By Matthew Olney on September 13, 2023

Through the Eyes of Cyber Attackers: Mitigating Cyber Risks

Cyber Security Testing, Managed Security Services, Industry Trends & Insights

In order to defend your organisation, you need to think like both a protector and an attacker. By seeing things from a hacker's viewpoint, you can better protect your organisation from threats. This blog dives into this mindset, offering simple steps to make your organisation safer.

Spotting Opportunities: The Hacker's Vision

When you proudly look at your businesses, you no doubt see milestones achieved, successes, and progress. To a hacker, however, this translates into opportunities. They're constantly on the prowl for outdated software, weak points in our digital infrastructure or employees who might inadvertently click on a malicious link or be susceptible to bribery. They're not just wandering aimlessly, either. Each action has a purpose, a 'why'.

The Motivations: Why Do Hackers Attack?

The first myth to dispel is that all cyber attackers are just after a quick financial gain. While some undoubtedly are, others are driven by a multitude of reasons. Some might be looking for a thrill, others are keen on stealing business secrets, and a few might be driven by political or ideological beliefs. By pinpointing these motives, you can prioritise which digital assets need extra shielding.

Smart Data Management: Hide the Treasure

Think of your critical data as a treasure. If a pirate can't find the treasure map, they can't get to the gold. Storing data wisely and encrypting essential information means that even if attackers stumble upon it, they'll have a challenging time deciphering its true value.


Building a Fortress: Simple Steps for Robust Defences

Proactive Defence Checks: Imagine trying to break into your own organisation's systems. By doing this through regular penetration and red team testing, you can spot and fix the weak points before someone else exploits them.

Partners in Safety: Collaborating with other firms or using third-party services can sometimes introduce vulnerabilities. Make sure anyone you're working with maintains high security standards.

Always Double-Check: This strategy, known as the 'Zero Trust' model, means never taking security for granted. Like always double-locking your doors, always double-check who has access to what, and verify everything.

Approved Software Only: Only use software that's been checked and is trusted. By having a list of approved programs, you avoid the risk of harmful software sneaking into your systems.

Power with Care: In the digital world, granting someone admin rights is like giving them a key to every room in a building. Hand these keys out sparingly, and only when necessary.

Using EDR to Spot Hidden Dangers: Some attackers use ordinary tools in sneaky ways, blending in and going unnoticed. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is like having a security camera, catching these subtle movements and raising an alarm.

Digital Decoys: Honeypots are essentially fake systems set up to attract hackers. It's like leaving a baited trap. While they're distracted by these, you can detect and track their movements.

Have a Cyber Fire Drill: Just as we practice fire drills to ensure everyone knows what to do in an emergency, having an incident response plan means everyone knows their role if there's a security breach.

Backup Safely: Always have a copy of your data stored in a place that's separate from the main system, like keeping a spare key in a secure spot. If anything goes wrong, you have a clean copy ready to go.


The internet offers a world of opportunities for businesses, but it also presents a vast playground for potential threats. By regularly updating our knowledge and staying alert, we can adapt and protect our ventures from most dangers.

Understanding and thinking like cyber attackers isn't about becoming paranoid; it's about being prepared. By adopting their viewpoint, we can better predict their moves, understand their motivations, and set up robust defences against them.

Through continuous learning, proactive measures, and a healthy dose of vigilance, we can navigate the digital realm more safely. The ultimate goal? To make our organisations such hard targets that potential attackers move on in search of easier prey.

If you are worried about cyber threats or need help in improving your organisation’s visibility please Get in touch to find out how you can protect your organisation. 

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