With cyber attacks and data breaches on the rise, no business or online entity should think themselves completely safe from potential threats. Most businesses are aware of some of the ways that hackers might try to steal their valuable or sensitive data, but today we’ll discuss three with which you might not be familiar.
Rootkit is a kind of software that allows an outsider to take control of a device without the owner having any knowledge of what’s happening. A successful rootkit attack will enable the hacker to take over a network that you thought was secure, and they will be able to access all of your files as well. The reason it’s even more dangerous than some other attacks is that the hacker will have complete control over your device for as long as they want. That means they can falsify documents, infect the device with more malware, override security mechanisms, and alter network configurations. There are various ways that a rootkit might get access to your system, but the best way to prevent it is by installing a VPN, a virtual private network. VPNs are encrypted and require several authentication methods, making it unlikely that the average hacker will be able to get by one.
Spoofing is when a hacker sends an email pretending to be someone they’re not, like the CEO of the company or your HR department. They will request private company data, and if they’re convincing enough then you might go along with it. Creative hackers can use this method to cause all kinds of problems, as you can well imagine. A notable example occurred not that long ago when two former employees of Deutsche Bank launched a spoofing effort which resulted in the price of precious metals futures being manipulated to their benefit. Deutsche Bank had to pay a penalty of $30 million for this transgression, which was only a drop in the bucket for a banking giant, but something like this happening to a smaller company would have been an unmitigated disaster.
Ransomware is a tried and true method for hackers to get money out of a company or entity. As the name implies, the idea is that you have to pay a ransom to stop the attack, and it’s hard to think of a way for your system to be compromised that is more devastating or frustrating. During a ransomware attack, your computer system will be virtually useless, so your company will be crippled until the issue is resolved. There have been many examples of ransomware being used successfully in the past few years, in some cases costing companies millions or even billions of dollars.
You can learn more about these threats when you take the CyberSAFE course from CertNexus, as well as others like phishing and various types of malware. The more you know about cyber attacks, the better, and the more security features you have in place to safeguard your valuable data, the better you’ll be able to sleep at night.