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3 Types of Cyber Attacks & How to Prevent Them

Taking risks never stopped you before. As a business owner, you took the risk to start and continually invest in your business. Don’t let the threat of cyber attacks compromise your business. By taking preventative measures against the following typical cyber attacks, you can rest easy knowing you have done what is necessary to limit an attack on your own business.

“Your Computer is Infected!” – Unfamiliar Caller

One of the most common threats is a call from a “so-called” technician claiming your computer has a virus. The tech goes on to say by paying a simple $400 payment; they will fix your problem.

You provide your payment information and login credentials, and it appears that the tech is “fixing” your computer. In fact, they are either doing absolutely nothing, or downloading malware to transmit your personal and financial information.

Tips to Protect Yourself:Cyber Attacks - Suite

No reputable computer security company or software firm would call to inform you that you have a computer virus. Normally, your firewall will prompt a message prior to accessing a bad file or site, and your anti-virus software will scan and fix your files automatically.

Did I Really Make That Purchase?

An email pops into your inbox with a subject line that says, “Your payment of $4,890 to PayPal has been approved,” or, “I am NOT paying this invoice.”

You can’t resist the urge to open it; it might seem like you’re on the hook for a lot of money or being accused of something you didn’t do.

Emails with subject lines like these are remarkably successful in luring victims into opening them. The real danger lies in the links. Clicking on these could open the door to malicious software, with ransomware being the usual suspect.

Tips to Protect Yourself:
  • Beware of signs that an email is malicious.
  • If this happens at work, alert the appropriate person or department, so other employees can be warned and protected.
  • Delete the email and block the sender.

Request to Pay an Invoice?

A Business Email Compromise (BEC) can take many forms, but the most prevalent and costly iterations combine insider information (obtained by hacking or social engineering) with emails.

An example would be an email from what appears to be an executive at your company or a trusted vendor asking you to transfer funds. Their rationale could be to facilitate a deal or to pay an invoice.

Tips to Protect Yourself:
  • Watch for emails that demand you make a funds transfer, change vendor information, or supply personal or financial information.
  • Before taking action, confirm the request verbally, either by phone call to a known number or in person.
  • Alert the appropriate internal contact so that preventive actions can be taken, such as blocking the scammers and raising co-workers’ awareness.
  • Report the attempt to the IC3 on their website.

Awareness of these cyber attacks is your best defense, always be on the lookout for cyber threats lurking in unexpected places.

If you still have concerns, have you considered cyber risk insurance? Westfield’s Cyber Suite provides coverage through experienced, third-party resources to provide the support you need to defend your business or cover settlement costs.

To find out if this may be for you talk to a Westfield Agent today.


“© [11/30/2017] The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company. All rights reserved.”

This article is for informational purposes only and does not modify or invalidate any of the provisions, exclusions, terms or conditions of the applicable policy and endorsements. For specific terms and conditions, please refer to the applicable coverage form.

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