The 3 Most Powerful Cyber Attacks Against Businesses

Cyber security and cyber liability have become essential precautions for businesses who store any amount of data on their computers or networks. More businesses are becoming familiar with their need for cyber security, but are not always aware of the ways in which they are most vulnerable. In some cases, businesses may think they are protecting themselves against cyber threats with security in place like encryption and intrusion detection systems, but they are leaving themselves open to more common and successful types of cyber attacks.

Here are 3 of the most common and successful cyber attacks against businesses.

1. Socially Engineered Malware

Malware describes a variety of cyber threats such viruses, spyware, trojans, bots and worms. Malware is code that is written with malicious intent and designed to steal or destroy data on a computer or network. It’s typically introduced to a computer through email attachments, software downloads or network vulnerabilities.

The term "socially engineered malware" refers to the way in which the attacker socially engineers the target by gaining their trust through convincing emails or links, or by temporarily compromising an unaware and usually trustworthy website to deliver malware instead of their normal website coding. Socially engineered malware is one of the most common methods of cyber attacks against businesses and is responsible for hundreds of millions of successful hacks each year.

2. Spear Phishing

Another incredibly common type of cyber attack against businesses is known as spear phishing attacks. Phishing is the practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce the recipients to reveal passwords or other personal information. Spear phishing is a type of phishing in which the attacker targets a smaller number of people using a more personalized approach. Spear phishing is often more successful because the attacker is able to use email language that is tailored specifically to the individuals they are targeting. According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 30% of phishing email messages are opened by targeted users and of those users 12% click on the malicious attachment or link in the email. Even more concerning, according research from the SANS Institute, 95% of all attacks on enterprise networks are the result of successful spear phishing.

3. Advanced Persistent Threats

An advanced persistent threat (APT) uses multiple phases to break into a network, circumvent being detected, and harvest or destroy valuable information over a longer period of time compared to other common cyber attacks. An APT is often launched through a successful spear phishing campaign, where the attacker can quickly insert malware into the network without being detected. The malware used in an APT is designed to create multiple points of compromise for the attacker to ensure long term access to the network. The attacker then removes evidence of the breach, while still maintaining access to the network’s data.

The thought of being so vulnerable to these types of attacks can be intimidating for business owners, but with the cyber security products and comprehensive cyber liability coverage, business owners can protect themselves from some of the more costly effects of common cyber attacks.

About Axis Insurance Services

At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to a wide variety of professionals and industries including attorneys, real estate, healthcare, architects, and more, and also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (201) 847-9175 to speak with one of our professionals.

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