Protecting businesses against cyber threats is much easier when we are aware of the potential risks. At vTECH io, we conducted a study to determine which cyber attacks businesses face the most. We found that 41% occur due to vulnerabilities in internet-facing devices, 38% happen through malicious emails, 5% of attacks happen through stolen credentials, 3% due to an insider threat, 5% due to a third-party threat, 3% of cyber attacks happen from pre-existing malware, and 5% happen from brute force.
Over the past several articles on this topic, we have found that cybercriminals are increasingly creative. Businesses have become more vulnerable as their employees work remotely and they increase the number of devices they use to do business. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, also known as CISA, states, “As Americans become more reliant on modern technology, we also become more vulnerable to cyberattacks such as corporate security breaches, spear phishing, and social media fraud.” This article will discuss the final two top cyber attacks that businesses face, pre-existing malware and brute force.
Thankfully, it is not all doom and gloom. Our advanced technology also includes higher security measures, testing for vulnerabilities with AI, and advanced antivirus software. We are still in the information age with access to knowledge at our fingertips. We can prevent cyber attacks, mitigate risk, and train our employees for a more secure business network. Beginning with education on the threats at hand is the perfect place to start.
Pre-Existing Malware Infection
One of the top ways businesses can experience a cyber attack is through a pre-existing malware infection. Malware, also known as malicious software, is any program or code designed to harm a system, network, or device. Malware affects a device the same way a virus would affect a person. It spreads throughout our system and wreaks havoc wherever it goes, slowing operations down. The malware may seek to control or stop an operating system completely to reduce productivity.
A malware infection can be used to steal, encrypt, or delete data. It may also be used to change or control computer functions and see computer activity without the knowledge or permission of the user. This is often for monetary gain.
Examples of how malware can enter a device include emails, downloading attachments, and visiting websites that have been hacked. Malware can also enter a device through illegal streaming services.
Some signs a device is infected include:
- Devices running slowly;
- Pop-up ads unexpectedly coming across the screen, also known as adware;
- System crashes;
- Browsing settings change; and
- The antivirus software stops working.
To prevent malware infection, a user can keep software updated, be cognitive of emails and attachments, and use an email service that protects against malicious emails. A user may also be cognitive of the websites being browsed and avoid streaming pirated media or visiting sites that allow this.
Getting rid of a current malware infection may need different methods depending on the kind of malware and device. However, any user can download antivirus software, run a virus scan, and remove infected files. Users should also practice safe internet habits and run consistent testing on devices to catch anything the antivirus software might miss.
The second type of threat is a brute force cyberattack. This is when a hacker tries to access an account by guessing credentials without software. A hacker will use trial-and-error to guess login information until they get it correct. Once a hacker has access to an account or device, they can use the access for monetary gain, to steal sensitive data, to infect malware, or to bring harm to a company’s brand.
CISA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) found in cases of cyber-attacks through brute force victims used single sign-on (SSO) authentication which only needs one set of credentials. These victims also lacked multifactor authentication, had easy-to-guess passwords and used inbox synchronization. These commonalities give us an insight into how to prevent a brute force attack in the future.
To protect against a brute force attack, create strong passwords, more than 10 characters, with capitals, lowercase, numbers, and symbols. Additionally, store passwords safely using a password manager. CISA recommends using multi-factor authentication (MFA) and reviewing MFA settings to make sure it covers all internet-facing protocols. Employee training on proper password etiquette and storage will help reduce the opportunity of a threat as well.
How to Protect Your Business
With so many ways for a cybercriminal to pose a threat, it can seem daunting and quite intimidating to protect your business. At v TECH io, we are equipped to help you find the best solutions to enhance your cybersecurity. We offer training and testing to make sure your staff can identify risks and avoid making costly mistakes.
To gain access to our experts, you can purchase a block of hours with vCyberGuard, our cybersecurity platform. These hours can be used for security projects, consulting, training, incident response, and more. They never expire, so you can use the hours as needed.
To partner with v TECH io, click here and fill out the contact form. We will get in touch and start working on protecting your business today. Feel confident that your sensitive data is secure and rest assured knowing v TECH io is here to help.