As an organization, a data breach can be a tremendously damaging incident. Even though cybersecurity tools can be extremely helpful in intercepting cyberattacks, hackers may still find a way to infiltrate them. For this reason, it is wise for every employee, including senior management, to know the warning signs of a cyberattack.

Below is a list of the most common ones to keep in your sight.

Unexpected File Changes

A hacker will always try to make sure their presence goes undetected. If successful, they can make changes to the company files that, unless you’re looking for them, can go undetected for months.

If your IT department doesn’t monitor file changes on a regular basis and misses these subtle changes, the hackers could inflict unspeakable damage. To that end, all employees must be alert and observant to detect anomalies immediately and report them in real-time.

Loss of Access to User Accounts

Losing access to your account is another tell-tale sign of a data breach. Usually, this could mean that the employee is a victim of a phishing scam, and the hacker has accessed and altered their login details.

Here, the primary goal is to mitigate damages as soon as the team member experiences this problem. To help reduce the effects of such an attack, the IT department should have clear policies and emergency procedures for such breaches.

Consider implementing multifactor authentication if you haven’t already. This defense system offers an extra layer of security because users must validate their accounts in addition to inputting their passwords.

computer screen with message of cyberattack

Lagging Devices

Lagging computers at work is another warning sign of malware. You may notice sudden and frequent crashes. Typically, this happens because a virus has corrupted system files and is piggy-backing on your activities. Also, malware requires lots of bandwidth, hence why you may have a slow computer.

You must ensure that every company device has antivirus software installed to help spot malware in real-time. Again, staff must ensure they report to the IT team to prevent further damage.

Unusual System Activities

A few things to look out for are a lagging browser, a deluge of pop-up messages, frequent computer crashes and unusual antivirus warnings. You may also notice the device running even after shutting it down. Again, the best thing to do is report it immediately.

Suspicious Account Behavior

This data breach is perhaps the most concerning when it involves a privileged user’s account with access to confidential company information. The loss of data can cause ripple effects, including reputation damage, loss of customers, blackmail and worst case, business failure.

Cyberattacks and Breaches — Now’s the Time to Create Awareness

Knowing cyberattack warning signs is essential for all organizations. While some things may be out of your control, a few best practices like frequent monitoring of account logins, limiting access to specific information, and multifactor authentication can go a long way towards protecting your systems from cyberattacks.

About OIT

OIT is a leading IT provider and Modern Office Methods company. Services include Managed IT, Managed Cybersecurity, Microsoft Office 365 Services, Cloud Services, IT Consulting and IT Projects.