How To Know if Your Business has Been Compromised

How To Know if Your Business has Been Compromised

In our online, and now newly-hybrid workplaces in Australia, businesses have exponentially increased vulnerabilities for cyber attackers to exploit.

Expanded networks with more users, devices and connections than ever, means more targets for cyber attacks.

But one key factor that often plays an important role in cyber attacks is keeping an exploited vulnerability under wraps before making a move.

So how can you know if someone has gained access that they shouldn’t have?

Here are four things to look out for to know if your business has been compromised.

Slow Network Performance

Although not the only cause of sluggishness in network performance, a compromised network can lead to performance issues.

Malicious actors in a network add additional, unexpected strain and often conduct processes that are more intensive than a regular user.

This could include activities such as creating more vulnerabilities in the network, harvesting data or even harnessing the network’s processing power to conduct their own computing tasks.

Sometimes hurting network performance or taking down the network is the ultimate goal of a malicious actor.

However a different kind of network attack (DDos attacks) have become more common for this kind of attack.

One example of this kind of attack is the infamous Playstation Network hack. This brought their network down as Sony attempted to repair their environment, while simultaneously exposing the data of millions of users.

Account Lockouts

Forgot your password? No? Still can’t get in? It’s possible your business is suffering from a cyber attack.

Hackers often do their best to keep themselves in a system after gaining access. This could mean installing various vulnerabilities for them to enter from such as backdoors.

Another important aspect of this can be to lockout certain accounts so they can’t respond to an attack.

Lockouts can be especially damaging for businesses as they migrate to hybrid or remote work as it can significantly hamper a response.

And without physical access as an alternative, lockouts only become more effective.

As technology is further integrated through our business networks this can also lead to new and unforeseen challenges.

For example, although not a deliberate attack and instead a result of human error, when Facebook experienced an outage in October. Their network issues even went as far as preventing workers from entering office buildings. This was due to badges no longer providing door access.

File Changes

As we mentioned before, hackers often like to take measures to ensure they maintain access to a system including installing exploits and backdoors, for example.

These changes can often be observed through changes in files, attributes or new files being installed without action taken from any users of the system.

These changes are often subtle and can be hard to detect. “Virus.exe” is not a name you’d be likely to see.

In March of this year Microsoft’s email program Outlook was hacked and backdoors delayed repair and caused additional issues

Strange Administrator Behaviour

Hacks and exploits often involve “taking control” of the accounts of high-level admin users within the network.

The most common entry point into a network usually involves social engineering for this reason.

As such, if an administrator’s account starts acting erratically or taking actions that the administrator themselves isn’t making then the account is likely to be compromised.

From here, a malicious actor has access to the network in a way that will give them the ability to do what they want.

Hacks are hard to spot before significant damage can be done, especially for users with limited experience in digital technology.

In our constantly evolving digital world, however, incidents of cyber attack are not a question of “if” but rather “when”.

Being prepared for such outcomes and working in tandem with digital experts can give you the edge to minimise and prevent risks where possible.

Contact us at EIT Solutions today and receive a free consult to find out how we can help secure and manage your business networks.