Cyber Attacks – The Types of Attack

the many types of cyber attack

In the previous article in the series, we established that cyber criminality is on the rise, there is no way to avoid it now – with the likelihood of becoming a victim so high you are more likely to become a victim than ever before. We also explored the importance of cybersecurity being at the top of our business concerns, since the pandemic business owners are finding their feet again – but this is no excuse to neglect your cybersecurity measures, letting your guard down for one minute could be the end all together.

The criminal community have grown wise to the extensive opportunities offered by the devices that we use every day, so it is essential that you protect them the best you can.

There is another main reason that cyber criminality is so rapidly on the rise – they love the anonymity it offers. With a physical attack they would have to knock the door in or sneak in through a window – when attacking via technical means they can sneak in undetected and be gone with everything they want.

Smaller to medium businesses are by no means the first target for the criminal community, but they are usually caught up as collateral damage from an attack on a larger business.

Your business can still be targeted regardless of its size or the number of internet connected devices you have, the main reason that attacks carried out are successful is because of a severe lack of knowledge on the subject – the world has changed so rapidly that business owners didn’t have time to plan and implement time to educate their teams on the threats that are out there and ways to combat them.

Often it is our impatience that forces our hand, we buy a new device and just start using it before reading the manual. We are oblivious to how potentially dangerous it can be if the wrong person gains access to it.

Let’s explain this in a way that applies to everyone – regardless of your business size. At the end of every working day either you, a member of your team – or if you run a larger organization – a member of security, does a sweep of the office to check that all windows and doors locked, these checks are so automatic that a lot of us get out to the car, or some of us even all the way home, before we have to turn back and double check. We need to convert this level of paranoia for physical security over to cybersecurity.

We don’t mean that you need to check your cybersecurity measures every single day, but we are saying that – like you wouldn’t leave the door wide open when you leave, don’t leave your system undefended and vulnerable.

Cybersecurity is stressful – most have no idea what would be best for their business, what the options are, or how much it will all cost them.

There are many ways to ensure that your systems are defended – some of which we will explore in detail in the following article in the series. We at VBS have our own cybersecurity offering – through our cybersecurity assessment and response plan we can guarantee that your cybersecurity measures are up to scratch and capable of withstanding even the most sophisticated cyber attacks. Please get in contact with us to learn more.

You and your team must learn the different methods of attack used by cyber criminals to attack and penetrate your systems; you can’t defend your system effectively if you don’t know what you are defending it from.

The Methods of Cyber Attack


Malware is a file that has been designed to intentionally undermine the functions of an application or the entire computer system. There are many different variants of Malware, but predominantly it is embedded into email attachments and is used to attack your network.


Ransomware is the name of an attack that works by locking and encrypting your access to your own data. This can be a particularly frustrating attack as your data is still on your system – and visible – you just can’t access it. Once having gained access to your data, the cyber criminals demand a ransom under the threat that they will delete or distribute it if they aren’t paid – to add an extra layer to their attack they introduce a sense of urgency to force your hand, they know if you have too long to think you aren’t likely to pay.

For most of us our confidential client data is invaluable – likely worth far more than what the cyber criminal is demanding, so why not just pay them? If you are only going to be down by X amount when the data is worth far more what is the problem, you will be more careful next time, right? Wrong, don’t trust the criminals to regrant you access, all you are doing is broadcasting your ability and willingness to cater to their every whim, would you trust that same criminal in person if you caught him in the office in the dead of night? I don’t think so, so why is it any different when the attack is carried out technically?


A Phishing attack is successful when the art of deception is used, criminals assume a false identity in fraudulent emails in an attempt to fool you into granting them access to your system or releasing private confidential information.

The Phishing Email will carry a malicious link of which will redirect you to another site where you will be promoted to input more sensitive information, or it will contain Malware. Again, the cyber criminal tries to rush your decision before you get a chance to go through the Email and determine its authenticity – if believable the user clicks the embedded link and facilitates the attack.

Now you are familiar with some of the most popular methods of cyber attack around today, in the following – and last – article in the series, we will look at some ‘cybersecurity must haves’ that every business needs to ensure they remain cyber secure.

IT Support the right way

By trusting us with your IT needs we can guarantee that your organization is ready to succeed in the modern digital workplace. Our experience in working with small businesses in Ontario and the Great Toronto Area allows us to ensure that you can increase revenue, secure your data, and always operate at peak performance in the most secure way possible. All these abilities can be achieved at the very highest standard. Contact us now to find out what else we can do to improve your IT landscape and bring you even more benefits from your IT going forward.