How to Identify Common Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats or cyber threats are malicious acts done to infiltrate an IT system to steal or damage data or cause disruption. There are different types of cyber threats and different motives behind them. Cyber-attacks may be for financial gain, espionage, or to cause disruption. The motivation is either criminal, personal or political.
Personally motivated cyber-attacks are when an individual target an organization or individual for personal reasons. It may be from a disgruntled employee or a targeted attack on an individual. A criminally motivated cyber-attack occurs when the attacker does it for the criminal intent of theft of money or information. People also carry out cyber-attacks for political reasons, especially state-sponsored cyber-attacks on another country. Individuals also launch attacks on national IT assets for political reasons. Politically motivated cyber-attacks are described as cyber terrorism.
In this article, we will identify the different types of cybersecurity threats that exist.
Phishing is a cyber-threat in which attackers send fake emails to fool users into clicking a malicious link. The aim is to steal sensitive information from a user. Another form of phishing is known as spear phishing. Spear phishing is a more sophisticated form of phishing in which important people are targeted. These individuals may be targeted from their social media accounts where sufficient information may be gotten about them.
Nowadays, people are more enlightened about fake emails. Hackers are upping their ante by using AI tools to craft more convincing messages. Phishing scams enable criminals to steal credit card information, user logins, and other sensitive information from their victims.
It is a combination of the words malicious and software. Malware is another cyber threat; it is the use of malicious software to infiltrate a computer system. There are different categories of malware; they are Trojans, Ransomware, spyware, worms, etc.
Like computers, mobile devices are also vulnerable to malware attacks. This malware may come in the form of phone apps, websites, emails, etc.
– Trojans: Trojans are a form of malware that comes in the form of legitimate software. They are a hacker’s tool to gain access to their victim’s system. A Trojan aims to steal data or carry out harmful actions on the system.
– Ransomware: It is a form of malware designed to encrypt files on a system making the files unusable. The hackers demand a ransom to decrypt the files.
– Spyware: It is a kind of malware that is used to monitor a user’s online behavior without their knowledge or permission. Spyware is also called adware because it sometimes emanates from online ads.
A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a hacker intercepts communications between two parties. During a MiTM attack, the attackers interrupt the flow of messages between two parties for spying or corrupting the data. Sometimes, the attacker may change the content of the information shared between both parties. MiTM attack is a common cyber threat technique used by militaries to confuse their enemies.
Denial of Service Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack
A Denial-of-Service attack is a form of cyber-attack used to shut down a network or machine. The purpose of the attack is to deny intended users access to the machine or network. Attackers can carry out this attack by flooding the network with traffic rendering it unusable to legitimate users. They can also do it by sending information that triggers a crash to the IT resource.
Distributed Denial-of-Service attack occurs when a network of computer systems attacks a singular target.
Internet of Things (IoT) usage is becoming increasingly popular in the world each day. It makes IoTs more vulnerable to cyber threats. IoT devices include phones, laptops, smartwatches, home security systems, webcams, cars, etc.
IoT devices are used in households and companies. They are now essential tools in houses, businesses, and manufacturing companies. Cyber intrusions on IoT devices can be used to cause havoc in homes and businesses. In businesses, they can lead to financial hemorrhage.
Hackers can attack IoT devices through DoS or DDoS attacks. IoT devices are also a prime target for cyber-attacks, especially in businesses.
In this cyber-attack, the attacker injects malicious code into a server that uses SQL. When the server is infected, it divulges information to the attacker. The malicious code can be injected into the server through different avenues on the website.
Sources of Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity threats come from different sources; they include
– Corporate Spies
– Criminal organizations
– Competing businesses
Cyber-attacks come with different levels of impact. They can lead to financial losses and identity theft. In more severe cases, they cause severe economic impact and ultimately loss of lives. Cyber-attacks from nation-states are usually the most serious. They come in different forms, espionage or aimed at disruption of critical infrastructure.
Some of the most high profile cyber-attacks include
– The 2017 Equifax breach led to over 140 million individuals’ identity theft.
– 2018 Marriott International data breach
– 2013 Yahoo data breach
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