Types of Cyber Attacks in 2021 (Protecting Your Computer)

Cyber attacks are one of the biggest threats that businesses face in 2021. While digital technology has made our lives easier, it has also made us more vulnerable. 68% of business leaders feel like the risks from cyberattacks are increasing.

So what kind of threats does your business face, and how can you protect against them? Read on to find out.

Zero-Day Exploit

A zero-day exploit is when a vulnerability is found in a piece of software or hardware. A good developer will release a patch as soon as possible to address the problem.

Unfortunately, cybercriminals are also on the lookout for these kinds of security issues. When attackers target a newly discovered vulnerability to compromise a system, this is known as a zero-day exploit.

If cybercriminals target zero-day exploits as soon as possible, they can avoid detection. Even if you have top-of-the-line antivirus and firewall software, it probably won’t detect a zero-day intrusion.

Therefore, it’s vital to keep your software updated. Information about system vulnerabilities travels fast throughout cyber-crime communities. This means that organizations without updated systems are making themselves into a big target.

This also means that you should be wary of working with vendors who are slow to update their software. If it takes a vendor weeks to update critical security issues, you’re leaving your organization open to a hack.


Ransomware is one of the most popular forms of cyberattack in 2021. A ransomware attack works like this: you inadvertently run a file from an attacker on your system. The file then applies encryption to your files. This renders your files inaccessible if you don’t have the code to decrypt them.

The attackers will offer to give you the code to get your files back, but only if you send them a cash payment. Generally, they’ll demand that you send a payment with a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.

Crypto payments allow the attackers to stay anonymous as these currencies are fairly hard to trace. Also, ransomware attackers generally target people from other countries. Even if you know who they are, it’s unlikely you can take any kind of legal action against them.

Once they’ve encrypted your files, there’s not much you can do. It’s not even necessarily a solution to just pay the ransom. Sometimes ransomware doesn’t even have decryption built into the malware.

The only foolproof solution against this kind of threat is to have a proper backup system for your important files. When you have backups, dealing with ransomware is trivial. You simply revert to your previous backup, and the ransomware is rendered useless.


Cyptojacking is another form of cyberattack that involves cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin. Here attackers install malware on your computer that acts as a crypto miner.

Crypto mining involves using your computer’s resources to earn crypto. The process is very resource intensive, and you’ll need to have a powerful computer for it to be worthwhile. Most times mining crypto is simply not viable because of how much electricity it uses.

Cyptojacking allows cybercriminals to get around this limitation by having someone else’s computer do the heavy lifting. With cryptojacking, your computer mines the coins, and the attacker reaps the rewards.

This process uses a lot of your computer’s resources, and it’s likely that you’d notice something was amiss if your computer was mining crypto while you were using it. Cryptojackers account for this and program their malware, so it only hijacks your system when you’re not using it.

You’re particularly at risk for this kind of attack if your organization has powerful workstations. You can protect yourself against cryptojacking by running good antivirus software.

Denial of Service Attack

A denial of service attack is when cybercriminals overwhelm a website with traffic in an attempt to shut it down and disrupt services. During a denial of service attack, it’s incredibly difficult for legitimate users to access your site.

This could have some serious consequences for your company. If you’re in the business of selling products online, it could prevent you from making any sales.

A variation of a denial of service attack is known as a distributed denial of service attack. This is when an attacker has a network of compromised computer systems that flood your site with fake requests.

The good news is that preventing a denial of service attack is relatively straightforward. If you’re being targeted by this kind of activity, you can purchase denial of service protection for your website.

This protection will filter the traffic to your site. This should eliminate most of the illegitimate traffic and make your site usable for legitimate visitors.

Phishing Attack

Another kind of cyber attack that you should know is the phishing attack. Phishing involves tricking an internet user into inputting their username and password into a fake login page.

These fake pages are made to look like the actual site, but when you put in your username and password, the information goes straight to cybercriminals. Usually, phishing attacks use a URL that is very similar to the original page, but with a slight difference.

A phishing attack against your organization could involve making a fake login portal for your company. When someone from your organization tries to log in to the fake site, attackers can then use their credentials to get into your company systems.

The most effective way to combat this kind of attack is through education. Phishing attacks are quite easy to spot once you know how to recognize the signs.

Protect Your Company Against Cyber Attacks

As you can see, there are many types of cyber attacks that could happen to your company. If you want to protect your company, you need to make sure everyone in your organization is educated in matters of cybersecurity.

To secure your organization, focus on creating a security culture. You might also consider purchasing cyber attack insurance. No matter how well you protect yourself, you can never be totally safe from cybercriminals.

If you want to get a quote for this kind of insurance, contact us today.