Cyber Security 101: 5 Red Flags Of a Typical Cyber Attack

Being the victim of a cyber attack can cause sleepless nights and even the loss of your business. With cybercrime on the rise, it’s no wonder that many businesses are taking adequate precautions to prevent becoming another statistic. According to the Business Journals’ latest SMB Insight study, “more than half a million SMBs will shut down in 2017 because of cybersecurity breaches.”

Based on the sophistication advancements of cyber crimes and the lack of some businesses to adapt to necessary precautions to prevent a cyber attack, these numbers could be on the rise.

As a business owner, it’s important to be on the lookout for early red flags of a potential cyber attack in order to prevent the breach of important data and damage to your business and it’s assets.


Red flag #1: An increased number of pop-ups.

An increase in pop-ups in browser windows could be the first sign that your information network has been breached by a potential attacker. Accompanied by sudden crashes and/or stalling, it’s important that this particular red flag is noted by employees. Remember, employee education is an important step toward cybercrime prevention – as these people could potentially be using your network more than you.

Be on the constant lookout for any breach of your computer network, as this could be the sign of an attacker attempting to break into your network.


Red flag #2: Slow internet connection.

Internet speeds in Australia have always been volatile, depending on your location and service provider. However, if the connectivity issues are the blame of your service provider,, it’s definitely worth investigating your own network. Potential culprits could be due to a denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, where your servers can easily become overloaded with data requests from external parties, causing your connection to slow down. This can interrupt your business, lowering your overall output.


Protect important client data by investing in an affordable cyber insurance policy from McKenzie Ross.


Red flag #3: The presence of phishing emails.

Email is an outdated protocol, meaning that it’s very easy to manipulate. What cyber criminals do is they manipulate the sender field to appear to be from an authoritative company, commonly or Paypal, asking for personal information.

These emails look trustworthy, and people often click on them – exposing them to a cyber attack.

One clear give away that what you’re looking at is a phishing email is that if you actually double-click on the sender’s email, which may appear as ‘’, you will see that when you expand it, it will be a completely different email. On top of this, phishing emails usually have terrible formatting, low resolution images and are riddled with broken English.

It’s important that employees are able to recognise this particular red flag as one single click can open your network up to a cyber-criminal.

A common form of attack is a ‘data-ransom’, where your data will be held for ransom, which can sometimes be hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Having frequent back-ups is the best preventative measure for cyber-crime, but in the event that an attacker does get through, it’s important to have insurance in place.

Protect your business by investing in an affordable cyber insurance policy from McKenzie Ross.


Red flag #4: Odd software behaviour.

There’s no reason why your software should start behaving abnormally if you’ve been doing the same things day in and day out. Automatic mouse movements, changing of passwords, and unsolicited software installs could mean that someone is trying to steal valuable information in exchange for ransom.


Red flag #5: Resisting update downloads.

Regularly updating your antivirus is vital in your quest to protect data. However, if you’re unable to do so or you’re unable to visit the vendor’s website in order to install those updates, it could be an important red flag that someone is tampering with your network. Never think that installing important updates is a waste of time, as it could mean the difference between escaping a possible cyber attack and becoming the next victim.


Unfortunately, cyber criminals will become more and more sophisticated as the years go on. In order to protect your business from becoming another victim to this growing crime, it’s important to ensure that you have the necessary protection by investing in a cyber insurance policy.

Not only does this have the potential of saving your company’s reputation in the event of a cyber attack, but it could potentially save your business from having to close its doors. Book a no obligation consultation with McKenzie Ross.

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