When it comes to running a business, there a number of threats that you have protect yourself from. Failing technology, disgruntled employees, natural disasters, the options are endless. But what’s the wrong threat that if left unchecked can cause the greatest damage to your company? Hackers and guess what? They’re only getting more agile and harder to track. So how does a business defend itself?

You have to find out how it is that a hacker can get access to your network in the first place.

There are three common methods that hackers utilize in order to acquire a business’ passwords.

  1. Brute Force or Dictionary Attacks: In this hacking method, the perpetrator attempts to overpower the company’s defense systems through repetition. In other words, they utilize a dictionary software that recombines English dictionary words with thousands of various combinations in order to eventually land upon the right entry. So for example, the software would begin with simple letters like “a”, “aa”, “aaa” and after time would move onto full words like “cat”, “kitty”, “kitten”.
  2. Social Engineering Attacks: Remember getting those emails from some rich prince from a foreign country who is trapped in some far off land without any access to his family’s funds to get himself home, so he asks you for loan and promises to pay you back as soon as he gets home? Oh, and he claims he received your email address from a close family friend. Yeah, remember those? Well those are exactly the kind of attacks we’re talking about when we mention social engineering attacks. From random emails, to phone calls, to fake websites, social engineering attacks can take on many forms but they all have one thing in common: they all try to gain access to your information by using some kind of convincing personal contact.
  3. Administrator Backdoors: Imagine a thief walking into your building to have a little chat with your cleaning personnel all while stealing the master keys. This is what an administrator backdoor attack is like. The hacker disguises themselves as an entrusted employee, preferably as the computer administrator and accesses all of your user accounts, making them incapable of being used. So when you hear about viruses like CrypoWall and CryptoWall 2.0, know that administrator backdoor attack happened.

Now that we know how a hacker can infiltrate our computer systems, it’s time we figure out how to safeguard ourselves. Stay tuned for part two of this blog series where we’ll go over how to build a solid password.