Cyberattacks are commoner than ever today, due to the growth of teleworking and the rapid progress of the digital transformation in many companies. Currently, almost all data and information are on the internet and in cloud storage systems, not on computer hard drives, which means a greater risk of sabotage and the theft of sensitive information.

Cyber-risk is a broad term that refers to the possibility of suffering various types of cyberattack, which can cause a wide range of direct and third-party damage, involving civil and sometimes even criminal liability.

The commonest types of cyberattack and their consequences for companies  

There is no single type of computer risk, but there are different types of cyberattack, with a variety of harmful effects for companies. Most of these attacks involve the introduction of malware in equipment and networks, a computer virus consisting of malicious code capable of causing extensive damage. The most common entry route today is the internet or the cloud, although the system can also be infected via external memory facilities.

The following are the commonest types of cyberattack:

Ransomware 

It works as follows: a virus is introduced into a company’s computer network or equipment and it encrypts its data, making them unusable.

For their recovery, cybercriminals demand a ransom, with the resulting economic damage to the company or organisation.

Trojans 

Trojans infect systems, causing them to function poorly, for example by slowing them down or making it impossible to access certain programs.

A particularly dangerous variant for companies is bank Trojans, which can supplant identities to make unauthorised transfers from the company’s online accounts.

Worms 

They have the same ability to replicate as viruses but, unlike viruses, worms focus on slowing down systems, without altering files. Infection almost always occurs through networks.

Spyware

When a company’s IT equipment has been infected, the atackers can collect data and information from the company and from third parties, using them fraudulently, without the consent of their owners.

Adware

Like spyware, it is malicious software that can access and manage data without permission. To do this, it uses intrusive advertising, which is also very annoying, slows down equipment and complicates the work of users.

APTs

The acronym of Advanced Persistent Threat. This is a very dangerous type of cyber attack because it is difficult to detect and companies can continue to operate for a long time while they are suffering a slow, silent attack that can identify vulnerable parts of the network and equipment over time and then infect systems and sabotage critical infrastructures.

How to protect yourself from cyber-risks

The digital transformation, teleworking and the increasingly intense use of networks are here to stay. They have great advantages for companies, because they are flexible, can streamline processes and manage all types of information efficiently. But it is clear that there are risks for which appropriate precautions must be taken, and it is highly advisable to cover possible contingencies, damage and liability with an appropriate insurance policy.

The best strategy to counter possible cyber attacks

Carry out a risk analysis and take the necessary measures

It is essential to have detailed information about our starting point, with regard to the safety of our network and equipment and to know whether we have appropriate antivirus programs and other protection systems. Another key consideration is to check whether our employees’ habits are appropriate, as well as their training and awareness of IT security: using secure, personal passwords (not shared under any circumstances), and installing and using only original, verified applications and programs, among other preventive measures.

The results of this initial analysis and audit will give us useful clues about what measures our company needs to strengthen its security.

This work can be carried out internally or by hiring external consultants or professionals specialising in cybersecurity.

Contract the services of a specialised insurance company 

A good insurer guarantees a response to incidents that will minimise their consequences, as well as providing any subsequent compensation to which you are entitled, in respect of damage to the company itself or to third parties, due to the theft and/or fraudulent use of data.

Moreover, some of these insurers specialise in detecting risks before they occur, putting the necessary preventive measures in place to avoid having to pay substantial compensation for damage caused.

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