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Common cyber attacks

What are common cyber attacks?

Common types of cyber attacks include:

  • Phishing attacks
  • Malware attacks
  • Ransomware attacks
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks
  • Denial-of-service attacks (DoS)
  • IoT attacks

What are the red flags indicating computer compromise by common cyber attacks?

Slow connections. One sign of compromise is when a computer requires an undue length of time to open an application or a browser tab. It’s possible that the computer merely requires the removal of a few programs in order to expand the available disk space, however it’s also possible that the device may have been breached.

Unexpected popups. When popups appear on a computer screen without any prompting, the computer may be compromised. Malicious popups can display unwanted ads that ask you to enter information, they may suggest installing illegitimate updates to your device, or they may be designed to perform other functions.

Cannot download updates. Certain types of malware can block users from downloading important manufacturer-produced updates.

Mysterious cursor movement. If a computer cursor is moving without any action on the user’s part, the computer may be experiencing a cyber attack. However, it is also worth noting that there are several other causes of erratic cursor movement, from trackpad setting-related issues to trackpad damage.

How can organizations contend with common cyber attacks?

  • Phishing attacks: A multi-layered threat prevention approach is best. Organizations should be sure to install proper security infrastructure and software. In addition, IT teams can implement multi-factor authentication and conduct user awareness initiatives. For more information on securing against phishing attacks, click here.
  • Malware attacks: A multi-layered threat prevention approach is best. Malware defense software can remove viruses, spyware, and more from platforms and incoming files. Firewalls can also help. In addition, encourage employees to install system updates, as needed. For more information on securing against malware attacks, click here (link to other ‘What is’ page).
  • Ransomware attacks: The US government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency recommends that organizations backup their data, and create multiple backup locations. In addition, workplaces may want to offer cyber security awareness trainings to employees. For more information on securing against ransomware attacks, click here (link to other ‘What is’ page).
  • Man-in-the-middle attacks: A multi-layered threat prevention approach is best. Organizations should be sure to use encryption and virtual private networks and to pursue employee awareness and education initiatives.
  • Denial-of-service attacks: IT professionals can increase the capacity of systems to contend with fake bandwidth for volume-based attacks. In the event of protocol-based/application layer attacks, blacklisting certain IP addresses can be effective. In addition, be sure that your organization maintains an incident response plan, and has business continuity solutions.
  • IoT attacks: Organizations can apply micro-segmentation strategies, and should be sure to patch and update devices as often as necessary.

How can C-levels assist in preventing common cyber attacks?

To cyber criminals, C-levels are prime attack targets. As a C-level, taking the time to gain insights into what cyber attacks look like and how they function can save you and your organization from extensive attack damage and clean-up processes.

For additional resources concerning common cyber attacks and how to avoid them, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance’s website and check out their resource library.