What happens in a cyberattack?


The digital world is changing rapidly, and you need to stay on top of it. A cyberattack can be one the most damaging events for your company, so knowing how they work will help deter future problems before they happen!

Target identification

Cyberattackers don’t usually attack at random. They often look for targets that hold something they consider valuable — user data, intellectual property, credit card numbers, or commercial intelligence.

They look for available entry points during this step.


After a target is identified, attackers penetrate the system. This can take a few different forms:

  • Social engineering: This can be as simple as getting physical access to an unlocked computer or as complex as posing as an employee to reset someone’s login information.
  • Phishing: A type of social engineering where hackers send messages pretending to be someone else — a bank, the IRS, a trusted friend — and get users to give them personal information.
  • Wi-Fi infiltration: Imitating a device that should be on the Wi-Fi network to gain access.
  • Downloads: Downloading malware through various sources can be a way in.
  • Cracking credentials: There are databases of cracked credentials for sale, and these attacks could be the source of cracked credentials. Some users also have weak passwords that hackers can guess with publicly available data.
  • Remote infiltration: An open port, an SSL vulnerability, a bad piece of code … hackers can find backdoors into systems, particularly those that aren’t up to date with security patches.


Hackers don’t usually attack immediately. They take time to familiarize themselves with the system — finding out where the important data is, understanding the security measures in place, and infiltrating other areas they might not have access to yet.


Once all the pieces are in place, the attack occurs. The company may or may not know that an attack is happening. Some are loud and flashy — ransomware attacks are obviously public. Stealing data may not be public. It may be months or years before the company realizes they’ve been compromised. Some of the attacked may never know.

Cyberattacks are a threat for any business, and they can be crippling. The easiest way to stop them is before they start — keeping the attackers from getting a foothold in the first place. That’s where a company like TeamLogic IT can help. We’ll help you address the vulnerabilities before they become an issue. Don’t lock the house after the thief’s already inside.

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