10 threats to your business IT and what to do about them
The days when we only had e-mail viruses to worry about are long gone. Do you know the 10 most common cyber threats, and how your business can protect itself against them?
A computer virus is a small computer program that hides in a file. When the user opens the file, a virus is unleashed.
The impact of a virus can range from innocent (a message appears on the screen) to destructive (deleting files, causing a system crash).
A worm is a small computer program that spreads over a network or the Internet.
The difference with a virus is that a virus can’t spread itself. The damage caused by a worm can vary, just like with a virus.
A Trojan or Trojan horse is malware that is disguised as a legitimate program and installed by an unsuspecting user.
Once activated, the Trojan can open a backdoor in your IT systems for hackers, and can send or delete data.
Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks the access to a computer or data. The user has to pay a sum, often via a cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, to regain access.
You are advised not to pay but rather to try to repair the infected systems and restore the files from a back-up. Most ransomware spreads like a Trojan.
Spyware is an umbrella term for malware that collects unauthorized information about a person or organization and sends it to a third party.
For example, spyware can look for bank account numbers, passwords, and user names.
A botnet is a collection of computers that are infected by the same malware. They are controlled remotely by a hacker and used, for example, to send spam, participate in a DDoS attack, or reclaim cryptocurrencies. The user is usually unaware that anything is going on.
In a Distributed Denial of Service (DoS) attack, a network or website is attacked by a botnet.
The aim is to disrupt normal operations (for example, by making a website inaccessible). This can cause financial damage (lost revenues) and reputation harm.
In phishing, people try to collect personal data from users, such as passwords and account or credit card numbers, by leading them to a fraudulent website that looks like the real site of the bank or credit institution concerned.
Users are often invited to check their login data via an e-mail containing a link.
In pharming, the visitor of a website is redirected to a fake website. The hacker exploits a vulnerability in the server software.
Pharming is similar to phishing but more dangerous because the visitor of the website often doesn't notice anything is wrong.
Scareware plays on a user's fear and ignorance. Via a website, e-mail, or message on social media, a user is told that their system is infected by malware and they have to download a program to protect themselves.
When the program is installed, the system becomes infected.
Read more on how to protect your company
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