Six out of 10 businesses expect to be the victim of cyber attack in the year ahead, and 90% think the country is not prepared for a potential attack on the State. That’s a very worrying statistic reveled in a survey ahead of the Dublin Info Sec 2016 Cyber Security Conference, which takes place in Dublin next month.

What is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber attack is a meaningful action which targets computer information systems, infrastructures, computer networks, and/or mobile device which has the prime objective of either stealing, altering, or destroys a specified target by infiltrating the targeted system. According to Symantec a staggering 43% of phishing campaigns targeted small businesses (PDF).

 

How can a Cyber Attack affect your Business?

A cyber attack can affect your business in numerous ways. It can create a DOS or Denial of Service which means that the affected device becomes disabled or unusable. this can be done on anything from a mobile phone, to a data server or even your website.

Down time on any of these platforms can cost your business anything from, hundreds to thousands or even millions.

Phishing attacks are sent via email and ask users to click on a link and enter their personal data. Phishing emails have gotten much more sophisticated in recent years, making it difficult for some people to establish a legitimate request for information from a false one. They often ask users to confirm account details. Phishing emails often fall into the same category as spam, but are more harmful than just a simple ad.

Some cyber attacks can result in theft, they can install software unbeknownst to the victim which will record keystroke and send them back to a source, these records can contain, email addresses, passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information.

Some less worrying forms of attack can change your browser content and display advertising on your computer using Malware. Most forms of Malware are more of a nuisance then a dangerous risk but can also lead to other exploits and risks.  If you notice changes to your browser, toolbars or default search engine. it is possible you have malware on your computer.

 

What can you do to to prevent a Cyber Attack?

  • Ensure your business software is up-to-date, with the latest updates, security patches and bug fixes installed
  • Ensure your security software is up to date.
  • Have an IT protection policy(working document) and ensure all your staff are familiar with it.
  • Perform regular scans on your systems
  • Be aware of network activity – know what your system should be doing and what it is doing
  • Keep passwords secure
  • Do not use ‘cheap’ solutions, they often come at a price.
  • Do not use ‘jail broken’ software
  • Make sure you have a recent Back Ups of your devices, as an attack may render it useless – resulting in the loss of all.
  • Do not use open networks with devices that contain sensitive data.

 

 

If you are interested in talking to me about your businesses online security and how I can help improve it please feel to get in touch!