What are the 7 Stages of a Cyber Breach?

As cyber attacks become an increasingly common problem, many companies are getting smart and beefing up their security resources. If you operate a business, you should be familiar with the 7 stages of a cyber breach — no matter how big or small your business is. Guard your company by looking out for the following cyber attack stages.

1. Identification of the Target

The first part of a cyber attack is the selection of a target. If you own a small company or work with a group of regular clientele, you might not imagine that you’re a potential target of a cyber attack. Unfortunately, though, you may be targeted if a cyber criminal can identify weaknesses in your infrastructure.

2. Weaponizing Company Information

Public information may include the name and email address of high-ranking executives within your company. This data can be weaponized by directing emails to the individuals associated with your business. A cyber attacker may also make fraudulent calls in order to gain more information.

3. Initiating Attack Sequence

Once an attacker has the information they need and a strategy for the attack, they will begin. This is one of the most crucial cyber attack stages. This may include the aforementioned fraudulent calls or phishing emails. A cyber criminal will gather every piece of information they can in order to exploit a company’s weaknesses.

4. Exploiting Security Vulnerabilities

With the data from phishing and fraud calls collected, a cyber attacker can proceed to take advantage of the security vulnerability. They may have collected login credentials that enable access to company data, for example, which they will then use to mine information found online.

5. Installing a Backdoor

Once a login credential has been compromised or a security breach is patched, an attacker loses access to the data they seek. Most attackers anticipate this, though, and compensate by installing backdoor access. They may do this by creating fraudulent accounts with administrative access or disabling firewalls that prevent outside access. If issues like these are not detected, it is a major cyber liability for your company.

6. Exercising Control Over Information

At this point, a successful cyber attacker will have full access to your company’s network and administrative accounts. They can control the information contained in the network or they may impersonate company personnel. In some cases, attackers may lock users out of their own network and demand a payment in order to restore usage abilities.

7. Achieving the Attack Objectives

Every cyber attacker has different motives, but in most cases, attacks are monetarily motivated. This means that an attacker seeks to receive payment as a result of their efforts. This may be accomplished by demanding ransom or it can be accomplished by stealing customer payment information from your network. Any instance of compromised customer data is a cyber liability for your company.

About Haughn & Associates

Founded by Michael Haughn in 1986, Haughn & Associates is a full-service, family-owned, independent insurance agency based out of Dublin, Ohio. H&A strives to provide the best possible price and unique insurance solutions across a myriad of industries, including construction, IT, Habitation & Commercial Property, Agriculture, and Engineering. Devoted to providing the best of business insurance, life and disability insurance, personal insurance, employee benefits, and bonds, H&A is proof that success lies in long-standing client relations and satisfaction. To learn more about how H&A can be of service to you, contact us at (877) 802-2278.