Cybersecurity 101 – What are the Threats?

By: Jacob Crawford, DataYard

With so much of our lives and businesses online, cybersecurity is more important than it’s ever been. And it’s not just something big businesses have to worry about. Nearly half of cyber-attacks are targeting small businesses.

Jacob Crawford, Client Partnerships, DataYard

For small businesses, one bad hack could be enough to put them out of business for good.

That means cybersecurity should be a top priority for all businesses. If any part of your business is storing information online (and it probably is), you need to protect yourself against threats. How do you do that?

The best place to start is by understanding what types of attacks are happening out there. Here are some of the most common types of attacks taking place in 2019:


Ransomware has been around since ’89, and it’s a tactic that’s still going strong. As you might deduce from the name, ransomware is malware that gets into your system and locks you out of it, cutting you off from your data. In order to regain access, hackers will demand payment, or ‘ransom.’

Sophisticated encryption in modern-day ransomware ensures that your data is virtually impossible to recover without gaining permission from the random holder. What’s even scarier is the fact that even if you pay the ransom, the hacker might delete your information anyway.

This is why regular backup systems and segmentation is so important in modern server systems.


This is a relatively new attack that’s quickly gaining steam. You’ve probably heard of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Without going into too much detail (because cryptocurrencies can get very confusing very fast), these currencies involve a process called mining, which requires a lot of computer power to perform efficiently.

This is where cryptojacking comes into play.

Cryptojacking involves planting hidden malware that secretly uses your company’s hardware and resources to mine cryptocurrencies. These attacks can be very hard to notice as they don’t cause obvious problems. They do, however, slow down your system and anyone who is connected to it.

The good news is it’s relatively simple to prevent cryptojacking from happening. Even if your system has been infected, a skilled IT professional can get it removed quickly.

Device Exploitation

Smart technology is only growing more popular. These devices connect with the internet and with each other, forming something called the ‘Internet of Things.’ While these devices can offer a lot of convenience, they can also serve as areas of exploitation.

Individual devices have their own systems which require their own updates. Failing t update your devices is one of the easiest ways to expose yourself to attackers. Software and network updates exist largely to patch potential security risks in products.

Systems need to be in place to ensure that the various devices connected to your network are secure and up-to-date.

Third Parties

Everyone likes to think of their vendors and contractors as trusted allies, but the truth is, they can be massive security risks as well. This is true especially for smaller companies that often lack proper security systems and dedicated IT teams.

If your vendors have any access to your system, they pose a potential threat and you need to account for it. An IT audit, or ‘discovery,’ as we like to call them, can expose where these weaknesses exist. From there, an IT professional can provide steps for remediation.


Despite a pretty wide awareness of phishing, it’s still a popular (and often successful) means of attack. Today’s phishing schemes are smarter than ever, often utilizing personal info and professional-sounding email addresses to seem legitimate.

These schemes can easily steal important passwords or spread malware with just one wrong click.

Cyber Attacks are Constantly Changing & Evolving

Technology is advancing faster than ever and as a result, cyber-attacks are evolving along with it. The only way to protect yourself, your customers, and your partners, is with ongoing security. Software or a simple firewall isn’t enough. You need a professional team by your side.

At DataYard, we provide cyber security services in Dayton, Ohio and beyond. Our web hosting and cloud services ensure regular backups for your data are made and that your systems stay up-to-date. Our IT support services (AYS) can further assist you in forming proper security protocols and ensuring you stay protected from the latest digital threats.

Contact DataYard today to learn how we can keep you and your business safe.