Would you know if your business has been targeted by a cybercriminal? It’s easy to assume that you’d be aware, but many cyberattacks go unnoticed until a significant amount of damage has been done. Here are the top signs to look out for if you suspect your business has been hacked.
Phishing attacks are one of the most common cyberattack techniques. They involve hackers sending fraudulent emails to the victims, designed to trick the individual into giving them private information or to install malicious software like ransomware.
When you receive an email, it’s imperative that you check the email address, especially if the content is supposedly from the government, tax office, or any other email requesting payment. If the email address is completely unrelated to the content, this is a red flag. Some examples are below:
- Correct email address: email@example.com
- Incorrect email address: firstname.lastname@example.org OR a completely unrelated email address compared to the content of your email.
Another point to mention is grammatical errors. Even if they’re subtle, any spelling or grammar issues indicate the email may not be legitimate. In this situation, it’s best to delete the email, as well as blocking and reporting the sender to your IT team. And remember, never click any links in the email.
Furthermore, this also applies to social media. If you receive suspicious messages from your ‘friends’ asking you to check out a new product or service, or send them money, do not click the link! They have likely been hacked and everyone in their friends list will have likely received the message. This may be accompanied by a series of Facebook posts on their profile that are similar to the message, so it’s important to let them know via another communication method so they can change their password and report to the social media platform.
Most hackers have one main motivation: money. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to keep an eye on your business bank accounts for any unauthorised transactions as this could be a sign of a cyber attack. Cyberattackers don’t always steal large quantities of money too, it could be smaller withdrawals/payments spread over time.
If you notice any unauthorised transactions, you must contact your bank immediately and highlight that you are a potential victim to cybercrime.
Pop-ups are annoying at the best of times, but if you are receiving a large volume of pop-ups, especially from reputable websites, it’s likely you’ve been hacked. These pop-ups often contain malware or ransomware software, so it’s important to never click on them as malicious software could be installed onto your device, or your personal information stolen.
The best way to counter this is to delete any software, applications or extensions you don’t recognise and report to your IT team.
If your files have been encrypted by someone else, aka a hacker, you will not be able to open them. This is because the file name will have been changed, so your operating system will not recognise it. This can cause serious issues for your business, especially if you have confidential information stored in your documents.
The best way to avoid this is to have a backup of all these files, so that you have another copy stored elsewhere, and they can be restored quickly and easily. Aspect IT can provide you with different backup options that are effective and reliable, so you have peace of mind that your files are safe.
If your computer devices are behaving in a way that’s out of the ordinary, it may be a cause of concern. For example, if your mouse cursor is moving on its own without your control, or if your screen is randomly flickering, someone may have remote control of your device without your consent, which can have serious consequences.
You must report this to your IT team as soon as possible so they can work to find the cause, but its also advised you disconnect your device from the internet, power it down and turn your wi-fi router off. This won’t undo any damage already caused, but it will stop them causing more damage before you get professional help.
These are just a few of the signs that you may have been hacked, but the most important thing is that you remain vigilant and aware of the warning signs. This is so you can take immediate action to prevent further damages. It’s also extremely important that you have antivirus and antimalware software installed, but it’s not enough to rely solely on these. You need to implement a business continuity plan so you are prepared for the unexpected, and know the actions to take in an emergency.
Aspect IT can assist you with creating a business continuity plan, as well as taking action to help prevent a cyber disaster. Get in touch by calling us on 0161 241 9050, or by filling out the form below.