News related to a data breach, hacking, etc., has become common nowadays. Not surprisingly, a cybersecurity pandemic also accompanied the covid-19 pandemic. Nearly 155.8 million individuals and companies worldwide experienced some form of cyber-attack or threat due to inadequate digital security.
Cybersecurity professionals are continuously on the lookout for common threats to get rid of them. Cyber-attacks can tarnish a business’s reputation by leaking its private data. There are varying motives of cyber-attacks, money being the prime one.
Even in this era, corporations are very much vulnerable to cybersecurity threats. Not just big corporations, but individuals are targeted as well from time to time.
In a nutshell, any malicious software/person attempting to steal an individual or company’s private data is a cybersecurity threat. Not just that, but a cybersecurity threat can disrupt information or damage digital operations. Corporate spies, terrorist groups, criminal organizations, disgruntled employees, hostile criminals, and hackers originate such cyber-threats for varying reasons.
Cyber-threats result in the exposure of sensitive information that can be costly for a business. Therefore, many companies/organizations, especially those that work with large amounts of data, hire cybersecurity professionals to do what they are best at – protect crucial information and bolster digital defenses. Many of these people hold relevant qualifications and have considerable experience in the field. If you’re interested in a similar career, consider enrolling in a masters in cyber security online and enhance your opportunities. These courses can help you acquire the necessary skills while gaining relevant experience. In the long run, this is beneficial for everyone. The more people are aware of cybersecurity, the easier it will become to reduce cyber threats in a highly digitalized business environment.
Some of the most widely known cybersecurity threats include:
Malware is malicious software that comprises spyware, viruses, ransomware, and worms. These get activated whenever a user clicks a malicious attachment or link on their device. Once enabled, they automatically install harmful software without asking the user’s permission. According to Cisco, once malware gets activated, it can:
- Install additional dangerous software or programs.
- Block any access to key networking sites.
- Disrupt individual operating parts, causing the system to shut down.
- Automatically gain access to and transfer sensitive data by accessing it from the hard disk.
Denial of Service
Another type of cyber threat is a ‘denial of service’ (DoS), which causes a network or computer not to function correctly. It does this by disabling the computer’s in-built mechanism to accept and process requests. Cyber-attackers use this type of cyber threat to keep flooding corporate networks. This then gives cybercriminals the chance to launch other attacks at the same time. A distributed denial DoS works the same way, and its primary type is a botnet. With a botnet, millions of networks get controlled by hackers or disrupted with malware simultaneously. Another name for this cyber threat is ‘zombie systems,’ as they take away the system’s ability to perform even the most straightforward tasks.
Another costly and powerfully destructive malware is Emotet. It is an advanced form of cyber threat, more like a Trojan with the primary function of a downloader. Upon entering a network, computer, or device, it becomes difficult to locate, and as soon as you accidentally click its link, it takes over your entire system without a moment’s delay.
Man in the Middle (MITM)
An MITM cyber-attack takes place when hackers get involved in a two-way transaction. Right after blocking the traffic, hackers will filter out the primary data and steal it. MITM attacks usually happen whenever a visitor makes use of unprotected public Wi-Fi. Attackers use this as a gateway to come between the user and the network and execute their dirty business. After hijacking the network, they install malware to cause further disruption in the system and steal information.
Phishing attacks among the most common cybersecurity threats, like email. These emails come with very attractive content, such as inheriting one hundred million dollars from a relative who just passed away to trick receivers into opening them. Another example is a hacker mailing you to forward them your credit card number to exchange an online order receipt. Here, the main objective is to steal sensitive information and install harmful malware into the victim’s system.
How to Prevent Cyber Security Threats?
While large businesses and companies have entire departments and teams dedicated to cybersecurity and data protection, smaller businesses may not have that liberty. However, there some preventive measures that we all can take on an individual level to reduce the risk of cyber threats and losing information. These include:
- Training employees about cybersecurity procedures.
- Using a firewall to protect your internet connection.
- Installing and constantly upgrading your antivirus software.
- Creating and maintaining backups for crucial business information in case something does go wrong.
- Controlling any form of access to your networks or computers via external sources or non-authorized personnel.
- Securing all of your Wi-Fi networks.
- Limiting any authority to install the software.
- Not giving everyone access to sensitive data.
- Regularly changing passwords.
The bottom line
Cybersecurity threats are harmful to the digital world. Therefore, it is essential to stay aware of the common dangers and deal with them accordingly. So do the needed and spread awareness about these common types of cybersecurity threats as soon as possible. Moreover, be vigilant and boost your digital defenses. If you’re running a business or company with a lot at stake, consider hiring dedicated resources. And whatever you do, stop clicking on suspicious links!