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Common Types of Cyberattacks and How To Prevent Them

types of cyberattacks

Cyberattacks are quickly rising to the top of the business risks list. In fact, according to Varonis, 98% of businesses have experienced a cyberattack. With virtually every business holding some level of cybervulnerability, it’s important to become familiar with the different types of cyberattacks and understand how to prevent them.

Malware

What is it? A type of software that secretly penetrates your systems causing disruption and damage.

How does it happen? Downloading software infested with malware, clicking on a link or a pop-up that will cause the malware to download, visiting an infected website, or opening an email attachment.

Phishing

What is it? The fraudulent practice of sending emails that seem reputable in order to get personal information such as passwords and credit cards. 

How does it happen? Sending tailored messages via social media, text messaging, and email communication, or a website or email that includes links that will direct you to a website that steals information.

Password Attacks

What is it? An attack that occurs when a hacker is able to guess your password to a particular account.

How does it happen? Using special software programs to help obtain access, accessing websites that secure passwords, and pure luck by guessing them.

Ransomware

What is it? A type of malware that locks your computer or device until a sum of money is paid to unlock it.

How does it happen? Similar to malware, ransomware occurs after downloading infected software, clicking links, or opening an email attachment.

Malvertising

What is it? A type of malware that infects ads on websites that automatically begins downloading the malware once the user is brought to the website.

How does it happen? When you click on an ad (via mobile or desktop) on a website.

How to prevent these cyberattacks:

  • Use two-step authentication methods for passwords
  • Never save passwords to your web browsers
  • Frequently update passwords (we suggest every 3 months)
  • Keep your security programs updated
  • Never click on something that seems unfamiliar (especially emails)
  • Check for signs that your email is coming from an unreliable source (grammar and spelling errors, the sent from address, etc.)
  • Never send personal/business information via email unless you are 100% sure it’s legitimate

While it’s difficult to completely eliminate the possibility of a cyberattack happening to your business, proactively educating yourself on cyber liabilities and risks and properly insuring your business with cyber coverage can help drastically minimize your risk of an attack.