Which IT Security Threats Are Most Common?

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While internet security continues to develop, so do the many threats that face users today. Cyber attacks may be inevitable for many users and businesses alike, but there are ways to counter them through the use of sufficient security measures.

These are among the most common cyber threats that companies and individuals are likely to encounter.


Malware is a general term used to describe many different cyber threats such as Trojans, worms, and viruses. It’s malicious code that’s designed to effectively steal information or destroy a specified part of a computer.

Oftentimes systems become infected with malware thought software downloads, email attachments, or vulnerabilities in the operating system, which means the best way to avoid this type of threat is to make sure you trust both attachments and senders before downloading anything off of the internet.

Phishing Schemes

Phishing attacks typically trick users by posing as a third party that you may trust and requesting specific sensitive data via email. Phishing attacks have gone beyond email in recent years, with many experienced phishers creating fake versions of legitimate websites that request personal user information, and linking to them in a harmless-looking email.

To avoid falling victim to phishing schemes, verify that the company you trust is the one sending requests. You can do this by comparing the email and email address to others sent by the actual company, or calling the company using their official phone number rather than the one provided in the suspicious email. Also, if you’re on a website and it asks for personal information of any kind, make sure that the URL starts with “https://” as opposed to the less secure “http://” that a phishing site’s form would use.

Password Attacks

These are especially frequent for users if they aren’t secure enough, with commonly used passwords that are relatively easy to guess. Attackers normally use software on their end to access accounts, such as brute force attacks that guess user passwords and dictionary file comparisons that work to find various word combinations.

The only real way to prevent password attacks is to create a strong password that uses a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols, and is eight characters or longer. Also, don’t use words that you can find in the dictionary if you can avoid it.

DoS Attacks

A DoS attack is intended to disrupt network service. Attackers accomplish this by sending high volumes of traffic or data through the network, until the network is overloaded and can’t function anymore. The most common type of DoS attack is distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS), which entails the use of multiple computers to send traffic or data that overloads systems.

You’re only likely to experience a DDoS attack if your company is huge, but an attack could still affect you if an attacked organization happens to be on your network. To keep DoS attacks at bay, make sure your system is as secure as it can get with regular software updates and proactive system monitoring.

These are simply some of the many threats out there. One of the best ways to make sure your systems are consistently secure is to actively monitor them at all times, or consider hiring managed IT experts and Chicago IT support specialists to handle your systems.

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