Most people are familiar with cyber attacks. They appear in the news quite frequently, usually when one large website or series of them is taken down by hackers. There’s a difference between know what a cyber attack is in general, and truly understanding what they are. What should you do when a cyber attack effects you? And what exactly is a cyber attack? Hopefully, with the help of IT helpdesk Hartford CT, we’ll answer some of those questions here.
A Cyber Attack Is A Security Breach
Whether or not that cyber attack gets ahold of customer credentials or just crashes that website over and over for a period of hours, they are security breaches. What happened is that a hacker or series of hackers got ahold of the website’s information through their servers and managed to wreak havoc. If you’re a consumer who shops at a site that has undergone one of these attacks, it’s important that you know what was exposed. If those hackers got their hands on your name, address, and payment information, you need to take evasive action now.
Breaches Happen Quite Often
We’ve already mentioned how often these security breaches occur. However, some of them don’t make the news. Unless the hackers took down a very popular site or got ahold of a lot of payment info, not much is said about them. They happen so often that many aren’t truly newsworthy anymore. This is why you need to keep an eye on your emails. Even if the breach doesn’t make the news, the company that was hacked has an obligation to keep its customers informed. You’ll probably receive an email or even an old-fashioned letter telling you about the problem.
How Hackers Get In
So, how exactly does a hacker get into one of these websites to wreak havoc? There are two main ways – through devices that are loosely connected and from obtaining someone’s credentials illegally. Let’s start with the latter. As an example, the average user doesn’t have access to the inner workings of the Amazon website. The people who work for Amazon’s corporate headquarters do. The hackers will go after that information, seeking entry to the site’s code. From there they can access whatever they like, from the source code to “break” the site for a period of time to the customer records and other financial information.
Now, let’s go over those loosely connected device. Every website is stored on a series of servers. Those servers are connected together and have their own security mechanisms. When that security is breached by a hacker, the information stored on those servers is open for the taking. When the right security is in place, only one server can be accessed at a time, making it tougher to get that information. However, if that security isn’t in place or is too easy to break, then everything is available.
Hopefully, that explained some of the mysteries surrounding cyber attacks. IT helpdesk Hartford CT is available, should you have any additional questions.