In this article you will learn:
- What a Cyber Security Attack looks like in 2021 and how to identify one.
- An attack could destroy your business overnight, a proper security defense requires understanding the offense.
- How to protect your organization from the most common cyber attack vectors. Different methods require different prevention strategies.
- In the event an attack happens, learn how to be prepared to respond and respond.
What is a Cyber Attack?
A cyber attack is an intentional exploitation of computer systems, networks, and technology-dependent enterprises. These attacks use malicious code to modify computer code, data, or logic. Culminating into destructive consequences that can compromise your data and promulgate cybercrimes such as information and identity theft. A cyber attack is also known as a computer network attack (CNA).
Common Types of Cybersecurity Attacks
Phishing is a type of social engineering usually employed to steal user data such as credit card numbers and login credentials. It happens when an attacker, posing as a trusted individual, tricks the victim to open a text message, email, or instant message. The victim is then deceived to open a malicious link that can cause the freezing of a system as part of a ransomware attack, revealing sensitive information, or installation of malware.
This breach can have disastrous results. For an individual, this includes identity theft, stealing of funds, or unauthorized purchases.
Phishing is often used to obtain a foothold in governmental or corporate networks as part of a more significant plot such as an advanced persistent threat (APT). In such a case, employees are compromised to gain privileged access to secured data, distribute malware in a closed environment, and to bypass security parameters.
Learn more about phishing attacks.
Spear Phishing Attacks
Spear phishing is an email aimed at a particular individual or organization, desiring unauthorized access to crucial information. These hacks are not executed by random attackers but are most likely done by individuals out for trade secrets, financial gain, or military intelligence.
Spear phishing emails appear to originate from an individual within the recipient’s own organization or someone the target knows personally. Quite often, government-sponsored hacktivists and hackers perform these activities. Cybercriminals also carry out these attacks with the aim of reselling confidential data to private companies and governments. These attackers employ social engineering and individually-designed approaches to effectively personalize websites and messages.
Learn more about spear phishing attacks.
Whale Phishing Attack
A whale phishing attack is a type of phishing that centers on high-profile employees such as the CFO or CEO. It is aimed at stealing vital information since those holding higher positions in a company have unlimited access to sensitive information. Most whaling instances manipulate the victim into permitting high-worth wire transfers to the attacker.
The term whaling signifies the size of the attack, and whales are targeted depending on their position within the organization. Since they are highly targeted, whaling attacks are more difficult to notice compared to the standard phishing attacks.
In a business, system security administrators can lessen the effectiveness of such a hack by encouraging the corporate management staff to attend security awareness training.
Malware is a code that is made to stealthily affect a compromised computer system without the consent of the user. This broad definition includes many particular types of malevolent software (malware) such as spyware, ransomware, command, and control.
Many well-known businesses, states, and criminal actors have been implicated of and discovered deploying malware.
Malware differs from other software in that it can spread across a network, cause changes and damage, remain undetectable, and be persistent in the infected system. It can destroy a network and bring a machine’s performance to its knees.
Ransomware blocks access to a victims data, typically threating delete it if a ransom is paid. There is no guarantee that paying a ransom will regain access to the data. Ransomware is often carried out via a Trojan delivering a payload disguised as a legitimate file.
Learn more about ransomware attacks and how to prevent them.
A drive-by attack is a common method of distributing malware.
A cyber attacker looks for an insecure website and plants a malicious script into PHP or HTTP in one of the pages. This script can install malware into the computer that visits this website or become an IFRAME that redirects the victim’s browser into a site controlled by the attacker. In most cases, these scripts are obfuscated, and this makes the code to be complicated to analyze by security researchers. These attacks are known as drive-by because they don’t require any action on the victim’s part except visiting the compromised website. When they visit the compromised site, they automatically and silently become infected if their computer is vulnerable to the malware, especially if they have not applied security updates to their applications.
A Trojan is a malicious software program that misrepresents itself to appear useful. They spread by looking like routine software and persuading a victim to install. Trojans are considered among the most dangerous type of all malware, as they are often designed to steal financial information.
SQL injection, also known as SQLI, is a kind of attack that employs malicious code to manipulate backend databases to access information that was not intended for display. This may include numerous items including private customer details, user lists, or sensitive company data.
SQLI can have devastating effects on a business. A successful SQLI attack can cause deletion of entire tables, unauthorized viewing of user lists, and in some cases, the attacker can gain administrative access to a database. These can be highly detrimental to a business. When calculating the probable cost of SQLI, you need to consider the loss of customer trust in case personal information like addresses, credit card details, and phone numbers are stolen.
Although SQLI can be used to attack any SQL database, the culprits often target websites.
Cross Site Scripting
Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a kind of injection breach where the attacker sends malicious scripts into content from otherwise reputable websites. It happens when a dubious source is allowed to attach its own code into web applications, and the malicious code is bundled together with dynamic content that is then sent to the victim’s browser.