Cybercrime: are you aware of the main threats?

According to the recent annual review from, the Belgian federal cyber emergency team, the number of cyber incidents in Belgium continues to grow each year. Protecting your company against cybercrime begins with knowing about the dangers lurking out there. So we are happy to explain about some of these frequently occurring terms and threats:


Advanced Persistent Threat (ATP) is a targeted, long-term attack that gives hackers access to your computer network. Their aim is to access as much data as possible and cause harm within the organisation. An ATP usually involves a group of well-organised cybercriminals who concentrate on hacking you.

(Distributed) Denial of Service (D)DoS is an attack on your entire IT infrastructure, with the sole aim of overloading the system. When it happens, users are unable to access services. Signs of a (D)DoS are an exceptionally slow network, websites that aren’t available and a sharp increase in spam e-mails. These overloads may be deliberate, but can also be coincidental. An example of this is an online system for ticket sales that suddenly crashes because there are too many visitors at the same time.

Phishing attacks usually take place by e-mail and are aimed at obtaining the personal or confidential data of computer users, such as user names, passwords, credit card details, etc. Cybercriminals pose as the police, the bank or other sources that give you a false sense of security.

Ransomware is a kind of malware or virus designed to penetrate a computer system and block all of the data unilaterally. The perpetrators then demand a ransom from the computer user before he or she can regain access to the locked data. This form of computer crime is currently rampant.

Social engineering is a manipulation technique through which cybercriminals try to persuade users to carry our certain actions or pass on personal data. Computer or network systems are not attacked as such, but the hackers arouse a feeling of curiosity or fear in the victim via social contact.

Zero-hour or zero-day attack is a cyber-attack that uses a hitherto unknown area of vulnerability in the computer software. Hackers take advantage of these vulnerabilities by releasing viruses into the system on day zero, which is the day before the computer user discovers that something is wrong. Usually this involves recent malware, often by making minor adjustments to existing malware that the antivirus software companies have not released any form of protection against yet.

Your company may become the victim of one of the forms of cybercrime described above. But how can you arm yourself against it? Having a professional IT security policy does not end with the elimination of one specific risk. It’s all about keeping all of the links in the security chain intact at all times. We will go into this in more detail in a future blogpost.


If you have any practical questions about how your IT security is performing at the moment, you can always contact us. We can then work with you to examine your particular situation.