Most organizations have many questions about cyber attacks:
- What is a cyber attack?
- How do I know when I’m being attacked?
- Am I even at the risk of a cyber attack?
One of the best ways to protect your network from a cyber attack is to know how to recognize the signs of an attack so you can stop it before it becomes a problem.
You may think that your network is safe because no one is trying to hack you, but that’s an illusion. Hackers are always hunting for weaknesses in networks, and if you don’t know what to look for, you could become their next target.
When your network is attacked, it can have devastating consequences for your organization. Your customer data could be compromised, or you could lose sensitive internal documents. Without managed cyber security in place, your company’s reputation could be damaged, and the impact might be felt for years.
10 SIGNS YOUR NETWORK IS UNDER A CYBER ATTACK
When you’re running a business, your network is like the roof over your head — it’s what protects you. So when there’s a leak in that roof, you must address it as soon as possible.
The problem is, many people don’t realize they have a cyber attack in progress until it’s too late to do anything about it and their data has already been compromised.
That’s why it’s important to know the signs. Here are ten things to look out for if you want to make sure your network is safe from cyber attacks.
- You notice a significant drop in network performance.
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack attempts to make a network resource unavailable. This is usually done by overwhelming the network with traffic or connections, preventing legitimate traffic. In some cases, this can cause a significant drop in network performance.
The volume of the attack is what causes the drop in performance. A DDoS attack can involve a considerable number of requests sent to a single server or connection attempts from many IP addresses. If the server has not been set up to handle such volume, it will not be able to respond quickly enough and provide users with what they need at that moment, which may cause them to become frustrated and give up waiting for the site to load.
The type of attack also impacts network performance. If the server has been set up to reject or ignore any requests that do not come from a specific IP address or IP address range, then it will reject legitimate visitors and any attacks made by visitors outside that range. This can prevent legitimate visitors from accessing the site while they wait for their connection request to go through, and their frustration may cause them to leave before they get what they need from the site.
- Your computer is running unbearably slowly.
A virus can cause your computer to run slowly for several reasons:
- It may be responding to your commands slowly because it is busy trying to replicate itself and infect other parts of your computer.
- It may be executing malicious programs that are heavy and resource-intensive, like mining cryptocurrency
- A virus may be inserting code into the operating system that causes components to perform slower than otherwise.
- Programs that you frequently use are now suddenly unusable.
When you get a virus, the virus may damage or delete files on your system. These files might be essential components of Windows or other programs that you use frequently. As a result, these programs may become unusable until the file is repaired or replaced.
- Your computer restarts itself on its own, or crashes and then restarts.
The most common way a cyber attack can cause a computer to restart is through “remote code execution” or “DLL injection.”
With remote code execution, the attacker sends a command to your computer that causes it to run malicious software (also known as malware) that can then access your system’s memory and potentially cause it to restart. The malware would have to be introduced through an exploit in your computer’s software or firmware.
With DLL injection, the attacker sends a command that allows them to introduce malicious code through an exploit that changes how your Windows operating system operates. In some cases, this can cause the operating system to restart.
There are also cyber attacks that can cause your computer to crash first and then restart. For example, if malware is introduced through an exploit in one of your applications, it could begin immediately using all of your computer’s resources. That would cause the application (and possibly other applications) to stop working and crash.
- You receive error messages you have never seen before.
If you see an error message on your computer, something has gone wrong with either the hardware or software (or both). It could be that you’re trying to run a program that requires more RAM than you have available, or maybe your hard drive has crashed, and your data is no longer accessible.
The best way to deal with these messages is to reach out to a managed cyber security partner who can help you investigate the cause of the problem.
- The number of pop-up ads you encounter has increased exponentially.
This might be a sign of malware on your phone or device. Malware is a type of software that is installed onto your device without your knowledge and can cause problems like pop-up ads, among other issues.
- You see strange files on your desktop or in your computer’s system files that you did not create or download yourself.
When files appear on your desktop or in your computer’s system folders, and you did not download them yourself, it could mean that your computer has been compromised by malware. The malware may have been downloaded by clicking a link, running an executable file (.exe), or opening an email attachment.
Malware can do many different things. It can remove or encrypt files so that you cannot access them, or use your system to send spam emails. Malware may also slow the performance of your computer or cause it to crash.
- The font size of your web browser has changed without you having made any changes yourself.
If the font size of your browser has changed without you having made any changes yourself, it’s likely that either: You’ve been hacked; You’ve got a virus.
- Your default language setting has changed without your knowledge.
If your default language has changed without your knowledge, it may mean that you’ve been the victim of a malicious ad or pop-up. These ads are designed to encourage users to click on them, and they often include links that automatically change the settings on your device, especially if you’ve clicked „yes“ to allow them.
- Your web browsers redirect you to sites that look unfamiliar or that you had not intended to visit.
This can be a sign of malware on your computer, and it should be addressed as soon as possible.