December 12, 2016

Common Types of Cyber Attacks on Small Businesses

As a small business owner, when you hear the words “cyber attack”, do you find yourself scratching your head a bit?
If so, don’t worry – most small business owners don’t have extensive knowledge about what these types of attacks are and the potential consequences they can bring.
Below, we’ll take a look at a few examples of common types of cyber attacks on small businesses.
Phishing for customer information via email
Though it’s spelled differently than your typical relaxing day on the water, phishing is similar to “fishing” – in both cases, the fisherman uses bait to attract potential bites. But in the world cybercrime, the fishermen are hackers and the bait is an innocent-looking email.
Hackers create fraudulent emails that appear to come from a legitimate company, hoping that you or one of your employees will click on the link and offer up personal information. Viruses can then be easily downloaded onto that computer that allows the hacker to access all customer information that’s stored on that computer.
Yep – all of it! Names, birth dates, social security numbers, credit cards – all that precious customer information becomes instantly available to hackers with a few simple clicks.
Malvertising – the dark side of online ads
In addition to sending phony emails to get access to your small business’ valuable customer information, hackers will engage in what’s called “malvertising.” The hacker creates malicious code in the form of a phony ad and hopes that someone within your small business – or a customer browsing your own website – will click on it.
These infected advertisements don’t just live on “sketchy” websites; unfortunately, hackers know how to insert these ads onto legitimate sites and networks – including yours. If you run a small e-commerce business, the last thing you want is harmful ads to appear on your site!
Password attacks to gain access to your systems
Here’s another thing any small business with an online presence can do without: password attacks. Hackers will do anything to access information stored in your online business network – including trying to crack one of your customer’s passwords.
Using software they run on their own systems, hackers will try and guess passwords through various methods, including what’s called a “brute force attack.”
According to Techopedia, “in a brute force attack, automated software is used to generate a large number of consecutive guesses as to the value of the desired data. Brute force attacks may be used by criminals to crack encrypted data, or by security analysts to test an organization's network security.”
Ways to prevent cyber attacks on your small business
Though cyber attacks against small businesses are prevalent in 2016, that doesn’t mean you have to be another victim. By taking advantage of small business cyber security solutions, you can be prepared for hackers, no matter which angle they come from!
Check out CyberShield Global’s pre-breach and post-breach solutions today. Protect the small business you’ve built! Learn how you can become a member of a supportive community for small businesses.
Categories: Small Business, Cyber Security, Cyber Attack