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Cyber Attacks How do they happen and How do you prevent them

Cyber Attacks – How do they Happen and How do You Prevent Them?

Cyber threats are like mosquitoes - your hear plenty of buzz about them, but swatting them away can sometimes feel a little futile. It’s understandable – after all, the more capable our devices become, the more of a goldmine they are for cyber criminals; even the humble office printer has since become the attack vector du jour.  

However hopeless it all feels, solutions to keep businesses prepared and protected do exist. Some are technical, others are purely educational - but all of them are integral to keeping any business secure from threats. Here's a few diverse selections that come highly recommended. 

Endpoint Security

An immediate boost to your online safety is with an Endpoint Security solution – or in Laymen’s terms, a full suite of cybersecurity solutions for every working PC, laptop or smart device in a business. This offers a range of security solutions in one easily manageable package, incorporating protection from identity theft, real-time virus scanning, mobile security and anti-phishing detection.

Providers such as Webroot offer all of this and more in single package-solutions, and come highly recommended by a number of industry experts.

This is especially useful for protection against more technically capable criminals, who will often distribute – or indeed, design – their own malicious software to compromise systems. Your endpoint solution is equipped for this, updating regularly with security measures designed to target known or emerging threats.

 

Phishing Awareness

Owing to the effectiveness of cybersecurity, cyber criminals often resort to a more consistent avenue to ensure their own success: human error.

Phishing - the act of obtaining sensitive information by posing as a reputable source - has been in the public eye long enough that its earliest known example, the omnipresent Nigerian Prince, has become a running gag of internet nostalgia. The reason is, it works. Phishing methods have become increasingly sneaky and ingenious over the years, relying on that single lapse in victim awareness to rake in the benefits.

Commonly, phishing attacks arrive in the form of emails, with the most successful attempts accurately mimicking the look and style of the source they’re imitating. Banks or high-profile institutions are commonly mimicked, in the hopes that this will make the recipient more willing to hand over banking details.

However convincing these imitations might be, they can easily be distinguished from the real thing with simple caution and awareness. Regular Phishing Awareness courses are a great way to keep employees old and new aware of this enduring threat.

Dark Web Monitoring

The Dark Web is to the Internet what Mos Eisley is to the Star Wars universe – a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Okay, slight exaggeration; but for people who prefer their internet content illicit and ill-obtained, the Dark Web is their go-to source.

The Dark Web is the ‘hidden’ layer of the internet, only accessible through specific browsers and configurations. It’s not too complex to get connected to, and its more common browsers provide encryption to keep your browsing activities private.

Currently, accessing the Dark Web isn’t illegal – even Facebook has a Dark Web presence, set up purely for the security-conscious – but given how easily one can stumble on something damaging, few people choose to use it. Its reputation as the internet’s murky underbelly shows no sign of abating.

If you’ve ever been the unwitting victim of a data breach, your personal details have likely ended up on there for sale to the highest bidder. Alone, these data sets might not be worth much value, but their data sets can be used to build up a profile of their rightful owner. In some instances, this can make them the target of further phishing schemes or worse, the victims of blackmail and identity theft.

A Dark Web Scan will confirm if any of your credentials have made their way onto the shady corners of the Dark Web – a service which we ourselves offer here.

But it’s not just your details that are being flogged on the Dark Web. More competent hackers are taking the opportunity to offer their wares, and they’ve even got the subscription packages to boot. Ransomware-as-a-Service is exactly that; a selection of Ransomware utilities for the lazy/inexperienced hacker who needs a quick-and-dirty method for extorting – complete with after-care support. Ah, cybercriminals. They’re a virtuous bunch, aren’t they?

These are just three of the security solutions that help keep your business protected, and while the list is far from exhaustive, it does demonstrate the variety of ways that hackers are compromising your data; we haven’t even touched upon their threat to unsecured printers, which you can read more about in our blog.

For award-winning IT Security from one of the UK’s best MSPs, get in touch with Mirus IT. We offer all the solutions outlined here, and more besides, to keep your business protected.   


 

Prepare and Respond to the Most Common Threats to Your Business’s IT Security.

When it comes to cyber attacks, no business is too big or too small to be targeted by opportunist criminals.

Our eBook, Recovering from Common Cyber Attacks, details the most common cyber threats that UK businesses face, with advice to keep yours protected and your team proactive in the face of a major incident. 

Click the image to download your eBook.

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