Any deliberate sabotage of a company or private computer system, including hardware, software, networks, cloud services, etc., can be considered a cyber-risk. There are many, varied types of cyberattack, with a range of possible consequences and ways to counteract them.
What are the main types of cyber-risk?
The following are the commonest types of cyber-risk that companies and users in general must now face:
This term is used to describe various forms of harmful software, such as viruses or ransomware. The modus operandi of these attacks is always the same. A malicious virus is introduced into a computer, system or network without the user’s consent for different purposes: to destroy or steal data or information of all types, disable computer software, block a network, etc. This type of cyberattack can have catastrophic consequences.
This consists of the risk of someone supplanting our virtual identity, in most cases by obtaining passwords and access keys, with everything that can lead to: the sending of fraudulent emails, unauthorized banking transactions, destruction of files, data theft, etc.
SQL Injection Attack
This is a specific cyber risk affecting SQL servers. SQL is a programming language that is increasingly used by companies to store highly sensitive personal information: banking details, credit cards, personal passwords, etc. Malicious code is introduced to carry out these attacks.
Denial of Service (DoS)
This is a novel and sophisticated method of attack that consists of overloading a server with website traffic, making it difficult or impossible to provide the service. The damage to the company can be very serious in terms of financial losses, and it can also trigger a crisis due to a deterioration in the organisation’s prestige or a loss of confidence among customers.
There are other less frequent cyberattacks which also need to be taken into account, such as QR code sabotage, the modification of artificial intelligence parameters and the disabling of basic public services.
How to counteract the different types of cyber-risk
Cyber-risks exist, they are frequent, and they are becoming increasingly inventive, sophisticated and harmful. This means that IT security is one of the major challenges for companies today. To effectively counter cyber-risks, it is essential to implement a strategy based on the following points:
Vulnerability analysis, in equipment, software and networks
Installation and update of the relevant protective software: antivirus programs, firewalls, web filtering, etc.
Making good quality backups at appropriate intervals.
Strict compliance with current legislation on data protection and cybersecurity.
Implementation of preventive measures: training and awareness raising of employees in the field of IT security, implementation of effective, well-structured and hierarchical protocols for access to information, among other measures.
IT security is a complex issue, involving legal issues together with infrastructures and technical resources, as well as adequate training and employee involvement. It should not be forgotten that, in computer security, nothing can be left to chance and relaxing our vigilance can prove very expensive.
Pirates and hackers are constantly devising new ways to supplant people’s identities, erase important information, disable equipment and steal third-party data for illegal purposes. For this reason, to achieve the best levels of security, you must always stay one step ahead of them and use this advantage to plan and implement comprehensive, robust digital security strategies.
It is not easy to have all the latest information regarding cyber-risk and systems to counteract it: and this is essential for achieving a good level of digital security. But we also need the resources and human ability, both physical and technical, to carry out audits and analyse the current situation, identifying risks and then choosing, installing, configuring and updating security systems and mechanisms.
To do this, it is highly advisable to use the services of experts and take measures to alleviate the consequences of an attack, if the measures adopted are not sufficient.
Transferring the risk to the insurance sector is a good solution, because it makes the greatest cybersecurity experts available to your company, responding to any computer incidents that may occur and, if an attack cannot be avoided, the insurer will deal with the financial consequences.