In the world of business today, cyber crimes can put a serious crimp on your ability to take care of business. Small businesses often lack full-time IT staff personnel to handle potential cyber crime problems as they arise. More importantly, many small businesses don’t even have an adequately tech-savvy workforce to stay on top of what the latest computer-related cyber threats may be.
Rest assured, people who commit these crimes aren’t sitting around waiting for businesses to catch them in the act. They’re perfecting their techniques and working on new ways to cause problems for businesses that go far beyond Phishing and SPAM.
1) Data Diddling
While its name doesn’t sound very ominous, the implications for your business can be quite destructive. This is a cyber crime that’s typically committed for one of two reasons. One is to discredit a person or business. The other is for personal gain (of the person committing the crime). The crime itself involves changing data either before or after employees enter the information into the computer.
A few common examples of this particular crime involve forging payroll timestamps. This can cost businesses big money over time and with consistent use of the tactic. However, that’s only the tip of the iceberg. This tactic often works well for forging documents, inflating financial statements, and outright fraud against customers, board members, and other employees.
Ransomware is a type of malware that essentially hijacks your computer system and demands payment in order to release it. Often times, you’ll find ransomware tactics used in combination with another, lesser known, cybercrime tactic known as scareware. In these cases, the message claims to be one of themajor law enforcement agencies accusing you of illegal activities and charging a fee in order to return control of your computer to you. That would be the ransom. The bottom line is that ransomware constitutes cyber extortion that can cost your business loss productivity while preventing you from connecting with your client base until you sort it out.
3) Salami Attacks
Some people refer to this as salami slicing. It’s all about many small transactions working together to create a much bigger payoff for the attackers. It follows the logic used in the movieOffice Space where the jaded employees decided to turn tables on their greedy boss by stealing portions of pennies at a time. The series of smaller attacks add up to one, much larger, attack. Whether it’s stealing pennies or small pieces of client information, the results can be equally devastating for your business.
4) Computer Worm
Computer worms are also types of malware that stand on their own because they can replicate themselves and spread to other computers on a network. This particular program takes advantage of inadequate security or security failures on various devices in the network. While many worms only cause damage to the existing network, some are designed to delete files from host systems or even engage in extortion or ransom-style attacks. Spammers enjoy exploiting computers taken over with worm attacks for sending out massive SPAM attacks from their servers. Others will attempt to blackmail companies by threatening denial of service attacks that render computers and networks unusable.
There are steps you can take, as a small business, to avoid vulnerability to these types of attacks. However, there are times when even the best security efforts may fail. That’s why it’s so important for small businesses to invest in an adequate amount of cyber liability insurance.