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Know your enemy : today’s top 5 cyber threats

In our modern world, nearly everything is connected to the Internet. You can now use any smart device, anywhere to share information with your customers, colleagues or family members. The new digital age is transforming the way we live, talk and work for better or for worse. Internet did bring us the gift of better and easier lives and jobs, but it also created a new kind of criminals. As a matter of fact, today cybercrime is on the rise.

Before looking for a strategy to fight these new virtual enemies, you need to get to know them first. That’s why in this article we will help you understand more on today’s top five cybersecurity threats.

Spam

You’ve just received another email. It contains nothing’s very exciting, new or suspicious except maybe a redirect link. Because you are curious, you click on it. That’s it, that’s all it takes for hackers to access your data. Just one click.

This how spam works. These unsolicited emails are sent to numerous consumers and usually promote products or services in an apparently harmless manner. Nevertheless despite their inoffensive appearance spam is also the main gateway to cybercrime.

To protect consumers from these cyber threats, the government created a new legislation: Canada’s anti-spam legislation ( CASL, Bill C-28 ) that came into effect July 1, 2014. Since then it has been modified and improved several times to ensure that the ones that threaten the cybersecurity of Canadian citizens would be heavily sanctioned.

But be careful even if you’re not a hacker, the CASL applies to your business too. If you have an email strategy in place, you have to make sure that it complies with the new regulations otherwise you might be fined and even lose your right to send emails to your consumers.

Pharming attacks

Pharming attacks is an online fraud particularly appreciated by scam artists. These « talented » hackers use their skills to create a website that looks secured and reliable, but it is actually destined to spy on Internet users and collect their personal information.

To fool consumers, hackers steal URL from reliable websites or copy the design elements, look and feel and layout of a credible webpage.

Everyone that will fall into this trap will provide valuable private data to the cybercriminals that might use it to gain access to his bank account or sell them on the black market.

If your company has a website, it is essential to make sure that your URL is adequately protected. A cyber attack that would expose the data of your clients might destroy the reputation and credibility of your company.

Phishing

Phishing is a powerful combination of spam and pharming. Hackers posing as an employee of a trusted company start by sending you an email asking you to provide personal information by replying to their messages or clicking on a web link. If you choose to follow the redirection link, you will end up on a web page that appears legitimate.

From there, scammers might trick you into giving them personal data such as credit card numbers, login, and password to secure websites and so on.

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim of phishing, you can download and install cyber security tools that will transform your computer system into a digital vault.

Hackers get smarter every day and continuously develop new strategies. So make sure that the tools that you are using are regularly updated.

Spywares – Trojan horses

Spywares are malicious computer program inspired by the Ancient Greek mythological ruse. Just as the Trojan horse, a spyware misleads users of its intent.

It disguises itself as a free and promising computer programs. So you download it. The thing is you don’t get to the digital tool you were hoping for. Instead, the program you’ve just installed starts spying on you and tracking all of your digitals moves. The worse thing is you might not even notice what’s happening.

As time passes the spyware gains access to your most valuable private information and can even control most of your online accounts.

It is especially hard to get rid of Trojan horses. The best thing you can do is to integrate where necessary digital security systems to protect your personal and business data.

Ransomware

Ransomwares are becoming a severe epidemic. Nobody is spared; every company – from small businesses to big corporations – can become a victim of this new type of cyber threats.

To put it simply ransomware is a digital abduction of your data. Indeed hackers get inside your computer and introduce a malicious software that encrypts your files. If you want to be able to reaccess them, you will be asked to pay a ransom.

The bad news is that ransomwares are here to stay since they’ve become the bread and butter of cybercriminals. In fact, in 2015 alone, business owners paid more than $24 million to regain control of their data.

To avoid the nightmare of becoming a data abduction victim, you can start implementing the right cybersecurity practices. First, you can educate your collaborators on these new digital threats and encourage them to pay close attention to what files they decide to download online. Don’t forget to update your anti-malware softwares and set up next-generation firewalls.

Computer viruses

This is probably the most popular of all cyber threats. Even if today business owners do their best to prevent their company against these attacks, viruses keep slipping through on.

A virus inserts itself into a legitimate program, file or document and forces it to execute its code. Then it starts infected other files and even other computers on the same network. So if you are antivirus software detect that you’ve been the victim of computer viruses, you will need to clean all of your informatic systems.

The digital world offers abundant opportunities. However, the picture is not all bright. As new technologies emerge, new vulnerabilities and threats constantly arise in the area of information systems and networks.

As a result, traditional antivirus alone will not be able to protect your company from all type of cyber attacks. Hopefully, a large array of new cybersecurity tools and services can help your business stay secure.

Lastly, you can still call in cybersecurity experts to combat today’s advanced threats for you. As they know everything about the latest trends and threats they will keep your systems updated and secure and save you a lot of worries.

Get the most from your IT

As service providers to more than 300 companies, the dedicated professionals at MicroAge are second to none when it comes to managed services. By improving efficiency, cutting costs and reducing downtime, we can help you achieve your business goals!

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