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Capstone Works, Inc. has been serving the Cedar Park area since 2001, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Defining Key Cybersecurity Terms Businesses Should Know

Defining Key Cybersecurity Terms Businesses Should Know

Cybersecurity can be a challenging animal for any business—particularly a small business. That makes it important that you understand a few key terms. Let’s go over these terms as a review—or as an introduction, if that’s the case.

Viruses and Malware

This one is probably pretty familiar to most. These are little pieces of malicious software (hence, mal-ware) that infect a targeted system and can have a variety of negative impacts as a result. Preventing these impacts will take a comprehensive mix of security precautions and defenses, including antivirus solutions, firewalls, and the like.

Ransomware

On the topic of malware, ransomware is a particularly nasty version of malicious software that encrypts the data contained in an infected system and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. Worse, many ransomware strains now send a copy of your data to your attacker, allowing them to threaten to leak your data if you don’t pay another ransom.

The trick to preventing ransomware from infecting your files is to keep it out in the first place. User awareness training is step one, two, three, and seven to keeping ransomware out of your business, with a comprehensive data backup in the wings to restore any data that ultimately is locked up.

Phishing

Phishing attacks are an effective way that cybercriminals have to spread threats and steal data, relying on human fallibility to take advantage of your users. By fooling them into believing they are communicating with a trustworthy party, cybercriminals can extract the information they want. Due to the nature of phishing, the only real defenses that your business has against it are spam and email filters, along with the awareness of your team members. 

Social Engineering

Social engineering is the greater umbrella that phishing and many other similar attacks fall under. The concept of social engineering is basically hacking the user, instead of the network, through deceptive messaging and other communications. Teaching your team members to understand the reality of social engineering and how to spot it is crucial. 

Denial Of Service (DDoS) Attacks

Have you ever had one of those moments where you’re just trying to get something done, but interruption after disruption after annoyance has distracted you from your goal? A DDoS attack is a similar phenomenon, scaled up by a few degrees of magnitude. By harnessing the resources of infected and exploited endpoints (known as “zombies”) an attacker can overwhelm your network and its defenses. The largest DDoS attack on record was just recently mitigated by Cloudflare at the start of June, so this is an attack vector to be taken seriously.

SQL Injection

If your website or web application relies on a database to function, an SQL injection attack can be used to modify the records in that database—completely bypassing any authentication requirements. There are a few steps needed to protect your business—only allowing access to prespecified users, for starters.

DNS Tunneling

This form of cyberattack hides data away in DNS queries, taking control of the impacted server and giving the attacker remote access to it. Keeping your firewalls up-to-date will go far in helping protect your network.

Man In The Middle Attacks (MITM)

In a MITM attack, an attacker will analyze a network, intercepting traffic as it goes by. As this traffic is analyzed, data can be stolen or altered before being sent along to its intended destination. Encrypting your data whenever it is in transit will help protect it from these kinds of attacks.

Zero-day Exploits

A zero-day exploit is one that has not been detected by security professionals (and therefore, not mitigated or patched) before being discovered and utilized by hackers in the wild. Keeping your systems updated, patched, and otherwise up-to-date can help eliminate much of the threat that zero-day exploits offer.

The team here at CapstoneWorks is dedicated to doing everything possible to help protect your business. Give us a call today to learn more about our services—or any of the above attacks—at (512) 343-8891.

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