how to overcome sophisticated cyber attacks in your business

Our reliance on the internet has led to an increase in cyber crime. Hackers across the globe are looking for new ways to make money – by exploiting cyber crime.

Although cyber attacks can take place for political and/or personal reasons, the primary motivation behind these attacks – tends to be money.

Here are the typical“patterns” that cyber criminals tend to use:

  • Targeting computers or electronic devices, i.e. infecting devices with malware,
  • Using computers to send email spam that contains links to a phishing site,
  • Using computers as an accessory for crime, i.e. to store stolen credit card information,
  • Company insiders know the value of information, and sometimes they steal it,
  • Breaches involving paper documents (deliberate or accidental)
  • A denial of service – targeting networks and systems (DDoS). Distributed denial of service attacks tend to target large organisations by flooding and overloading their systems.


A More In-Depth Breakdown:

  1. Phishing

‘Phishing’ is where the attacker impersonates well-known individuals or brands – to trick web visitors into giving away their personal information. The attacker can monetise this stolen information by:

  • Using stolen credit card information to purchase goods, or:
  • By stealing and selling identifiable or sensitive information to a 3rd party.


Here are the different types of phishing:

  • Spear phishing: targeting a specific individual (i.e, the CEO of a company),
  • HTTPS phishing: sending a link to a fake HTTPS website, i.e. tricking the visitor into divulging sensitive information (this is why it is so important to have an SSL certificate),
  • Pharming: a combination of “phishing” and “farming:” when a cyber criminal redirects internet users trying to reach a specific website towards a fake website instead, and:
  • Search engine phishing: when hackers work to become the top hit on a search engine. Clicking on their link displayed within the search engine directs you to the hacker’s website.


  1. A Server Breach

A Remote Code Execution (RCE) attack allows attackers to completely compromise a server, gaining access to all of its data. On affected servers, attackers can steal sensitive information, inject ransomware, and deploy backdoors in a way that is almost untraceable.

  1. Data Breaches

A data breach is an incident that exposes confidential or protected information. A data breach can be intentional or accidental. A criminal may hack the database of a company where you’ve shared your personal information. Or an employee at that company may accidentally expose your information.

  1. Malware

Malware is short for malicious software. This includes:

  • Ransomware: Malware that holds computer files hostage until the victim pays to unlock them — though they might not get unlocked,
  • SQL injection: a hacker inserts arbitrary code into an online user web form. If the form isn’t handled properly when it’s passed through the backend database, it can corrupt the website,
  • Phishing: this is where an attacker impersonates well-known individuals or brands to trick web visitors into giving away their personal information,
  • Web application attacks: when you sign up for a web application, you often share personal details. Attackers steal data such as names, addresses and other information,
  • Payment card skimmers: criminals can place a skimming device on a credit card reader to steal personal and financial information. Two popular targets: ATMs and gas pump terminals,
  • Cyber-espionage: this is a malicious email linked to state-affiliated actors. The goal is to pierce a system, and to steal information over time,
  • Point-of-sale intrusions: remote attacks target point-of-sale terminals and controllers. Restaurants and small businesses have seen increased assaults,
  • Miscellaneous errors: security accidents can compromise data. This includes the inadvertent release or loss of anything containing sensitive data, and:
  • Everything else: compromised email accounts, or a cyberthief posing as the company “CEO” – who might order an employee to wire transfer funds for a believable reason.


  1. Cybersquatting

This is where cybercriminals register and/or use a domain name resembling those of legitimate businesses/individuals with malicious intent to profit from the domain name, i.e. by selling it to legitimate business owners for a hefty price.

  1. Cryptojacking

This is a relatively new form of cybercrime that is motivated by the increased popularity of cryptocurrency. Crpytojacking refers to the hijacking of a computer’s resources to mine crypto.

Cyber Crime Attacks On Small Businesses:

Cyber crime used to be a concern that was exclusive to bigger enterprises with a prominent online presence, however that’s no longer the case. Nowadays, cybercriminals are beginning to target smaller businesses, because they know that they tend to have a weaker security infrastructure.

Here are some of the most negative impacts that cyber crime can have on your business:

  • The disruption of service or operations
  • Financial repercussions
  • Stolen or intellectual property infringement
  • Reputational damage


How to protect your business from cyber crime:

  • Shred documents,
  • Use secure websites,
  • Only give your personal details out when absolutely required,
  • Create strong, secure passwords,
  • Use different passwords on every different account,
  • Make sure your computers and mobile devices are running the latest versions of operating systems and applications,
  • Monitor your transactions online and your monthly financial account statements,
  • Regularly check your credit reports to confirm that identity thieves haven’t taken over,
  • Hire cyber security talent,
  • Use reliable cyber security software solutions and processes (such as ‘SOAR’) to: 1. notify you if there has been an attack, and: 2. prevent it from happening in the first place (i.e. a preventative approach), and:
  • Educate and train your employees.


If you’ve been affected by a data breach, take these steps right away:

  • Find out what kind of data was stolen.
  • Try to pinpoint which accounts might be compromised and consider accepting whatever help the company offers. This may include free credit monitoring.
  • Contact your financial institution,
  • Change and strengthen your passwords on all accounts,
  • Check your free credit reports,
  • Freeze your credit files,
  • Look for suspicious activity, and:
  • Let your customers know.

Check out the National Cyber Security Centre’s ‘Cyber Essentials’ guide, here.

Improve Your Cyber Security With SOAR, here.

We’re Wirebox, the cyber security experts. We help businesses like yours to prevent cyber attacks from happening. To find out how we can help, get in touch here.