The 7 Cybersecurity Threat Intrusion Phases

Cyber security prevents the loss of data, but sometimes a hacker isn’t looking for your information. Should your business hold key services in a specific industry, your attackers may be attempting to disrupt your services and prevent you from working for extended periods. With a more personal attack comes more specialized attack vectors, so always be on the alert. Hackers commonly take these steps when seeking to disrupt your business, so be vigilant and fortify your cyber security efforts.



Before anything begins, hackers need to figure out potential targets and gain access to their information. They only need one way in, be that phishing emails, pop-ups, or another tactic. They will probe the target, determining weak points and essential information through responses and research. They will look up information on your company to find out who works there and in what capacity, followed by your list of clients, and end with how much public data they can find about your business. Once they have enough information, they start to form a plan.


In this phase, the information gathered is used to create methods of accessing your network. Through social engineering, phishing attacks, service DDoS attacks, and more, your attackers seek to open new paths of entry into your important systems. These attacks can take many different forms, such as fake emails, web pages, or business contacts. They will also collect the tools necessary to exploit any system weaknesses they encounter.


The preparation steps are complete, so the attackers now move into attacks. They send all the prepared assets they’ve created and gathered, and start attempting to breach your defenses. Now they play the waiting game until someone takes the bait or makes a mistake.


Once they have the usernames and passwords, the hacker will use the information they’ve gathered for web-based emails or company network VPN connections. If any of the attachments had malware, the attacker might remotely access the infected computers. They take this time to explore your systems, determine network traffic, and connect systems to your network.


This step is similar to exploitation. Here, the attacker makes sure they have access to the network. They install backdoors, create admin accounts, disable firewall rules, and potentially activate remote desktop access on the services. This stage intends to keep the system open as long as possible to find sensitive information and be used as an ongoing staging point.


Now they have access to the network, administrator accounts, and tools necessary for the data breach to succeed. They can look like anything or anyone, impersonate any user on the network, and send emails from the CEO to employees if they want. They have total control and can lock you out of your entire network if they want.


Now that they have complete control, they can achieve their goals. They could steal information, disrupt operations, shut down the network entirely, or ransom everything. They have the capabilities to do anything they want through your system, which leaves you with a pile of wreckage to try and clean up.

There are many cyber security attack methods, but having the right risk management prevents them from working. Make sure you have all your assets and information safely hidden and that your security systems are at full strength. This list of phases is only a possibility, one that you can prevent if you have the right IT support and stay vigilant against potential threats. Safety for sensitive data starts with knowledge and security.


ITque is a Campbell-based managed IT security and services company with more than 100 small- and medium-sized businesses in California and beyond. For all our clients, we focus on network and data security because these are the lifeblood of most small businesses.

Our technicians have more than 127 years of combined, hands-on IT experience with companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries, including legal, financial, hospitality, healthcare, construction, entertainment, machine shop, pharmaceutical, high-tech, and more.

What’s more, in their previous lives, our CTO and technicians have worked on many large security projects for some of the largest security companies, including SSH, F-Secure, Kaspersky, and Sophos, as well as consulting privately on nationwide IT security projects for Best Western and Circle K’s credit card processing networks.

This is one of many reasons ITque is a leading managed IT security and service provider in the Bay Area and why we were recently named the Preferred Managed IT Service Provider for Dasher Technologies. Contact us today at 408-641-7030.

As your IT partner, ITque will provide valuable technology solutions to help grow your business.

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