Lock symbolizing impending cyberthreats.

Different Cyberthreats and How to Avoid Them

There are quite a few types of cyberthreats that want your organization’s data. It really pays to educate employees about the what to watch for, and how to keep the network safe using some simple security best practices.

Let’s start by looking at some of the most common types of cyberthreats out there today, and how you can avoid them completely.

Viruses

When your computer gets infected with a virus, you’ll experience some telltale signs. It may be slow, unpredictable, or it may even stop working altogether. Viruses infect malicious software on the computer that they spread throughout the system when the software runs. In an office that interconnects computers on a network, a virus on one computer can spread to others.

To avoid them, keep a robust antivirus solution running at all times. You can also use web filtering tools to automatically catch and quarantine threats before they can deploy on your network.

Trojans

Trojans are especially malicious. Unlike viruses, their goals aren’t to infect your system outright. Instead, they aim to open a passageway to your computer that can allow hackers to infect your system with other programs.

Be sure to keep your virus scanners active. They can catch and eliminate these programs quickly. You can even acquire IT security solutions that are dedicated to spotting and eliminating trojan viruses.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are social engineering tactics that aim to trick users into thinking they’re interfacing with legitimate sources. Common examples include emails that try to trick users into divulging sensitive information that can eventually be used against the user.

Need a famous example? You’ve likely heard of the Nigerian prince scam.

Even if an email from a trusted source looks real, if it asks for personal information or asks you to download an unknown attachment, it may be dangerous. Global losses due to phishing attacks continue to rise in the workplace.

Did You Know? Fake invoice messages are the #1 type of phishing lure.

The best way to avoid these are with end-user security training. You can also use solid email security tools to try and blacklist domains, which blocks known malicious sources from interacting with your network.

Spyware

Whether it’s from a malicious website or free software package, spyware and adware are an annoying and dangerous threat to your network’s security. They may originate from the ad server and find their way into your network when an employee visits an otherwise safe and trusted website.

In short, they’re programs that infect your computer with annoying pop-ups. These types of cyberthreats can give hackers another easy channel directly into your computer network, too. Since these programs are so hard to ban from the network, it’s usually best to set administrator rights on downloading programs.

How can you protect against them? You guessed it – with good antivirus and antimalware programs.

Unpatched software

We know what you’re thinking. This isn’t technically a direct-attack cyberthreat. However, leaving your software unpatched gives hackers an easy way to target security gaps in your systems.

That’s really just as dangerous as the rest.

The best way to keep your business safe is to keep everything up to date. Be sure to set automated policies that can automatically update things for you.

Other best practices for keeping your network safe

In many cases, employees may not be aware of the many different types of cyberthreats they could encounter on a day-to-day basis. Education can help keep your network safe by making each person who interacts with the network more aware of potential threats.

Here are some other IT security best practices you can follow to increase your safety:

  • Do not change the firewall, antivirus, or antimalware settings
  • Make IT aware of any suspicious email or communication received via a work computer
  • Do not click on links in emails unless you requested the information from the sender
  • When in doubt, double check with the sender to confirm that they sent the email
  • Never assume that an email was sent by the person listed, just because it seems to be from their email address
  • Only download and use apps from trusted sources
  • Do not use unfamiliar or untrusted networks and computers to access email, accounts, or social media
  • Download all patches to existing software as they become available
  • Avoid downloading freeware and be sure to visit the website of origin for any necessary software downloads

It’s impossible to protect a network from every type of cyberthreat 100% of the time. With a bit of diligence and employee education, the entire system will be much safer.

Keeping your business safe with IPRO

If you want total security with peace of mind, turn to a proactive security solution. That’s where IPRO comes in. Together, we can implement the best IT security tools and solutions that will keep your network and data safe and sound.