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Phishing and Other Cyber Attacks: A Guide for Startups

posted by: Paula Boyden date: Mar 17, 2021 category: All comments: 0

As a startup owner, you may assume that you will never be targeted with cyberattacks because you are just starting out in the industry. However, you are mistaken because every business and organisation, no matter how small and no matter the industry, can become a victim of them. They can ruin your public image, steal your sensitive data, and paralyse your operations. Worse, they can lead you to shut down your business.

Fortunately, you can adopt an excellent cybersecurity practice, which is learning more about common cyberattacks. This way, you can discover how to prevent and deal with them. Here are some cyberattacks you should be careful of:

 

Password attack

Passwords are most commonly used to access information systems, so many attackers try to obtain them. They can be gained by looking around the target’s desk and using social engineering. Other approaches are brute-force password guessing, which involves trying different passwords and hoping that one works. Attackers usually try to learn more about the victim’s job title, name, birthday, and interests and use their logic to guess passwords.

Another method is the dictionary attack, which is used to gain access to the target’s computer and network. The attacker usually copies an encrypted file containing passwords, applies the same encryption to a dictionary of commonly used passwords, then compares the results.

To prevent becoming a victim of these cyberattacks, prioritise implementing an account lockout policy in your business. This way, the account will be automatically locked after several invalid password attempts.

 

Phishing and spear-phishing attacks

In phishing attacks, the attacker combines social engineering and technical trickery. They send an email pretending to be a trusted source to encourage the victim to do something or gain personal information. The email can contain a hazardous website link that can trick the target into providing their personal information or downloading malware.

Spear phishing can be difficult to identify and defend against because the attacker takes their time to research the target to ensure a successful operation. They create personal and relevant messages through various techniques, like website cloning and email spoofing, to trick the victim.

To reduce the risk of being phished and promote cyberattack prevention, be vigilant and careful when opening emails. Analyse each one. When you see a link, move your mouse over it but do not click it. Check first where it would take you. You can also inspect the email headers, specifically the “Reply-to” and “Return-Path” parameters. They must lead to the same domain as stated in the email.

 

Drive-by attack

Your system can get infected with malware through a drive-by download attack. It is alarming because you don’t have to open a malicious email attachment or click a download button to become infected. Hackers can redirect you to a site controlled by them or install malware directly onto your computer when you visit an insecure site. To protect yourself from drive-by attacks, avoid accessing unfamiliar sites and uninstall unnecessary apps and programs on your device.

 

Don’t be complacent about cybersecurity just because you are new in the industry. Deal with cyber threats and keep your business protected from cyberattacks by keeping the common ones listed above in mind and following the tips mentioned in this guide. You should also seek cybersecurity solutions to learn more about the preventive measures you have to take.

If you need brand protection, don’t hesitate to reach out to FraudWatch International. We run a leading online brand protection company, and we are capable of protecting your brand from various cyberattacks. Contact us to learn more about our services!

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