Threats in the Current Cyber Security Landscape

Threats in the Current Cyber Security Landscape

With cyberattacks growing in frequency and sophistication, businesses like yours are susceptible to data breaches now more than ever, irrespective of their size and industry. As you grow digitally and handle increasingly greater volumes of sensitive data, cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to penetrate your defenses.

These days, one layer of  security is not enough to handle the multiple threats out there and to effectively defend your business against today’s sophisticated threats, amplifying your organizational security is critical. With that in mind, adopting a Defense in Depth (DiD) strategy could be exactly what you need to improve your cyber security posture and keep malicious cyberthreats at bay. Earlier this year we posted a blog that goes over what this multi-layer security could look like. Today we want to educate you on some of the many threats out there that your business needs protection against.

Today’s Cyber Security Threats

All businesses, irrespective of their size and industry, can fall prey to malicious attacks. Listed below are 14 cybersecurity threats you should be aware of:

MALWARE: Malware (abbreviated from malicious software) is a generic term for viruses, trojans and other dangerous computer programs used by cybercriminals to severely damage an IT environment or gain access to business-critical data. These programs may transmit via email attachments, website downloads or by exploiting the gaps in your operating system or other software.

RANSOMWARE: Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to disclose sensitive data or blocks access to files/systems, most of the time by encrypting it until the victim pays a ransom amount within a stipulated deadline. Failure to pay on time can lead to data leaks or permanent data loss. Even if you pay, there’s no guarantee that you will recover your lost data or won’t be exploited in the future.

PHISHING/BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE (BEC): Phishing is a type of social engineering attack in which hackers appear as reliable sources to trick victims into opening phony emails or SMSs so they can penetrate those networks. Business email compromise (BEC) is a scam where cybercriminals use compromised or impersonated email accounts to manipulate victims into transferring money or sharing sensitive information.

INSIDER THREATS: Insider threats originate from within the targeted business. They could be past workers, suppliers or other business partners who have access to critical business data and computer systems, and they knowingly or unknowingly misuse their access. An insider threat is challenging to identify since it comes from within the organization.

DENIAL-OF-SERVICE/DISTRIBUTED DENIAL-OF-SERVICE (DoS and DDoS): These attacks are common and easy to implement. When DoS or DDoS attacks happen, hackers flood the targeted system with a high volume of data requests, causing it to slow down, crash or shut down. An abrupt slowdown or unavailability of a website or service is the most evident sign of a DDoS assault.

CREDENTIAL THEFT: Credential theft involves the unlawful acquisition of information that an individual or business uses to access websites and sensitive data. Credential theft lets hackers reset passwords, lock the victim’s account, download private data, gain access to other endpoints within the network or even erase sensitive data and backups.

DOMAIN NAME SYSTEM (DNS) ATTACKS: A DNS attack is a threat in which the hacker exploits vulnerabilities in the DNS protocol. This is a significant problem in cybersecurity because DNS is a vital component of the IT infrastructure. Hackers often target the servers that host domain names in DNS attacks. In other instances, these attackers will aim to identify flaws in the system and exploit them for their own gain.

ADVANCED PERSISTENT THREATS (APTS): An APT is a sustained and sophisticated cyberattack in which a malicious actor gains access to a network and continues undetected for a prolonged duration. Most of the time, it aims at stealing data rather than damaging the IT environment. These persistent attacks are frequently orchestrated by nation-states or criminal cartels.

WEB APPLICATION ATTACKS: Vulnerabilities within web applications allow hackers to gain direct access to databases to manipulate sensitive data. Business databases are regular targets because they contain sensitive data, including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and banking details. Common web application attacks include DDoS, SQL injections, path traversal, cross-site scripting and local file inclusion.

SOFTWARE VULNERABILITY EXPLOITS: A software vulnerability is a flaw present within software or in an operating system (OS). They can enter your network through various channels, some of which are the fault of the software vendor and others that are the fault of the user. Almost all software will have vulnerabilities in one form or another that must be fixed before cybercriminals rush to exploit them.

SQL INJECTION: SQL injection is a code injection technique in which hackers place malicious code in SQL statements. This technique can destroy a database. A successful attack might lead to the illegal access of user lists, the deletion of entire tables and, in some circumstances, the attacker obtaining administrative rights to a database.

SPYWARE: Spyware is software that, if installed on your computer, stealthily monitors your online behavior without consent. It can gather information about an individual or business and transfer that data to other parties. You can protect your business from spyware by using defenses like secure email and web gateways, automatic software patch management and regular employee awareness training on security.

ZERO-DAY EXPLOITS: Zero-day exploits are cyberattacks aimed at vulnerabilities that a software vendor has not yet fixed or patched. By exploiting such an unpatched vulnerability, these attacks have a significant chance of success and are tough to protect against by using outdated security tools.

DEEPFAKES: A deepfake is a cyberthreat that uses artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate audio/video content that can deceive end users into believing something untrue. To make their messages seem more credible, scammers now leverage AI to create realistic looking user profiles, photographs and phishing emails.

You may already be familiar with common threats like malware, phishing, and ransomware, but these are just a few of the many potential dangers. It’s important to recognize the wide range of threats like those covered here and adopt a solid, multi-layered approach to your cybersecurity defense to effectively address them all.

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