Cyber Attacks 101: The Costs and Consequences of Cyber Attacks

Cyber attacks are a serious threat to businesses around the globe. According to one recent study, businesses around the world lost over $400 billion last year due to cyber attacks. In addition, of the organizations that experience significant data breaches every year, around 40% will go out of business within the next year. This means that it is absolutely critical that businesses understand the threats posed by hackers and phishing schemes so that they are able to effectively protect themselves and their assets. In part 1 of a 2 part series, learn more about how hackers gain access to business data and the catastrophic effects of a data breach. And don’t forget to check back next week to learn what you can do to better protect your business from cyber threats!

cyber attacks

Cyber attacks are big business and it’s up to you to protect yourself.

Types of cyber attacks

The goal of a cyber attack is to compromise a computer network or destroy a computer system. Hackers accomplish this using one of four types of schemes:


  • Ransomware. As its name implies, ransomware is a type of software that is designed to block access to key data and information until a specific sum of money has been paid. Right here in Maryland, MedStar health was recently the victim of a ransomware scheme where hackers demanded nearly $19,000 to restore the medical system’s network back to normal.
  • Viruses. One of the most common forms of cyber attack, viruses usually gain access to a computer after an infected email attachment or shared file has been downloaded. After a single computer on a network has become infected, the virus can quickly spread throughout the rest of the network.
  • Spyware. When you download certain programs from the internet, they may be infected with spyware that is designed to capture and transmit sensitive information such as passwords and online habits.
  • Identity theft. When many people think of cyber attacks, identity theft is often the first example to come to mind. Identity thieves gain access to personal identifying information such as credit card and social security numbers in order to impersonate someone else and then use the information to commit theft or fraud.

While the threat of cyber attacks can be overwhelming, there are steps your organization can take to help prevent attacks. Be sure to check back next week to learn more!

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