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11 May 2018

The Cybersecurity Landscape in Business: Types of Cyber-Attacks

As digital technology becomes integral to all areas of a business, organisations are becoming increasingly dependent on it. It’s this dependency which can make organisations vulnerable when technology fails, thereby giving attackers more reason and opportunity to strike.

A recent report from the Government has found that over four in ten businesses have experienced a cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. The survey, carried out as part of the National Cyber Security Programme also found that 74% of businesses say that cyber security was a high priority for the organisation’s senior management, however, only 27% of these firms have a formal cyber security policy in place.

With the number of cyber related crimes showing no signs of slowing down, businesses need to understand the complexity of cyber-attacks, and the importance of implementing the most appropriate technical defenses in order to help protect and secure their network infrastructures.  

What is at risk?

Businesses will often find that confidential information such as client lists, customer databases, and financial details are most at risk when it comes to potential cyber-attacks. Because of this, organisations need to do everything they possibly can to help protect their data and mitigate the threat of attack.

According to IT Pro, cyber security threats are predominantly internal, with 74% of incidents happening within companies. This further highlights the need for businesses to train their employees on best cyber security practice, to ensure that they understand how a minor mistake or oversight can have potential disastrous consequences.

Types of cyber-attacks

With cyber-attacks becoming increasingly complex and occurring in various forms, let’s take a deeper look into some of the biggest risks on our radar.

Malware A code with malicious intent that typically steals data or destroys something on the computer, often through email attachments, software downloads or operating system vulnerabilities. Malware threats include trojans, viruses and ransomware.
Ransomware Malicious software designed to threaten and block access to a computer or its data, which is only released after a victim pays a ransom fee.
Phishing attacks Are often posing as a request for data from a trusted third party. Phishing emails usually include a link that directs the user to a fake site in a bid to steal a user’s information.
Password attacks Involve a third party trying to gain access to networks by cracking a user’s password. This type of attack doesn’t use any software or malicious code, but may compare various word combinations against a dictionary file.
Denial of Service (DOS) attacks Focus on disrupting the service to a network. Typically, attackers send high volumes of data or traffic through the network until it becomes overloaded and can no longer function.
SQL injection Involves hackers stealing or tampering with the database sitting behind a web application. This occurs when a website has poor security, giving cyber criminals access to the database server by typically inputting codes into forms, like login or registration pages.


Rob Wilkinson, Corporate Security Specialist at Smoothwall, says

“Hackers by their nature, look to cause disruption and exploit variabilities in any shape they can, and so organisations of all sectors need to have cyber defences as a top priority. As cyber-attacks become increasingly potent and frequent, it is imperative that companies have a multi-layered approach to their web security defence systems which includes web filtering, firewalls, encryption and the latest in ongoing threat monitoring to weed out potential dangers. Having a consolidated cyber security programme across all organisations is absolutely critical if the UK is to combat the increasingly hostile world of cybercrime.”

For further information on how Smoothwall solutions could help effectively secure and protect your network, please get in touch today.

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