What Are Cyberattacks?

Digital attacks (“cyberattacks”) are intended to access, alter, or destroy digital information, extort money, or otherwise interfere with computer and network operations.  They often target computer systems, networks, programs, and data. Attacks can take many forms, including:

o    Ransomware – Malicious software that typically encrypts data and demands some form of payment in exchange for the “key”  to unlock the data.  Paying the ransom does not guarantee data recovery.

o    Malware – Malicious software designed to gain unauthorized access to, or cause damage to, systems and data.

o    Phishing – Emails that appear to be from legitimate senders but that are actually intended to trick the user into revealing sensitive information or downloading a malicious file.

Phishing may also describe websites that are designed to look and feel just like the legitimate website of a reputable entity, but which are intended to trick a visitor into revealing sensitive information or downloading malicious files.

o    Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) – Inserting an attacker-controlled device or program between two parties so that the attacker can eavesdrop on the data transmitted between them.  This can be done with the intent of harvesting sensitive information such as credit card numbers, altering data in transit so that one or both parties receive erroneous information, or both.

o    Denial-of-Service (DoS) – Flooding a system with traffic to the point that its resources or bandwidth are exhausted and the system becomes unusable by legitimate users.  In most cases, an attacker will use many remote systems at once in a coordinated attack on one or a small number of targets in a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

o    Exploits – This is a fairly broad classification for attacks that take advantage of errors or weaknesses in a system or program to gain elevated access rights, access data that is not normally accessible or run arbitrary commands and programs.  Some exploits can be remotely executed over a network, while others may require the attacker to already have a foothold of some sort on the system to be exploited.  Many malware programs make use of exploits directly, or provide an attacker with a remote connection that can be used to execute an exploit.

o    Social Engineering – The use of deception and exploiting human psychology to get users to reveal sensitive information, unknowingly provide access to an attacker or execute a malicious program.  While not necessarily a “digital” attack, social engineering is often regarded as the most effective type of cyberattack.


The Importance of Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is the protection of computer systems, networks, programs and data from cyberattacks intended to access, alter or destroy digital information, extort money or otherwise interfere with computer and network operations. It is a critical component to any IT system.


Is Your Business Cyberattack-Proof?

Any business can be struck by a cyber disaster at any time, yet protecting the integrity of your data systems is an often overlooked part of disaster preparedness, which is why planning for cyberattacks is crucial for any business, with a focus on how to restore regular operations as quickly as possible to minimize the impact. Here are some guidelines on how to build an effective plan to protect your business from risk.

Our team of experts works tirelessly to prevent, mitigate, and repair damage done by cyberattacks. We employ best-in-class measures to build an integrated security strategy encompassing cyber security, mobile protection and cloud backup and recovery. Learn about our Firewall and Recovery services here.