Enjoying digital devices and the comfort of having the internet at your fingertips opens the doors for becoming a target to cybercriminals. Although these devices offer seamless connectivity and make our life more comfortable, they increase the risk of becoming a victim to cyber-attacks!
Let us understand what a Cyber Attack actually is?
A cyber-attack is an attempt to access a computer or network in an unauthorized way, with the intention to cause damage or gain benefits. A person carrying out such an attack is called a cybercriminal. The purpose of the attack could be to inflict financial loss, theft of business secrets, or to tarnish the reputation of the targeted entity. Cyber-attacks and criminals are an undeniable threat to data security, and they are on an exponential rise. The estimated cost to business in 2023 is expected to be $8 Trillion rising to $10.5 Trillion in 2024.
What are the Top 5 types of Cyber Attacks?
In today’s digital world, users are unknowingly falling victim to various types of cyber-attacks… In order to stay proactive in protecting our data, systems, and network, it’s important to gain an understanding of each type of cyber-attack.
Malware – (Malicious Software) – is activated when a user clicks on an unidentified link, opens a malicious attachment, or when an infected storage device is connected with the system. This allows malicious software to install and propagate causing damage to the system and/or network as well as potentially exposing data to cybercriminals.
Malware viruses include Worms, Spyware, Ransomware, Adware, and Trojans. Once a system is attacked by malware, the virus can install additional harmful software, block access to key network components, disrupt individual parts of the computer, and even give remote access to the system and make it inoperable.
There are several ways to prevent malware attacks. The first would be to install antimalware software and run scans on a regular basis. Other ways to protect your system include keeping the Operating System (OS) and browser updated, using firewalls to filter traffic that is entering the system, and remaining cautious when clicking on unusual links.
Phishing is a type of social engineering attack and is one of the most prominent cyber-attacks. In a phishing attempt, the cybercriminal may pretend to be a known and trusted contact of the victim. Cybercriminals share an email or even texts the victim, causing them to click a malicious link or download malicious attachments in an email or text.
As a result, the cybercriminals gain access to the device and to sensitive information such as account credentials allowing them the opportunity to install malware into the system. In order to prevent phishing attempts, the receiver of the email should scrutinize all correspondence before opening it, avoid clicking on random links, and use an anti-phishing toolbar.
Mark Gendering, Principal Architect at Thomson Reuters, says,
“These scams are becoming more effective, which is concerning, as you might expect growing awareness to make them less so.”
We need to all understand that cybercriminal tactics are constantly evolving. We must also evolve and anticipate at a faster rate to stay ahead.
Man in the Middle Attack
Also known as an eavesdropping attack, during a Man in the Middle (MITM) attack, the cybercriminal comes in between a two-party communication. By interrupting the traffic, they can steal and manipulate data, or even launch a malware attack on the device.
This attack often takes place when a visitor uses an unprotected Wi-Fi network. It is advisable to not use public Wi-Fi networks and be mindful of website security to prevent such attacks.
Denial of Service
Denial of Service (DoS) is a type of cyber threat where cybercriminals impact the server, website, or network of the target organization. During this attack, the target network, system, or computer is flooded with traffic, aiming to exhaust their bandwidth or overload the device. Exhausting the bandwidth or device overload results in slowing or shutting down the network, system, or computer which then forces organizations to leave legitimate requests unattended.
Perhaps, the best prevention tactic for DoS is to be aware of warning signals like poor connectivity, repeated site crashes, or unusual network slowdown. Successfully running a traffic analysis and thereby identifying malicious traffic can help in attack prevention.
During a password attack, the cybercriminal uses multiple techniques to access passwords of a user through tools such as Air crack, Cain, Abel, John the Ripper, and Hashcat. The cybercriminals typically use 3 types of password attacks, i.e. brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and keylogger attacks. To avert such attacks, the user must use strong alphanumeric passwords consisting of special characters, regularly update passwords, and refrain from using the same password across multiple systems.
With the increase in cybercriminal activity, it is of the utmost importance for individuals and organizations to be well aware and prepared for cyber-attacks. Knowledge is key. Diligence is paramount.
At Etech, cyber security is our top priority and each of our team members are steadfast in their commitment to protection. Regular training keeps our employees updated on new developments. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we keep our team members, critical information and clients safe from cyber-attacks.