access to your information. You should be keen on what you post online since hackers use such information to hack passwords and steal data. The cyber-criminal will reset your passwords to access information.
A denial of service attack is another method of compromising a person’s site. The attack involves flooding a server or website with a lot of information so the server cannot process requests and eventually crashes down. The hacker will flood your machine with requests which restrict actual requests from being addressed.
Cybercriminals usually deploy botnets that flood your computer with request packets. Bots are automated processes designed to work without human intervention. Hackers can create malicious bots to infect the host. A bot will create a connection with servers that act like command posts for infected computers that are attached to the network. A botnet is capable of logging keystrokes, stealing passwords, launching denial of service attacks, and relaying spam.
3. Phishing and Smishing
Phishing emails are very hard to detect. These emails appear like regular emails from legitimate senders. However, clicking on these links leads you to infected websites. Many hackers are using phishing emails to launch attacks on many small businesses.
Smishing is a type of phishing where a person tricks you into giving them your information through an SMS message or a phone call. Smishing uses social engineering to lure you into sharing private information. This method leverages your trust to obtain personal information. Usually, the hacker will be looking for passwords to your bank accounts or other sensitive information. The cybercriminal may also use shortened links with offers that, when clicked, install malware on your machine.
4. Insecure Networks
When you are connected to an insecure network, a hacker can quickly gain access to the files on your computer and also monitor your activities online. The cybercriminal may also be able to steal passwords of your bank accounts, social accounts, and also inject malware on websites you trust. Anyone can be able to access critical files, usernames, passwords, and accounting data remotely by logging into your insecure network through various free programs.
It is dangerous to log in to free Wi-Fi to engage in activities like a private conversation, banking, or browsing your email. These networks are insecure and can easily be accessed by malicious hackers. One way to stay ahead of security threats posed by vulnerable networks is through the use of vulnerability scanners. These scanners are capable of identifying cyber threats and unauthorized access to a network.
5. Key Logger
A keylogger is a software used to record the keystrokes of your keyboard into a log file on your computer. A keylogger might contain your email IDs, passwords, and other sensitive information. Keylogging is also called keyboard capturing and can either be hardware or software. Hardware keyloggers target electromagnetic emission, keyboards, and smartphone sensors. Software-based keyloggers target programs that are installed on your computer. Keyloggers are one of the reasons websites provide virtual keyboards for entering passwords.
Many enterprises use password managers to store and track passwords. The popularity of keyloggers has made it easy to access these passwords and breach data security. When browsing online, especially when entering bank credentials, caution must be observed when entering passwords to avoid falling prey to keyloggers.
Summing It Up
Cybercrime has increased tremendously over the past decade. Hackers do not only target large corporations and small entrepreneurs; they also attack individuals. To be safe from cybercrime attacks, you need to identify the most common types of hacker attacks and employ the appropriate safety procedures.