Common Attack Vectors

And Keys to Protecting Your Business


Ransomware is a malicious type of software designed to encrypt an individual’s or organization’s data, rendering it inaccessible until a ransom demand is met. Ransomware attacks are becoming more prevalent against companies of all industries. Cybercriminals are changing the techniques they use to execute attacks. Initially, ransomware had a single function where the attacker entered a network and encrypted the data. It then evolved to double extortion where the attacker now steals data and threatens to leak it and encrypts the data and holds it for ransom.  
Cybersecurity organizations like Pondurance take a risk-based approach to your cybersecurity needs and focus efforts aligned with your business objectives and desired outcomes. Pondurance assists organizations with implementing foundational controls and offers specialized services aimed at helping clients protect against potential threats like ransomware attacks. Download our eBook, or check out our blog library on ransomware to learn more. 

  • Keep all computers and devices patched
  • Enable MFA
  • Limit user access
  • Allow only authorized applications
  • Use network segmentation
  • Limit remote access as much as possible
  • Establish 360-degree visibility
  • Monitor and analyze logs
  • Provide consistent security awareness training
  • Encrypt endpoints

Identify. Prioritize. Protect.

Your company has its own unique set of cyber risks. Your lines of business, your technical infrastructure, threats, employees, third-party vendors, and other variables all factor into your cyber risk profile.
Each year, risks continue to grow more complex and new threats raise their ugly heads. Though you can’t control the evolving cyber landscape, you can control your cybersecurity strategy. 
By adopting a risk-based, proactive approach to cybersecurity aligned with your specific business objectives, compliance regulations, and desired business outcomes, you can prevent and protect your organization against cyber threats. Partnering with Pondurance will minimize your risk of falling victim to costly and damaging cyberattacks and build your cyber maturity and resiliency.


Malware, short for malicious software, is a term that encompasses a wide range of software programs designed with the intent to cause harm to computer systems, networks, and users. Cybercriminals create malware to gain unauthorized access to sensitive data, disrupt computer operations or networks, or simply spread chaos in the digital world. With the rise in our reliance on technology and the internet, it has become increasingly important for individuals and organizations alike to understand what malware is, how it works, and how they can prevent cyberattacks.
Protecting against malware requires an ongoing effort, and in many cases, organizations will implement foundational controls and partner with a cybersecurity adviser like Pondurance to ensure they have cybersecurity programs with comprehensive methods focused on their specific needs.  Download our eBook to get started:

  • Install reputable antivirus software and ensure it remains up to date
  • Regularly update your operating system and all installed applications
  • Enable built-in firewalls on your devices
  • Be cautious of email attachments and links from unknown sources
  • Utilize strong passwords and enable multifactor authentication (MFA) where possible
  • Create regular backups of your important files and store them securely offsite
  • Employee training – Educate staff members about potential threats such as phishing emails and social engineering tactics employed by cybercriminals
  • Network segmentation – Divide your organization’s network into separate zones to minimize the spread of malware should an attack occur
  • Vulnerability management – Regularly assess, identify, and remediate vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure before they can be exploited by attackers
  • Incident response planning – Develop a well-defined incident response plan outlining roles, responsibilities, and procedures to follow when faced with a security breach


Phishing is a deceptive practice that cybercriminals employ to obtain sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, and personal data from unsuspecting individuals. Cybersecurity experts have identified this nefarious activity as one of the most prevalent threats in today’s digital landscape. With a primary focus on email communications, phishing attacks often involve fraudsters posing as legitimate entities to deceive their targets into revealing valuable information or executing actions that could compromise their security. Organizations must remain vigilant in educating their staff about the various phishing examples and how to protect against such threats.

Additional Phishing Resources

Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a highly targeted digital social engineering attack that aims to deceive individuals into divulging sensitive information or granting unauthorized access to their accounts. This form of cyberattack has gained notoriety in recent years due to its increasing prevalence and sophistication. Unlike traditional phishing techniques, which cast a wide net in hopes of ensnaring unsuspecting users, spear phishing involves meticulously crafted messages designed to appeal specifically to the intended victim. By impersonating familiar contacts or trusted organizations, these malicious communications can be exceedingly difficult to recognize and resist. 
Protecting against spear phishing requires a multifaceted approach that combines employee education and training, robust email security measures, and swift incident response capabilities. By partnering with cybersecurity experts like those at Pondurance who offer managed detection and response and incident response services, organizations can significantly enhance their security postures and reduce the likelihood of falling victim to these highly targeted and deceptive attacks.

Additional Spear Phishing Resources

Business Email Compromise (BEC)

BEC is a sophisticated form of phishing attack that targets organizations and their employees. By exploiting human vulnerabilities, BEC perpetrators deceive victims into transferring funds or disclosing sensitive information to unauthorized recipients. A typical BEC attack often begins with a phishing email that appears to come from a trusted source such as a high-ranking executive within the organization. 
The key to organizations protecting themselves and their employers from falling victim to a BEC scam is educating employees on how to scrutinize incoming emails for signs of fraudulence and how to validate requests for sensitive information. Organizations can instruct employees to contact the purported sender through an independent channel such as a phone call or text message, establish robust internal controls within the organization, implement policies requiring multiple approvals for large financial transactions, and conduct periodic audits and reconciliations to detect unauthorized payments.

Additional BEC Resources

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Cyber Risk

Cyber risk, a broad and rapidly escalating concern in the realm of digital technology, is a significant threat that organizations of every size must grapple with. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), cyber risk is succinctly defined as the potential for loss or harm related to technical infrastructure or the use of technology within an organization. It incorporates a spectrum of risks, from data breaches and hacking to cyber espionage and cyber terrorism, all of which have the capacity to inflict extensive financial, reputational, and operational damage.

Understanding the tangible examples of cyber risk can provide a more definitive picture of this complex issue. For instance, a cyber risk could involve unauthorized access into a company’s network, potentially leading to the theft or corruption of sensitive information. It might also take the form of a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, which can incapacitate a company’s online operations, resulting in significant losses. Phishing- a deceitful tactic forged by hackers to make an individual reveal personal information by posing as a legitimate entity- is yet another common example of a cyber risk, whose frequency can be alarmingly high in both individual and corporate spheres.

Delving further into the realm of cyber risk, it’s crucial to bear in mind its inextricable link with cyber security. Cyber risk in cyber security signifies the susceptibility that an organizational network or system has towards breaches, attacks, or other IT-related threats. An efficient cyber security strategy greatly reduces cyber risk, reinforcing the organization’s defense mechanisms against new and evolving threats.

Although understanding the cyber risk terrain is critical, effectively mitigating these risks requires a specialized approach. This is where a dedicated cyber risk company comes into play. Companies such as Pondurance are industry leaders in identifying and managing cyber risk, providing a comprehensive portfolio of solutions tailored to the organization’s specific needs. Pondurance mitigates cyber risk through a combination of advanced technology, strategic planning, and industry expertise, considerably enhancing the cyber resilience of an organization.

As with many risks, insurance is a viable option to mitigate the potential damage caused by cyber risks. Given the financial and operational implications of such threats, cyber risk insurance has become an indispensable safeguard for businesses. It acts as a protective financial firewall, covering the ensuing costs of data restoration, system repair, and even legal consequences that may arise from a cyber-incident.

An industry-leader like Pondurance not only offers top-tier tech solutions but also provides guidance within the increasingly critical domain of cyber risk insurance. By utilizing their expertise, organizations can navigate the complexities of this insurance, ensuring that their coverage is attuned to their specific cyber risk profile.

In conclusion, cyber risk, touted as the bane of the digital age, extends far beyond a mere nuisance. It holds the potential to devastate a company both financially and operationally, compelling organizations to proactively address this issue and integrate it into their overall risk management strategy. Education and understanding, coupled with the expertise of cyber risk companies and comprehensive cyber risk insurance, are all part of the broader solution to mitigate and manage cyber risk effectively.

Mechanics of Cyber Risk Management

The mechanics of cyber risk management are an essential aspect of modern business practices. Given the permeation of digital technologies in virtually every sector, there is a pressing need for organizations to understand, assess, and mitigate the threats originating from the cyber realm. Cyber risk embodies this rapidly changing threat landscape and signifies the potential loss or harm related to technical infrastructure, use of technology, or reputation from digital attacks.

Types of cyber risks vary monumentally based on the nuances of an organization’s digital footprint. They could range from threats to data integrity and protection from breaches, negative impact on system availability due to malicious attacks such as DDoS, to reputation harm from incidents of cyber fraud or data misuse. One cannot overlook the fiscal implications of these risks, magnifying the dire need for cyber risk insurance. Such insurance serves as a financial cushion against potential loss from cyber risk materialization.

Pondurance stands as a shining beacon amid the industry challenges, its phenomenal work in identifying and combating cyber risks coming to the forefront. The credibility of Pondurance and its array of methodologies help organizations dissect the tidal deployment of cyber attacks and safeguard their operations.

Understanding the mechanics of cyber risk management calls for a deep dive into some of the unique strategies and processes involved. One such essential component is cyber risk assessments. These assessments involve identifying critical business functions and digital assets, potential vulnerabilities in the system, the threats they bring, and the impact if a threat were to materialize. Treating these identified risks with calculated solutions forms another part of this process, leading to the implementation of targeted and effective safeguards.

It is important to think of risk assessments as not a “one and done” but as an ongoing part of your cybersecurity program. With a risk-based approach from Pondurance, risk assessments are conducted at regular intervals enabling their clients to document risk reduction overtime. In addition, with the operationalization of risk assessments into their cybersecurity program, Pondurance clients can adapt and adjust their programs as the cyber risk landscape evolves or their needs change.

Layering this process into a larger comprehensive structure gives us the cyber risk management framework. This framework not only aids in managing cyber risks effectively but also enables organizations to adapt to the dynamic threat landscape. A risk-based approach to cybersecurity strengthens this framework further, making it capable of rooting stability and reducing the probability of risk occurrence while maintaining a resolution-focused outlook. The symbiotic relationship between managing cyber risks and risk-based cybersecurity is vital in steering towards a safe digital tomorrow for all organizations.

Importance of Cyber Risk Management in Today's World

In the hyper-digitalized environment that characterizes today’s world, the importance of cyber risk management cannot be overemphasized. Wading through the murky waters of contemporary cyberspace, business entities and individuals alike face diverse forms of digital threats that underline the essential role of a potent cyber risk framework. Cyber risk, a term synonymous with threats associated with the digital realm, spans multiple classifications from potential data breaches, to sophisticated cyber-attacks targeting overarching digital infrastructure. Understanding these risks and fostering apt approaches to mitigating them is paramount to secure digital operations.

Firms like Pondurance have been at the forefront in the provision of comprehensive cyber risk management solutions, underpinning the security of vulnerable digital landscapes. A robust architecture for managing cyber risk is a vital cog for organizations, helping to prevent, detect, and respond to diverse cyber threats. Crucially, it can shield the organization from potential financial losses and reputation damage, establish client trust and regulatory compliance, and provide the assurance of operational continuity.

Dovetailing this is the subject of cyber risk insurance, a crucial consideration as organizations grapple with the potentially crippling financial implications of a cyberattack. Despite the most stringent cyber risk controls, the volatile and evolving nature of cyber threats entails a perpetual element of risk, which justifies the need for an underpinning insurance layer.

In the bid to up-skill and equip relevant stakeholders and organizations with the necessary competency for navigating the risk-laden digital waters, cyber risk management certification programs have become increasingly popular. These certifications offer necessary training for identifying, analyzing, and executing risk-response strategies, thereby empowering a cyber risk manager to safeguard the organization’s digital assets effectively.

Independent bodies like the Cyber Risk Alliance offer resources and collaborative platforms for professionals in the field. The alliance facilitates deeper understanding, sharing of best practices and strategies, and enhancing the overall digital security posture.

Undoubtedly, the importance of cyber risk management in today’s world cannot be understated, given the global, pervasive, and destructive nature of cyber threats. Importantly, entities such as Pondurance continue to play a pivotal role in making the digital world a safer place to explore, work, and live. This, in essence, captures the crux of cyber risk management.

The Role of Cyber Risk Insurance

In the epoch of digitalization and the escalating reliance on technology, cyber risk has grown into a significant factor every enterprise needs to consider. The rarity of a business remaining unscathed by cyber threats signifies the universal vulnerability to potential assaults, ranging from sensitive information leaks to significant financial losses. This is where cyber risk insurance plays a critical part in the risk management strategy of businesses.

Cyber risk insurance, sometimes referred to as cyber risk and insurance, is essentially a protective measure against the financial losses that result from cybercrimes. With an escalating rate of such incidents, businesses are increasingly finding value in procuring this line of insurance. It’s crucial to delve deeper into the role of cyber risk insurance, to fully appreciate its impact.

Foundational to this coverage is the understanding that it provides an economic safety net against an extensive array of cyber risks. Whether a company is combating system outages, ransomware attacks, theft of intellectual property or customer-related litigation resulting from data breaches, insurance cyber risk is definitively a tool in the financial risk management toolbox.

With the increase of cyber risk insurance companies looking for cybersecurity partners to help their clients in times of a breach or in proactive prevention, Pondurance has become a trusted cybersecurity provider. What sets Pondurance apart is not just their ability to identify and mitigate the risks but their commitment towards strengthening their clients’ prevention mechanisms.

As the landscape of cyber threats intensifies in complexity, the cyber risk insurance coverage becomes all the more critical. Companies such as Pondurance play a significant role in not just managing these risks but also in fortifying organizations’ resilience towards potential cyber onslaughts.

In conclusion, the role of cyber risk insurance in today’s digital business world is indispensable. As cyber threats continue to evolve in sophistication, so does the need for robust, versatile insurance that can assist an organization in bouncing back after a cyber incident. A comprehensive cybersecurity strategy coupled with cyber risk insurance enhances the resiliency of a business and ultimately aligns with its goal of sustainable growth.

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