Once upon a time, the main threat small and medium businesses had to contend with was cash flow. Well, this is still true to an extent, but something else has now entered the equation.

If recent reports are to be believed, almost half of all cyber attacks impact SMEs. It can make for tough reading – with some of these attacks being substantial enough to wipe a company off its feet. Then again, this shouldn’t be surprising. Some investment firms, like C5, owned by cyber security expert Andre Pienaar, are investing significant sums of money into companies who tackle cyber security and this market is showing no signs of slowing down.

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Following on from the above, today’s post will now take a look at the four types of cyber attacks that are most commonly experienced, and give advice on how your firm can try to avoid these.

The DoS attack

In truth, DoS attacks aren’t anything new. They have been doing the rounds for years but with cyber-attacks on the rise, it is worth having a refresh on them to understand just how detrimental they can be to your organisation.

Put simply, a DoS attack occurs when a company’s systems are overloaded by connections. These connections come from different computers, meaning they are very difficult to thwart.

The best way to guard against them is to monitor your platform for unusual traffic patterns. If you suspect this, it’s at this point you can take action.

Ransomware

If we turn our attention to something that’s a little more modern it comes in the form of ransomware. This was something that made it into the mainstream news recently, after NHS systems were taken down.

This attack is a form of virus, which usually enters a computer when a user opens an attachment on an email.It means that your employees need to be taught the ins and outs on what is a safe attachment and what isn’t – as victims to ransomware attacks tend to put their data completely at the mercy of their attackers.

Phishing

We’ve just touched on employee mistakes, and this next form of attack follows a similar vein.

Again, it’s about clicking things that you shouldn’t be following, although on this occasion you are also tricked into supplying data.

It tends to happen when a company pretends to be something else, usually a financial institution. From this point, their email will sound legit, but ask for sensitive information. It’s here that your employees need to be aware of how to spot one of these phishing emails, so they are not fooled into supplying such information.

Inside attacks

As scary as it might sound, a surprisingly high number of cyber attacks come from the inside. Or, they come from employees who may have recently left the company.

Sometimes this can be for completely innocent reasons – and we will again turn to a couple of the issues we have spoken above. On other occasions, it isn’t quite as innocent, and this means that you need to be really careful about who has access to what systems.