Cyber ​​attacks: understand them to better anticipate them!

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A cyber attack is a deliberate and malicious action aimed at harming an Information System. In France alone, 67% of companies were victims of cyber attacks in 2019, and only 10% of them were able to cope. So how do you recognize a cyberattack and what methodology does it use during a hack? The answer below!

A computer attack targets different entry points such as computers or tablets, servers and even devices attached to your PC. Let's take a look at the main forms of corporate cyber attacks. We are going to reference four here, but there are many more:

Phishing,  also known as phishing, is the most common attack. It uses people's naivety to attack Information Systems. Most of the time, phishing impersonates your customers or suppliers, your bank and even the government. Its objective: to extract sensitive and confidential information from you, such as your passwords, usernames or bank details.

Ransomware  is a hostage-taking of company data. Taking the appearance of malware, it is often sent as an email attachment that, when opened, makes company data inaccessible. To recover them, a ransom is then demanded.

The DDoS attack , in other words, the denial of service computer attack. The latter makes your website completely unavailable via two methods: either by saturating your server by sending massive numbers of requests, or by exploiting a security breach leading to a breakdown or degradation of the service. 

Internal company attacks , the ones we are least suspicious of but which are nevertheless very real and very widespread. They may or may not be voluntary. In the first case, we can take the example of a data theft by a past or current employee and in the second, the connection by one of your employees of an infected USB key.

The different phases of a cyberattack

To better protect your business against cyber attacks, it is essential to first understand how cybercriminals work and the cycle leading to a hack.

Phase 1: Identification and recognition

Cybercriminals will first define the business they want to attack based on the goals that have been set. Their goal: to develop a strategy leading them to enter your IS. To achieve this, they collect as much information as possible in order to detect one or more security vulnerabilities, whether material or human: they identify unprotected terminals, vulnerable servers or even the risky digital behavior of your employees. .

Phase 2: Intrusion

Once the information has been collected, it's time for attackers to infiltrate the company's Information System. The intrusion begins when the attack becomes active. This can take different forms, from the widespread phishing to a compromised website, including the WiFi connection of the café where you are used to working. Keep in mind, however, that the effects are not necessarily immediately visible. In addition, a hacker may very well break into your business today and trigger the attack several months later.


Phase 3: Capture and exploitation

Once they have entered the Information System, hackers can now install malicious tools there, pretend to be an ordinary user and undermine the company's security ramparts. All this with a single objective: to obtain your administrator access. Because understand it well, it is these accesses which are the key to all confidential information and often essential to the sustainability of your company.

Phase 4: Concealment

The hackers have reached the end of their mission. They took possession of the data specific to your company but also information related to your customers, service providers and partners. They will therefore now destroy all traces of their passage. 

Their goal: to pretend that none of your data has been touched or compromised.

Anticipate the risks of a cyberattack

Anticipating the risks of a cyber attack and defining an action plan is essential for companies today . This allows them to guarantee their sustainability, but also their credibility and financial stability. 

Because let's not forget, once an incident is detected, it is often already too late.

As a result and to correct their vulnerability, companies set up various security tools (an antivirus on one side, a firewall on the other) thinking that they are safe from all threats. Nevertheless, it is not the case. 

You must remember that as a company, you cannot be both judge and party at the same time. Thus, only a security audit allows you to have a clear and impartial vision of the security level of your company.

In addition, it is strongly recommended to educate and train your employees in cybersecurity issues. To do this, you can set up an IT charter as well as carry out simulation workshops with your employees. Of course, this will not prevent a cyberattack, but these ad hoc actions have the merit of reducing the risks.

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