Top 5 Types of Cybercrimes to Watch Out For

November 1, 2021

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No matter where you work, you’ll no doubt rely on some form of technology to help you get the job done.

 

Different types of cybercrimes to watch out for

 

Whether you’re emailing colleagues, calling clients, or using your company social media, technology can help drive communication, productivity, and efficiency across all levels of your business.

Yet despite all the good that tech can do for your business, it also has a dark side. As our businesses become increasingly dependent on digital ways of working, cybercriminals are also upping their game with an ever-growing range of sophisticated cybercrimes. Often with the aim of stealing information or extorting money, cybercriminals target both individuals and businesses, exploiting everyday online activity to access data and devices.

Staying protected from cybercrime is important for everyone, but especially for businesses; failing to protect your tech with the right security solution can have some serious consequences, from downtime and productivity lost to GDPR breaches and financial damage.

So how can you protect your business from cybercrime? Here at Elite Group IOM, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 cybercrimes that you should look out for and how you can protect your business from falling victim.

 

1.Phishing

According to a Government study, phishing is the most common type of cybercrime in the UK. It uses communications such as emails, text messages or SMS to con people into giving away sensitive data or personal information such as encouraging an individual to click on a dodgy link and enter password or financial information. Once the cybercriminals have this data, they can then use it to commit identity theft or fraud.

Unfortunately, phishing tactics are becoming increasingly sophisticated and can involve impersonating a reputable website, company or even individual, which lures the target into a false sense of security. In 2019, 86% of British businesses experienced phishing attacks. This is obviously worrying for companies, as a successful phishing attack could result in serious financial repercussions, as well as a potential GDPR breach.

How to protect your business from phishing:

Fortunately for your business, following security best practices can help to protect your business from falling victim to these crimes. Certain software can help to guard your business inbox, highlighting and blocking suspicious-looking emails. Yet protecting your business not only involves implementing strong cybersecurity, but also educating your employees to identify and report phishing emails, texts or calls. This is where things like cybersecurity training can help.

Classic signs of phishing emails include:

  • Spelling or grammar errors
  • Threats or sense of urgency
  • Suspicious looking email addresses or website links
  • Unusual requests from a company or colleagues
  • Uncharacteristic greetings or phrases from individuals

2.Hacking

Hackers seek to invade a device such as a computer, smartphone or network in order to gain access to data and often profit from it. Whilst hacking can exploit the weakness in a company’s or individual’s computer system, it can also employ the tactic of ‘social engineering to gain information or passwords from their intended victim. In the UK, the majority of cybercrimes reported in 2020/21 were related to the hacking of social media or email accounts.

Hackers aren’t always the bad guys, however. Many businesses will employ those with hacking skills to constantly test for and update any weaknesses in their network; this helps businesses stay ahead of malicious hackers by closing up any weak spots.

How to protect your business from hacking:

Having a comprehensive cybersecurity wrap is essential for any business. This will not only help to protect your business against hackers but also against other types of cybercrimes on our list. Beyond this, there are also things you and your employees can do to minimise the chance of your devices and equipment getting hacked. This includes:

  • Be careful with downloads

Whether you’re downloading an app or files, ensure that they’re legitimate before allowing your computer to make any changes. Choose reputable apps stores if you need to download any apps on your phone or computer.

  • Update Software

If you have a smartphone, laptop or computer, you’ll be periodically asked to update your software. A prime example of this is the IOS for iPhone. Making sure you perform software updates is essential. It ensures that any potential bugs or weaknesses are updated and that your device remains protected.

  • Keep Passwords Safe

Your passwords are like the keys to your accounts. Best practice says that you should avoid using the same password repeatedly, as hackers could access multiple accounts once they discover the password to one. Opting for Two-Factor Authentication can also provide an extra layer of protection for your accounts.

 

3. Viruses

Just like the flu virus, computer viruses can spread between devices, infecting and replicating within their host. They’re essentially computer programs or lines of code that infect your computer system and cause disruption- either by modifying files or deleting them entirely. Viruses can be spread through both the Internet and removable devices such as memory sticks or external hard drives. Viruses can also attach themselves to legitimate downloads, infecting your device without your knowledge.

Once inside your computer, viruses can cause all sorts of complications from mild annoyances to serious financial or system damage. They slow your system down and cause can your computer to crash. More serious consequences can include stealing passwords, corrupting your files, spamming your contacts and erasing data.

How to protect your business from viruses:

One of the easiest ways to protect your business from viruses is by deploying anti-virus software on all your devices. Anti-virus systems scan any incoming files or code for malicious software, detecting things like viruses and removing them before they can infect your computer and cause chaos. Once installed, your anti-virus software is constantly working in the background to protect your device and wider network.

5 Types of Viruses and What They Do

  • Direct Action Virus– gets into your device’s memory and can destroy data but only strikes if you run or open the infected file.
  • Overwrite Virus– deletes system data and replaces it with its own code, deleting data and potentially stealing information.
  • Web Scripting Virus– infects web browser security and results in pop up ads on webpages.
  • Macro Virus- attaches itself to popular applications and infects devices when a document is opened.
  • Memory Resident Virus- infects the RAM and is triggered as soon as you turn on the computer, causing file corruption and reduced performance.

 

4.Malware

Malware is the umbrella term used to describe any malicious software. It’s designed to attack devices and networks and steal information that can be exploited for financial gain or nefarious purposes. Viruses are a specific type of malware, but on our list malware represents all the other malicious software that is out there waiting to infect our devices. The most common types of malware include:

  • Ransomware, which locks the user out of their device and demands a ransom, usually bitcoin, to let the user gain access.
  • Worms, a stand-alone program that self-replicates over a network and spreads by exploiting system vulnerabilities or dodgy email attachments.
  • Adware, a software that generates unwanted advertisements and pop-ups, as well as automatically changing your browser.
  • Spyware, a software that tries to remain hidden whilst collecting your information and recording computer activity.

How to protect your business from Malware:

Thankfully, there is software out there that can help to protect your devices and business from malware attacks. You may think that installing anti-virus software is enough; after all, it protects against viruses which are a type of malware. Yet chances are it won’t be enough to protect your business against everything that’s out there. Anti-malware software provides much more comprehensive protection against the various kinds of malware that could attack your business.

 

5.DoS Attacks

DoS or Denial-of-Service attacks aim at disrupting the normal function of a business by overloading its website and tying up its resources. Generally speaking, there are two types of DoS attacks: flooding attacks and crash attacks. Both of these have the same goals in mind, however; preventing legitimate users or potential customers from being able to access the company’s website or service. This obviously has a negative impact on a business, its profitability and reputation, leading to downtime whilst the problem is fixed.

In recent years, DoS attacks have evolved into something even more sinister: DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attacks. This type of attack not only targets a single computer or IP address but several compromised devices, servers or networks. In short, it could cause a total blackout across a business.

How to protect your business from DoS attacks:

Thankfully, small businesses are unlikely to fall victim to DoS attacks; it’s usually bigger and more controversial companies that have to fight off such attacks to their website and device. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to cybersecurity. Installing a firewall can be the first line of defence against DoS attacks, as they can be reconfigured to block illegitimate traffic. Some routers also have built-in DDoS prevention which can help to protect your business

 

Why Choose Elite Group IOM?

If you’re looking to protect your business from cybercrimes, get in touch with Elite Group IOM today. We understand the importance of comprehensive cybersecurity and ensure all our solutions keep the criminals out and your data protected.

Sophisticated Security Solutions

We can provide a range of sophisticated security solutions to protect your business from cybercrimes including firewalls, UTM solutions and endpoint security.

Expert Engineers

With our expert engineers on the case, you can be sure that your security solution is in professional hands and that any issues will be dealt with by us.

Reliable Security Partners

We have partnerships and accreditations with Fortinet, Pulse Secure and WatchGuard and pass on this expertise and product knowledge to you.

 

Get in Touch with Us

If you’re looking to protect your business from cybercrime, Elite Group IOM is here to support your business today. With professional solutions, expert engineers, and dedicated account management, you can be sure that your business has everything it needs to stay safe in a digital age.

 

Elite Group IOM is one of the island’s leading IT and unified communication providers, supplying reliable and professional IT and telecoms services to organisations seeking Connectivity, UC & Voice, Cloud Service, IT Software and Security solutions.

For more information on how Elite Group IOM can help your business flourish through technology, contact us today.