Regardless of their target, hackers generally aim to gain access to a company’s sensitive data, such as consumers’ credit card information. With enough identifying information, attackers can then exploit an individual’s identity any number of damaging ways.
One of the best ways to prepare for an attack is to understand the different methods hackers generally use to gain access to that information. While this is by no means an exhaustive list of potential threats, since cybercrime is a constantly evolving phenomenon, business owners should at least be aware of the following types of attacks.
APT: Advanced persistent threats, or APTs, are long-term targeted attacks in which hackers break into a network in multiple phases to avoid detection. Once an attacker gains access to the target network, they work to remain undetected while establishing their foothold on the system. If a breach is detected and repaired, the attackers have already secured other routes into the system so they can continue to plunder data.
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DDoS: An acronym for distributed denial of service, DDoS attacks occur when a server is intentionally overloaded with requests until it shuts down the target’s website or network system.
Inside attack: This is when someone with administrative privileges, usually from within the organization, purposely misuses his or her credentials to gain access to confidential company information. Former employees, in particular, present a threat if they left the company on bad terms. Your business should have a protocol in place to revoke all access to company data immediately when an employee is terminated.
Malware: This umbrella term is short for “malicious software” and covers any program introduced into the target’s computer with the intent to cause damage or gain unauthorized access. Types of malware include viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware and spyware. Knowing this is important, because it helps you determine what type of cybersecurity software you need.