Essential Cybersecurity Software Every Business Must know
Cyber attacks are daily, and small business owners should be ready to face them. Cybersecurity is essential for all businesses, whether a data breach or an insider threat.
But the world of cybersecurity can be confusing for anyone new to it. To help, every business owner should know a few basic cybersecurity definitions and terms.
Malware is any malicious software that attacks a computer or network. It includes everything from banking trojans that steal users’ online bank passwords to ransomware, which locks up a victim’s data and demands money for its return. A botnet is a collection of compromised computers secretly / surreptitiously infected with malware and controlled remotely.
Malware uses various evasion and obfuscation techniques to fool users, security administrators, and antimalware tools. Attackers can use it for multiple purposes, including cyber warfare and international espionage, to extort victims with ransomware, or for industrial sabotage. Many other types of malware, like adware and spyware, steal data or slow down computers. These threats can cause real-world damage to people, companies, and government agencies. The malware threat constantly evolves as attackers find new ways to penetrate security systems and cause harm.
Phishing is a cyber-attack where hackers attempt to obtain sensitive information by masquerading as a trusted source. The term “phishing” likely came from a whimsical hacker spelling of the word phreaking, an early form of hacking that involved playing sound tones into telephones to get free phone calls.
Countermeasures are a type of cyber security protection that prevents an attack from successfully occurring once detected. These may include removing access, blocking communications, and installing patches.
Backups are different systems, sub-systems, assets, or processes that maintain a degree of overall functionality if another system, sub-system, or help fails or is impaired. Examples of backups include a VPN and a firewall. A VPN creates a private network on a public internet connection by encrypting data. A firewall is a computer program that monitors and filters traffic.
Malicious software is a blanket term that refers to any computer programs designed to corrupt systems, destroy data, or unfairly access networks and data. It includes viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, and other malicious computer software that bad actors use to steal information.
Proprietary information is data unique to your business, giving it an advantage over competitors, including customer lists, technical data, product costs and pricing information, and other confidential business information. Protecting this information from cyberattacks is essential to your business’ success.
White hat hackers (penetration testers) are cybersecurity professionals that work with organizations to help them identify and fix security vulnerabilities. Black hat hackers (crackers) exploit these vulnerabilities for financial gain. They can be found in nearly any industry and are responsible for many cyberattacks, such as data breaches.
An extensive network of infected computers controlled by malware acts like a single threat actor. Attackers can use bots to mine cryptocurrency or boost views of ads, among other things. They can also launch DDoS attacks for financial or political reasons.
A hardware or software solution that records what people type, including passwords, answers to secret questions, and other information found in emails, chats, and documents. Password sniffing is often used to steal sensitive information.
A computer virus is software replicating itself by infecting data files, corrupting them, and then transferring them to other computers via file sharing. It’s essential to understand how viruses work so you can protect against them.
A collection of computers, sometimes known as a zombie network, has been surreptitiously or secretly compromised with malware to perform activities under remote control and direction from a remote administrator. A computer can be part of a botnet by connecting to the Internet, downloading and installing malicious code onto its hard drive or through a USB port, or using MAC address piggybacking to access the local network.
The impact on the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of information and information systems on organizational operations, assets, individuals, geographic areas, other organizations, or society. Includes the assessment of risk and its consequences.
Like an open back door at home can let in robbers, cybercriminals can use a backdoor to enter your computer or network. These vulnerabilities bypass standard security mechanisms, giving attackers high-level access and allowing them to install malware on the affected device.
These threats hide themselves from the average user, with many operating as Trojans that trick users into installing them. Backdoors can be inserted into source code or, more commonly, in object code that appears on disk only after assembly linking or loading.
Cybercriminals often use them to steal data, install malware, and hijack devices. They can also be inserted surreptitiously into hardware as it progresses from manufacturer to consumer. On the other hand, white hat hackers look for accidental backdoors in software so they can be patched before criminals find them.
Not too long ago, much information crisscrossing the Internet was sent in clear text. Hackers could see passwords and other sensitive data as they passed from a computer to a network server. Encryption scrambles a message so only authorized systems can read it. This essential cybersecurity measure can keep sensitive information safe from hackers.
Hackers try to break into computers and networks for a variety of reasons. It could be criminal financial gains like stealing credit card numbers or banking data. Or, it could be street cred, burnishing their reputation within the hacker subculture. Or, it might be corporate espionage to get a competitive edge in the marketplace. Other times, hackers enjoy the challenge of beating the system. This is called white hat hacking or penetration testing. It’s an essential part of any security strategy.
As the name suggests, ransomware is malware that encrypts data on infected devices and then demands payment from the victim to unlock it. This type of malware is often used to steal financial information and other sensitive data.
Black hat hackers (crackers) exploit cyber vulnerabilities for illegal financial gain. These attackers typically target organizations with unsecured network connections, compromised login credentials, or weak security protocols.
A cyber attack is any act that undermines the security of an organization’s digital assets. This can include stealing, damaging, or destroying sensitive information, possibly leading to complete data loss. As a result, it’s essential to understand the different types of cyber-attacks and how to respond accordingly. This includes disabling network access, powering down systems, and prioritizing recovery based on productivity and revenue impact.
A social engineering attack exploits a person’s curiosity, sense of indebtedness, or conditioned response to authority. It can include dumpster diving to find sensitive information like passwords written on scraps of paper and “tailgating” to follow people with authorized access into a physical facility.
Security policies like an air gap and blocking non-authorized software and hardware can thwart social engineering attacks, as can training staff to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and unknown sources. They should also encouraged to double-check whether names and email addresses match.
The process of assessing adversaries’ capabilities, opportunities, and actions in the cyber domain to identify priorities, develop or compare courses of action, and inform decision-makers. This is often refer to as the threat intelligence life cycle.