Picture this: You get an email stating that your bank account will be blocked if you don’t verify certain personal details. The email, which contains the logo of the bank, looks legitimate. To avoid unnecessary disruptions, you are prepared to provide sensitive personal and financial information. However, just before hitting the send button, you call your relationship manager to confirm whether there are any other mandatory procedures to follow after you reply to the email you just received. To your complete shock, you are informed that the bank NEVER sends emails requesting personal details from customers! Guess what just happened? You could have been the latest victim of a cyber attack.
The pandemic-induced lockdown has made remote working the new normal, and companies quickly invested in tools and software to enable their remote workforce to be effective, productive, and secure. However, this also presented cybercriminals with an excellent opportunity to attack companies with weak IT infrastructure.
There is so much awareness about cyber threats, but we never think it would happen to us—until it actually happens. A few types of cyber threats are easy to identify, but many are beyond a layman’s understanding. As technology evolves and advances every day, cyber criminals, too, keep up with the changes. They are already well acquainted with technological advances, if not a couple of steps ahead of them, and know ways to breach even the latest security methods. There are several sophisticated cyber threats that you may not even be aware of! If you don’t know about them, how can you be prepared against them?
What do we mean by cyber-attacks?
A cyber attack is a well-laid out plan where online criminals attack one or multiple computers, end-users, and devices to steal confidential data and often hold it ransom. They use various methods to attack. Here are the nine most common types of cyberattacks you should be aware of.
The nine most common types of cyberattacks
Ransomware attacks victimise companies worldwide, irrespective of their size. Government agencies, educational institutions, IT companies, and healthcare facilities are their prime targets. When a cybercriminal attacks a victim’s system or server, stealing sensitive data and demanding a ransom to restore access to it, it’s called a ransomware attack.
Also known as malicious software, a malware attack is the most common type of cyber threat. Malware is any unwanted software that’s built to extract or corrupt data. It’s an umbrella term used to cover viruses, trojans, worms, and other dangerous programs written by cybercriminals to hack a system and access data.
If you read the introduction to this blog, you’ll already have a good idea of what a phishing attack is. It’s an email or link that appears to be from a reliable source but isn’t. What makes these types of attacks particularly dangerous, yet interesting, is how elaborate they can be. They often look like the real thing! Phishing emails can even include corrupted attachments that hack your system once downloaded. So, the next time you receive a suspicious email from your bank or insurance, be careful what you open!
- Zero-day exploit
A zero-day exploit happens when software or hardware becomes vulnerable and malware is released into the victim’s system before the developers or the IT team even know about it.
For example, when a developer writes new software but hasn’t even had the time to thoroughly test it, an attacker could identify the software’s flaws or vulnerability, and quickly write and implement code to take advantage of it, attacking the system. All this happens so quickly that the developer has no time to create a patch to stop the attack.
Domain Name System (DNS) tunnelling
DNS tunnelling uses the DNS system as a weapon to launch cyber attacks. DNS is like the telephone directory of the internet – it lists all domains and their information. Every time you visit a website, or someone visits yours, you are using DNS. Because it’s so commonly used, DNS traffic is very rarely blocked. When a system is compromised, cyber criminals can use DNS to send and receive sensitive information that would usually be blocked by your firewalls. This is what’s called DNS tunneling.
Brute force password attack
A brute force password attack is when cybercriminals attempt to guess a password using a random approach. The attacker uses the victim’s name, date of birth, pet’s name, and common passwords to try to login to their accounts. This type of attack is the most simple and easy among cyber threats. The attackers program computers to try hundreds of combinations to find one right password. This is what makes setting up a strong password essential, and why here are so many criteria.
- Drive-by Download
This type of attack is most common in websites, browsers, and applications that are not updated regularly. When your systems are outdated, it’s easy for an attacker to take advantage of security flaws. A drive-by download cyberattack is when a virus or malicious software, downloaded unintentionally, attacks a weak and vulnerable server.
- Eavesdropping attack
Also known as a snooping attack, an eavesdropping attack can occur in unsecured networks and servers. It accesses the data that is sent over a server, website, or even mobile device. These types of attacks usually aim to access financial information and sell it to the highest bidder.
- Cross-site scripting attack
Cross-site Scripting (XXS) attacks require technical expertise. They use third-party websites to write and run codes and scripts in the victim’s browser or apps and introduce a virus into the victim’s database.
The bottom line
Cybersecurity is no longer a choice. It is a necessity. The use of technology is not going to decline in the future. It is only going to increase exponentially. According to Gartner, by 2022, the cost of the damage caused by cybersecurity issues will reach $6 trillion every year. According to the predictions, businesses will increase their cybersecurity investments and budget to $133.7 billion by 2022. That is how crucial protecting your business against cyber threats is. To understand why cybersecurity is important and how Solid Systems can help, talk to our experts today.