An Introduction to Cybersecurity

vector image/cybersecurity concept, lock

Now, more than ever, cybersecurity is essential for businesses of all sizes. Cyber criminals are well versed in sophisticated techniques to target your network, computer systems, and to steal your data. Whether you are a small-scale business or a large corporate organization, you’re at risk of attack. Large and small businesses alike are equipping their IT department or are outsourcing their IT to secure themselves against cyber threats. With the age of the Internet, risks have escalated, and the chance for vulnerabilities has increased. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Understanding Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is essentially the protection of sensitive or confidential data from prying eyes looking to steal it from your computer systems, software, networks and other tech. Cyber attacks can include but are not limited to:

  • Unauthorized access to and exploitation of sensitive or confidential documentation or information
  • Tampering with digitally stored data within your network and computer systems
  • The disruption of your business processes and functions
  • Ransom of your data through encryption and extortion of victims

With the innovative tactics and sophisticated approaches that cybercriminals now utilize, they are capable of disrupting entire organizations and hacking systems that may seem unhackable. It can be an incredible challenge for businesses to overcome if they aren’t prepared for such attacks.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats and Attacks

There are quite a few different threats out there and that you may come across. Here are some of the most commonly seen and experienced.

Ransomware

You can think of this attack as a cybercriminal taking your data for ransom, because that’s exactly what they do. They encrypt your important files using a file encryption software program that utilizes a robust algorithm to encrypt the targeted system. The users, aka your business, is then unable to access your files through any means without the hackers decryption code that is located on a remote server. They typically demand a considerable ransom for access to the information they’ve encrypted, but even then they may not return all the data after the fact, even after a business has paid the ransom.

Botnets

Botnet attacks typically look like a hostile takeover of your network, blocking access and installing malware or malicious code on any device connected to the network. Some botnets in the past have included:

  • Spam emails
  • Accessing networks to steal confidential data
  • and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

Although these more commonly affect large businesses, they have been known to make the occasional appearance within small to medium sized businesses. Their goal is to usually affect as many devices as possible and control them from afar.

Social Engineered Attacks

With billions of users now on social media networks, cybercriminals are taking advantage. Social engineered attacks usually look like advertisements and offers distributed on social media. They tend to seem very realistic and ask for your personal info and bank account details. The info you submit is then utilized to commit financial fraud, identity fraud, and so on.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing scams have shown up for just about every email user, whether they are connected to a business network or not. They come in the form of a legitimate-looking email that appears to come from a legitimate source (branded to legitimate companies but not coming from the actual company).

These tend to contain subject lines that also appear legitimate and may appear to be a response to something you’ve sent in the past.

These scams typically target sensitive data such as login credentials, bank account information, credit card numbers, etc. Suggested solutions to avoid this include email filtering technology and best practices to vet senders before opening links or email attachments.

Protect Your Business from Attacks with Cybersecurity

At LeapFox, we offer cybersecurity courses to train your employees and team members proper security measures to take and best practices to ensure you are never putting your business at risk. Contact us today to learn more about the courses we offer!