6 Signs that Your Network is in Danger of a Cyber Attack
You may be thinking, “No one would want to attack my business. I’m small potatoes.” That may be true but that does not mean that you won’t be the victim of a cyber attack. Most of the cyber attacks that take place on a daily basis are sweeps that round up hundreds of different businesses indiscriminately.
6 Signs Your Network is being Infiltrated
The reason why hackers are so successful so many of the times is that they continually evolve to be harder and harder to detect. Hackers are sneaky. The programs they use to infiltrate your network are often only noticed once they have already infected the entire system.
By knowing the signs to look for you can prevent network intruders from doing any more damage or from getting to your sensitive areas. Also, if you commit these 6 symptoms of a cyber attack to memory, you know where to direct a risk assessment team to help shore up your network to prevent future attacks.
Sign 1: Your Internet Slows Down
You should never ignore these things. When your internet slows down there could be other explanations. Maybe a particular game you downloaded is eating up a lot of space. Maybe you need to refragment your system files to consolidate all of your pictures and videos. But your internet may be slowing down because of a cyber attack.
Hackers overload your network with data requests that are denied service. These are known as DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Requests are sent over and over again until your system inevitably crashes.
Sign 2: Your Computer is Stalling All the Time
Just like a slow connection, frequent stalls when you open a new browser or attempt to click a link are signs of a cyber attack. It may just be that you need to update your computer or you need to increase your server capacity. However, if you are suddenly getting frequent stalls and nothing else has changed it could be a cyber attack.
Sign 3: Your Computer Starts Crashing on You
Usually stalls and slow connections will hint that you are under a cyber attack before you start getting crashes. However, there are nasty viruses and worms that sneak in and attack suddenly.
Your computer may have been working just fine the last time you logged in but this time it crashed after it booted up. You restarted it and it crashed again. Again you tried and again it crashed. There’s no doubt about it, you have been the victim of a cyber attack.
Sign 4: You Can’t Connect to Your Network
After you have checked your router, restarted your computer, and made sure that everything was plugged in, it’s time to consider that it could be a cyber attack keeping you from connecting to your network.
If you are a small business owner you can’t afford long hours where your systems are down. You need to know how to prevent these kinds of attacks so that you are not constantly losing out due to non-productive work days where half of the day is spent waiting for the network to come back online.
Sign 5: Your Anti-Virus Software Starts Letting in Pop-Ups
Pop-ups are almost obsolete, but not totally. There are still sneaky hackers using those pesky pop-up alerts warning you that your virus definition is out of date. The minute you see one of those, you already know that something you have downloaded or a website you have visited recently came with a side of virus.
Sign 6: You Get a Suspicious E-Mail
E-Mail requests from Nigerian princes are disappearing just like pop-ups. In their place are even more insidious means of infiltrating your network. Using your own company e-mail addresses and employee names, there are viruses that will send on e-mails to co-workers with a seemingly innocent attachment that destroys the entire network.
Hackers are Getting Sneakier
In the same way that technological advances are helping businesses and individuals do things faster and easier online, the tools that hackers use are getting more advanced. Adding an anti-virus program will work fine until next month when a hacker comes up with a new virus or worm that can sneak passed your firewall and fool your anti-virus software.
The first step to protecting yourself from a cyber attack is to get familiar with your network. If you know where you are hiding your most sensitive information, then you know where to focus your efforts to prevent data stealing.
Small Business Owners Beware
If you own your own business, prevent cyber attacks that enter you system through your employees by putting protocols in place that help to block infiltration. Things like disallowing game downloads, restricting internet access, and restricting access to sensitive data can help keep viruses from getting in through your employees.
You have to stay on top of your network and update your security on a daily basis. For most victims of cyber attacks, the culprit is some missing link in their network security design that a savvy hacker can exploit.
Small business owners usually try to purchase automated anti-viral software programs in order to save money thinking the chances of them being a victim of cyber criminals is highly unlikely. However, even as a small business owner, you probably have more valuable information that hackers can use than an individual.
Get Professional Anti-Virus Protection
Regardless of how big or small your business is your network security strategy needs to be more comprehensive than one used by an individual working from a personal computer. A sophisticated computer worm or virus will keep working to crack your system’s firewall until it does.
The best way to prevent a cyber attack is to know the signs of a cyber attack and then to purchase the type of professional grade anti-virus software necessary to protect your business data.
Some businesses need even greater protection than an anti-virus program. You may need to hire a company that can monitor your network activity on a daily basis and can anticipate cyber attacks before they happen, saving you potentially thousands of dollars in damage from cyber thieves.