Call Now : 604-295-5355 | 3945 West 51st Ave, Vancouver, BC, V6N 3V9

The 5 Most Common Cyber Attacks

Common Cyber Attacks

Hackers are out there, on the prowl for targets, and armed with the tools and knowledge to hold systems hostage, steal their data, and cause great harm to their business. Unfortunately, many businesses make this easier for them than it needs to be, by not having the security they need to defend themselves.

In 2018 alone, there was a 47% increase in cyber incidents vs the same period the year before, indicating the seriousness of the situation and the growing need for companies to protect their assets.

To help you better understand what you might be facing, here are the 5 most common types of cyberattacks:


While people generally think of hackers breaking into their system through personal skill or the use of sophisticated code, it is far too common for them to receive help from an unknowing accomplice. All it takes is for an employee to click on a malevolent link or attachment. This is actually the #1 means that hackers use to access systems. In fact, an average employee will receive a minimum of one high-risk email each day.

Phishing scams are as effective as they are because they seem to come from a trusted source, deceiving the recipients and tricking them into giving access to unauthorized parties. In order to effectively defend against this type of attack, employees need to be educated about the clues to watch out for.

Malware and Ransomware

Malware is remotely installed by a hacker once they gain access to your system. Often, they may go undetected until they have spread to multiple users, corrupting files so that they are no longer usable. During the time that the malware remains undetected, the hacker can listen in on a network, stealing data with impunity. When they are finally discovered, the damage will have already been done.

Hacking of Vulnerable Software and Hardware

If your company is not keeping systems and programs updated, you are opening a door to hackers. By not equipping your business with the latest software updates and anti-virus programs, you are making yourself vulnerable.

Less obvious means of entry to your system include other devices that access your network, such as your office printer, or mobile devices. An employee using an unsecured WiFi network while accessing company data can also put you at risk.

Weak or Compromised Passwords

This is another significant means of access for cybercriminals who use software that can automatically create thousands of passwords in order to guess the correct system password and gain entry. Employees frequently neglect to update default passwords and usernames, which tend to be easily discovered. Those who do change their passwords tend to use the same one across multiple accounts and online services.

Not taking the proper steps to secure accounts can dramatically increase the severity of a cyberattack by giving hacker access to not only the company’s own systems but also any online services they use as well.

To protect yourself, make use of unique word combinations and multiple characters, changing them regularly.

Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)

Another method of attack involves accessing an organization’s server, overloading it with enough traffic to make their website or network unavailable, or even causing a crash. This may be done to extort money in some cases, though it is becoming increasingly popular to use this tactic to shut down a system and bypass its firewalls. This allows them to steal data or install malware. They are often able to do this undetected.

As discussed above, this can allow them to cause considerable damage before being discovered.

DDoS Intrusions use multiple systems in several locations to launch their attacks. This makes it extremely difficult to identify the attackers or their locations. However, you can reduce your risks by watching for specific signs such as the slowing of systems and unusual traffic patterns.

While these methods of attack may be the most popular among hackers, they are far from the only ones. Cybercriminals develop new methods as technology advances, so it is up to you to adapt your defenses.

For the solid defense against cybercriminals, reach out to Safe Harbour.