If you think that your business won’t attract hackers, think again. Cybercriminals target businesses like yours — big or small — because of their apparent lack of IT security measures.
Small to medium-sized companies like yours need to think past the size of their organization and realize that everyone is at risk for cyber-attacks. Without the right tools and technology to prevent hackers from stealing your information, your organization is left prone to a major data breach.
That’s why you need the right knowledge – by understanding how the hacker thinks, you can better prepare yourself to defend against them.
The Tools Of The Trade
Attack Vector: This is how hackers gain unauthorized access to a device or a network. Attack vectors help hackers exploit the vulnerabilities in your system or network, including your employees.
Ransomware: This is a malware program that encrypts data on a system and then demands a ransom to reverse it. The hacker encrypts your data and scrambles it so you can’t access it. Ransomware attacks and infects your computer with the intention to extort money from you. It’s installed via a malicious email attachment, an infected software download, and/or when you visit a malicious website or link.
Phishing: Phishing is a fraudulent act in which a scammer steals private and sensitive information such as credit card numbers, account usernames, and passwords. The criminal uses a complex set of social engineering and computer programming strategies to lure email recipients and Web visitors into believing that a spoofed website is legitimate. The phishing victim later realizes that their personal identity and other confidential data was stolen.
Spear Phishing: This is a variation on phishing where hackers send researched emails to or from specific, high-level targets, such as CEOs and other C Level executives.
Worm: This is a type of malicious software (malware) that “worms” its way through your network. It infects your computer and replicates across other computers, leaving copies of itself in the memory of each it infects. Worms often originate from e-mail attachments that appear to be from trusted senders. Then they spread to your contacts via your e-mail account and address book.
Unmasking The Hacker
Organized Crime (Like “Tony Soprano”): 80% of hackers are affiliated with organized crime. Hacking is a lucrative business for criminals.
Nation States (Russia, North Korea, China, etc.): Nation-state hackers target government institutions, industrial facilities, and businesses to interrupt operations and leak confidential information. Hacking can result in massive data and revenue loss.
Hacktivists (Anonymous and Shadow Brokers) Hacktivism is the act of hacking or breaking into a computer system for a politically or socially motivated purpose. They organize on the deep/dark web to set up attacks.
Lone Wolves (Intelligent, Financially Driven, Unscrupulous): The majority of people hacking are just individuals who aren’t connected to a hacking network other than chat rooms and online forums.
Malicious Insiders (Disgruntled Employees or Contractors): This is an insider with authorized system access. They have an advantage over external attackers because they have the authority to access your IT and are probably familiar with your network architecture and system policies/procedures. Most organizations focus on external threats and don’t adequately protect their confidential data from insiders.
Keep Your Defenses Up
These are the primary avenues by which a hacker will penetrate your business:
Your #1 Weakness – You and Your Employees
A majority of cybersecurity services offered today include the best in vital technologies, from firewalls to anti-malware to data encryption and more. However, as important as this technology is, on its own, it simply isn’t enough. The key to truly comprehensive cybersecurity is simple, yet often overlooked: the user.
Even the most effective digital security measures can be negated by simple human error. Much of cybersecurity is dependent on the user, and as such it’s vital that you properly educate your employees in safe conduct. The more your workforce knows about the security measures you have in place, the more confidently they can use the technology is a secure manner.
Humans are involved in nearly 100% of all attacks. Negligent employees are the number-one cause of data breaches in small and medium-sized businesses. Careless workers and poor passwords have led to a rise in ransomware attacks and other breaches at small businesses, which cost an average of $1 million per instance.
There are many steps which IT and management can take to secure their network. Some of the most effective ways to combat security breaches are simple tasks that can be performed without having to hire a security expert:
The Nexus IT team of cybersecurity experts understands that many companies like yours are often unknowingly operating on outdated security models. Our team will assess your entire environment to identify any opportunities for improvement so that you can enjoy a genuine peace of mind when it comes to protecting your business. Our range of security solutions include:
For more information about hackers, today’s exploits and cybersecurity for your business, call the experts at Nexus IT at or (435) 659-2533.