The Cybercriminals’ Paths to Accessing Your Systems and Networks

Cybercriminals work just like the way you do. Forget about dingy basements where some cybercriminals work completely shut off from the rest of the world. They’re like us. Some of them have offices. Many of them have CEOs, project managers, regular employees, and freelancers. They compete for “targets” like we compete for clients and customers. Forget Hollywood. In the real world, cybercriminals can be the guy sitting beside you in a bar.

And don’t try to trivialize what they do, too. They are called criminals for a reason. They steal things that are not their own. Their actions kill businesses and reputations. Their crimes are as horrible and serious as bank robbers and corporate spies. They can take down your business, and that’s something you always have to be careful about.

So, how can you protect your business from cybercriminals? The first thing you have to understand is how cybercriminals can get into your network. That will lead you to the second step of protecting your business — working with network security companies to get your systems all set up against cybercriminals.


Imagine that you’re browsing a website and suddenly, there’s a pop-up ad there about some major news happening in the country. You click on the ad and windows popped open on your screen simultaneously. You closed the windows with a sinking feeling that you’ve been duped. And you have. If you want to check the news, go to the major news websites.

Clickbaits are the most popular and easiest way for cybercriminals to hack into your system. That single click would’ve allowed criminals to get into your system.


This scenario involves someone with credentials to your network clicking on a link sent to an email address or social media message. The sender will look legitimate at first. It will copy the name of a bank or a company with one variation (a letter, number, or special character). It will ask for bank information either because you won a prize, or the institution is verifying login information.

This also happens when you complain about something on social media. You will receive a direct message from someone posing to be from the company. They will ask about your personal details. These well-disguised messages intend to get important personal information from you and use them to access your personal and business accounts.

Public Applications

Always be careful when downloading popular applications from the App Store or Play Store. Some hackers can get into these apps so that when you download them and share the information, they get the initial access to get into your system. The OWASP Foundation publishes the top 10 web application security risks that range from injection to broken authentication to insufficient logging and monitoring. Make sure to check these out to know what you’re protecting your systems from.

Hardware Additions

How do you protect your business when you buy new hardware additions such as computer accessories, network appliances, and other hardware components? Hackers can get into these systems because of vulnerable parts of the hardware. Open-source and commercial products are most vulnerable to cyberattacks such as reading kernel memory via DMA, man-in-the-middle attacks, keystroke injection, and encryption cracking.

Valid Accounts

Cybercriminals can steal legitimate but compromised information. Your employees are most vulnerable to this type of scam. They can accidentally provide their login credentials because of remote and external services such as virtual private networks. Hackers use these credentials to get into the management systems and change the credentials for everyone else. This essentially locks you out of the system while the hackers steal as much information as they can.

Third-party Providers

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Companies use less secure practices when they transact with trusted third parties. This allows hackers to get into these vulnerable systems while your business is interacting with a third party. Who are these third parties exactly? They’re your security vendors, IT service contractors, and infrastructure maintenance contractors.

Business owners contact them to provide network services–from data protection to cloud services. You have to make sure that the third-party employs the same secure network policy as you. Otherwise, they could use that third party as a middleman to get into your network.

Never underestimate a cybercriminal because you have secure parameters in your business network. You have to be on your toes. Their methods are changing constantly. It can be hard to keep up with how you secure your network because you’re distracted by a lot of things in your business, too. But for cybercriminals, hacking into your system is their main goal. That’s the business for them.

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