Hackers have never been more determined, and they are also becoming more skilled at attacking the networks and other IT assets of businesses. Only by staying on top of security can businesses hope to remain safe from the dangers hackers pose more and more obvious with every passing year.

Becoming familiar with the basics will make it easier to recognize when a business’ network needs to be shored up and how best to do so.

Hacking prevention

An Ever-Growing Threat That Cannot Be Ignored

Hackers and other digital criminals have become so threatening that the Federal Bureau of Investigation now maintains a list of those who are currently most wanted. Most businesses today can expect to face attacks on a regular basis, whether they are carefully targeted or indiscriminate ones that affect huge numbers of victims.

Businesses cannot afford to succumb to these assaults, as even a single breach can end up being extremely costly. Jupiter Research estimates that more 12 million private records were stolen in 2018 alone, with the annual total expected to rise as high as 33 billion over the course of the next few years.

Even a single successful hack can leave a business facing extortionate ransom demands or huge amounts of harm to its reputation. Unfortunately, hackers have developed many different ways to breach the networks of businesses, all of which must be guarded against effectively.

Hacker
photo credit: Brian Klug / Flickr

Hackers’ Four Favorite Attacks Reveal the Breadth of the Problem

There was a time not so long ago when the vast majority of all hacking attempts fell into one of a few easily recognizable groups. Since then, hackers have become a lot more sophisticated, with most now employing a variety of strategies and tools to breach the networks of businesses they aim at. Four of the approaches that hackers most often use to attack corporate networks today are:

Phishing

It is always easiest to gain access to a corporate network when in possession of recognized credentials. A hacking technique known as “phishing” sees hackers angling for login details like passwords by creating fake sites which closely resemble real ones. Diverted to such destinations by email or other means, victims sometimes hand over their digital keys without even realizing it.

Trojans

Another favourite way that hackers exploit corporate insiders is to send attachments which contain dangerous programs. Once executed and installed, these malicious pieces of software can invite hackers into corporate networks automatically. Some trojans even encrypt important files and refuse to release them until a ransom has been paid.

Service exploits

Many companies operate servers which run software that communicates with the outside world. Should such a program have a vulnerability, hackers can often exploit it to gain access to an entire network. As those who read about managed IT services here will see, proactively staying on top of patches and the like is the best way to avoid such problems.

Denial of service

In some cases, hackers are content with staying on the outside. Directing huge amounts of bogus traffic at a corporate network can be enough to deny its service to others. In many cases, such an attack will be followed up by extortionate demands for money.

Cyber security tips

Doing Everything Possible to Stay Safe is the Only Strategy That Makes Sense

With these being only a few of the attacks that hackers most commonly employ today, businesses need to be vigilant about digital security. Being sure to do everything possible to thwart the full range of possible attacks will always be wise and productive.