3 Automated Attacks Targeting Small Businesses

We all know cybercriminals can do a lot of damage to a business's digital infrastructure. But did you know that hackers aren't necessarily  Ëœhands on' in their approach to cybercrime?

It's true. Plenty of hackers prefer to use automated attacks to do their dirty work, many of which require little direction from the instigator. But that doesn't mean these scams are any less powerful.

If you want to defend your small or medium business against automated attacks, you'll need to invest in cyber risk insurance. But without further ado, here are few examples of automated attacks targeting small businesses and what you can do to stop them.

Brute Force Attacks
Have you ever forgotten an old website login? If you are like most people, you spent some time typing in potential passphrases you've used before until the service granted access (or you simply gave up and hit "forgot password Âù).

This trial-and-error method is not dissimilar to the brute force attack employed by hackers to crack passwords. Essentially, an automated bot guesses at your password hundreds or even thousands of times until access is granted. It's just that easy.

Once your password is compromised, the hacker will shop around your sign-in credentials across the World Wide Web until they've breached everything they can. This includes: banking services, social media pages, personal and professional email accounts and more. This automated attack is known as credential stuffing.

Of course, the hacker may just decide to breach your accounts, steal all the data they can find and leave malware hidden in your network. After all, once they have your passwords, they have the power.

To thwart these kinds of attacks from hitting your business, you'll need to include detection software to stymie brute force attacks and alert IT whenever multiple failed logins occur. You should also train your staff to use better and more unique passwords.

Distributed Denial-of-Service
Then again, not all hackers choose to infiltrate your network. Some prefer to attack from the outside with a veritable army of malware-infected computers (or "zombies Âù) which can be remotely controlled by the cybercriminal. These zombies will flood your servers with phony requests until the system collapses under the weight. This onslaught is known as a distributed denial-of-service or DDoS attack.

And the bad news is that DDoS is evolving. Attacks are becoming more massive, more widespread and more dangerous. Some dark-net hackers are even offering DDoS as a service, while others use DDoS as a smokescreen for additional attacks.

Fight back against the bots by investing in DDoS mitigation software that can detect and redirect malicious traffic.

Watering Hole Attacks
Last but not least is the cwatering hole attack. Named after the technique predatory animals use to hunt thirsty prey in the wild, watering hole attacks compromise a group of end users by targeting a legitimate website with malware and malvertisements.

In other words, if your staff regularly visits a niche news vertical, a hacker could use this knowledge to inject malicious JavaScript or HTML code that redirects the target to a bogus site filled with malware.

Fortunately, these attacks are pretty rare. But they are also notoriously dangerous and difficult to prevent. Do your best to block these scams by employing anti-malware protections, antivirus software and add-ons that warn employees about potentially dangerous sites.

And remember to adopt cyber risk insurance to preserve your small business against hackers, data breach and cyber scams. Visit CyberPolicy for your free quote today!

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