Three Commonly Ignored Signs of a Cyber Attack

Most symptoms of a cyber attack may seem innocuous at first, whether it’s slow Internet activity, a system crash, or an unreliable local network connection. For businesses using older hardware or other infrastructure components, this often seems par for the course and may not immediately raise any red flags.

However, these telltale signs can hint at larger problems. Detecting the first signs of a cyber attack – with endpoint modeling – can allow you to stop the attack in its tracks, before irreversible damage is done.

The first sign: Slow connections

From sluggish Internet to local network access that drops in and out, slow connections can be the first hint that your company is under attack. These are often a result of denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which target your system with an onslaught of data requests. This quickly overloads servers and other network systems as they try to keep up with each request, eventually resulting in a system crash.

The second sign: Pop-ups that indicate the presence of malware

As a result of the increased awareness of viruses, many users experience an increased amount of pop-ups. These are a common sign of a malware attack, but the pop-ups aren’t the only problem associated with this kind of virus. You may experience slowness or stalling while using your computer, as well as sudden crashes. As viruses and threats become more advanced, a growing number of them are able to navigate around existing firewalls to target unprotected systems.



The third sign: Internal phishing scams to target employees

This may seem to be the most obvious sign of a cyber attack, but along with viruses, cyber scam artists are becoming more efficient at what they do.

If your company is rather large, for instance, they may send an email to your staff posing as a human resources representative in an attempt to capture personal information. They may also send a convincing email with malware attached that an unsuspecting user could download onto their computer. Even if you have email firewalls in place, hackers can spoof the sender’s name to make the email look as if it’s coming from a trusted source. If a cyber attacker goes to these lengths, it often means that your company is being specifically targeted for attack.

Know your network better, and identify threats faster

All of this is evidence that adversaries are attempting to get into your network every day by exploiting software bugs, tricking your employees, and other methods. And while antivirus, malware-removal software, and other expensive network security tools are necessary, they address individual vulnerabilities and simply can’t stop 100% of these attacks.

The better you know your network and the behavior of the endpoints that define it, the easier it is to identify threats before damage is done. Endpoint modeling’s new approach to defining behaviors and identifying anomalies raises the red flag faster – in real time – before, or as soon as network perimeters or endpoint security are breached. Constantly comparing endpoint and network behavior means there are eyes on your system around the clock, helping to ensure that early warning signs aren’t missed.

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