The 6 Most Common Cyberattacks and How to Defend Your Business

Sep 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

Businesses fall victim to cyberattacks daily. They are too often easy prey for hackers on the lookout for vulnerable systems. Ten years ago, it took an average of 45 days for a vulnerability in your system to be exploited, allowing you a month and a half to update your system once a patch (fix) is implemented. Today, this number has decreased to 15 days.

While this sounds scary, there are several ways that your business can strengthen its defenses to avoid becoming a victim of cybercrime. First, it’s critical to stay up-to-date and know what kind of cyberattacks are being deployed at any given time. Second, you should know how to identify them if they were to be used against your business.  

That said, here is an overview of the six most common cyber threats, and how to identify them.



Malware, or malicious software, is the hacker’s favorite weapon — billions of attacks occur each year. Malware can cause damage to computer systems, including hardware and software, while disrupting all manner of daily operations. It can also be used to destroy or steal valuable data.

Many times malware is given access to your system via a corrupted link or email attachment. Once the malicious software is installed, it can spread rapidly throughout all interconnected computerized systems.

Over 90% of malware is delivered straight to your business through email. A knowledgeable workforce, therefore, is among the best defenses against such attacks. So, teach your employees to be cautious in clicking links or opening attachments in unverified emails. Basically, the safest course of action is, if you aren’t sure about an email, don’t open it!



Phishing is another type of attack delivered through email. With this method, a seemingly reputable source (such as someone posing as a company executive or HR director) sends an email to your employees asking for sensitive information. Often carefully targeted, phishing scams comprise over 90% of successful data breaches and are becoming increasingly popular.

Keep an eye out for any emails asking for sensitive information. If it seems to be from someone in the office, give them a call to confirm that they asked. Additionally, be mindful of invoices asking you to share financial information, which is another common way to steal data.


Man in the Middle (MitM)

With an MitM attack, the hacker intercepts a message and “eavesdrops” to steal data. While the two parties believe they are interacting with each other, the man-in-the-middle intercepts and relays messages passed back and forth.

One of the most common ways for an MitM attack to happen is through an unsecured wifi network, where hackers can slip into a visitor’s device undetected. From here, they can manipulate and steal sensitive data. Hackers can also use this method to install malware that will take the victim’s data continuously.

One way to limit this threat is by being careful when using unsecured networks, especially while many businesses are allowing their employees to work remotely.


What if you do get hacked? Do you have an incident response plan in place? Check out our blog to learn more about how to be prepared for a cyberattack!


Distributed Denial of Service

A DDoS attack floods an organization’s central server or networks with what is essentially fake traffic to prevent the system from being able to fill legitimate requests. Hackers often use this as an opportunity to extort the victim for money. Most notably, these attacks can last for days and even weeks. On average, a third of all downtime incidents are a result of these denial-of-service attacks.


SQL Injections

Structured Query Language is used for programming to manage data in relational database management systems. By injecting code into these systems, hackers can gain access to or tamper with data that is otherwise kept confidential. Some of these hacks can be implemented simply by typing this corrupted code into a website search box. Without firewalls, these systems are left open and vulnerable.


Zero-Day Exploits

When a network vulnerability is discovered, there is typically a small window of time before a patch or solution is implemented to resolve the problem. Hackers use that time frame to gain access to your network. If a network vulnerability is brought to your attention, be very diligent in monitoring your system, as well as making sure a solution is quickly implemented to resolve the issue.

Make sure your employees are informed about these potential threats! With knowledgeable employees, you can provide an extra line of defense for your business.


Need to Strengthen Defenses Further? Contact Sawyer Solutions.

In addition to staying informed about and identifying threats, having IT security and defense systems in place can prove invaluable in safeguarding your business.

The professionals at Sawyer Solutions can help you. After we assess your system to identify any vulnerabilities, we create a custom solution that can protect your business from attacks and data breaches.

At Sawyer Solutions, we continue to provide consultation, support, and data backups to ensure your business is safe and secure. Contact us today to learn more!