Today, most of the world relies on digital or virtual platforms for effective communication, optimal functioning, and staying ahead of the competition. Many businesses, governments, and even individuals have made digitization of operations a key aspect of their strategic planning objectives. It has made business operations and dealings easier and more comfortable. Although, like everything else, there are many detriments of digitization too.
This increased digitization poses the greatest threat of this age, the threat of cybercrime. New and existing cybersecurity threats targeting sensitive information have resulted in many companies investing in countermeasures to avoid these attacks. Chuck Robbins, Chair and CEO of Cisco, informed that cybercrime’s damages totaled USD 6 Trillion alone in 2021.
Every business, company, institution, etc., is on high alert because of the constant risk of an attack by sophisticated hackers, phishers, and scammers. They want to ensure that the security of the important information and data is up to the mark, and no one except them can have access to their data and information.
Cyberspace faces disruption, distortion, and deterioration at the hands of cybercriminals; the best way to deal with them is to know about cybersecurity threats. Keeping this in mind, some of the cybersecurity threats have been discussed below.
Table of Contents
Cybercriminals hack servers and databases of organizations or institutions to gain access to sensitive information for exploitation purposes. The best way to protect yourself from them is to understand how hacking works and what you can do to prevent it. Many people study hacking 101 to get a basic understanding of how hacking works and can be avoided.
If you are the owner of a small business, you will try to do everything yourself; however, if you have the means and resources, hiring professionals to secure your servers and database is recommended as they are the most valuable asset for your business.
As an individual, make sure your devices have network firewalls, procedures to allow remote access, and data access security measures installed.
Phishing attacks are more prevalent than ever today. In a phishing attack, a third party sends you a digital message, and if you click on the link attached to it, you unintentionally expose your device to malware to expose your sensitive information to the attacker.
These attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated today. People are aware of the threats of phishing that come with email attachments or suspicious-looking links; hence, phishers are now making it more sophisticated. One example is machine learning, through which phishers quickly and carefully craft messages according to the interest of an individual.
Phishers steal data such as credit card credentials, user logins, and other personal financial information.
Ransomware is a form of malware (malicious software) that encrypts and scrambles your data and then asks for a ransom to have it released. The party involved in the attack charges a ransom for releasing an unlock code so you can access your information.
It is believed to cost billions of dollars each year to companies. You can protect yourself and your business from it by educating the employees about these attacks, installing and maintaining good anti-virus protection software, and keeping backups and your systems and apps up to date.
4. Man-in-the-Middle Attack
A Man-in-the-Middle Attack (MITM) is also called an eavesdropping attack. In these attacks, an attacker eavesdrops on a two-party communication. It usually happens when a session or negotiation happens between a host and a client.
After the attack, the communication line between the host and the client goes through a hacker. These attackers steal and manipulate data. One can prevent MITM attacks by abstaining from using public Wi-Fi networks and checking whether a website is secure or not and encrypting your device.
In the past decade, the rapid influx of cryptocurrency trading has given rise to a new type of cyberthreat, i.e., Cryptojacking. Cryptojacking is the piggybacking of hackers on powerful systems to mine coins and makes money, as mining requires high processing power computers.
For many organizations and small-scale businesses, Cryptojacking can cause major performance-related issues and cost businesses a fortune to resolve such problems.
The best way to avoid Cryptojacking is to educate your security teams about it and look closely at phishing attempts to access organizational servers.
6. State-Sponsored Attacks
Governments or countries use cyber-attacks to penetrate the national security systems of other countries and damage their critical infrastructure. These attacks are termed state-sponsored attacks and have been rising for the past few years.
These attacks are aimed at important government institutions and private organizations, both large-scale and small, to ensure they incur as much damage to the country as possible.
It is recommended for governments to invest and make a state-of-the-art cybersecurity network to protect their important infrastructure that might hamper their national security.
7. Watering Hole Attack
The victims of these attacks are a specific group of people or entire organizations such as high-level government officials, religious organizations, human rights organizations, etc. The attackers target websites that are often used or visited by them. It attacks and steals the user’s personal information, and other sensitive data and can even take control of the attacked computer.
This type of cyber-attack is uncommon and are difficult to detect; however, it is good to take precautionary measure before trouble knocks at your doorstep. A watering hole attack can be prevented by installing software updates timely, checking security patches regularly, installing IPS, and using VPN to conceal the online activity.
With the rate of cyberattacks increasing daily, it is advised that you read and learn about cybersecurity as much as you can to stay safe and be aware of the threats it possesses to you and your business, company, organization, or institution. It would be great if you could hire cybersecurity experts to tighten your security protocols to avoid security breaches and data leaks.
Hope you enjoyed the article and got a gist of cybersecurity threats you should know about.