A cyber attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to a computer network or computing system to cause damage and steal or alter data. A wide range of factors increases the rate of cybercrimes: easy access systems, negligence, the evolution of cybercrime, loss of evidence, and complex coding. Cyber attacks hit government agencies, private systems, and large firms every day. Currently, there’s an array of cyber attacks worldwide. Most cybercriminals will look to exploit vulnerabilities in your firm’s technology, security policies, and practices. Most firms are investing heavily in cyber attack prevention methods. These methods include email protection, around-the-clock server monitoring, VPN installation, cyber security training awareness, data backup and protection, dark web market scanning, and password protection. Below are the top types of cyber attacks and their solutions:
1. Phishing Attack
A phishing attack is the most prominent type of cyber-attack. Hackers launch this attack to infect your device with malware or steal sensitive information. They tend to send a bulk of fraudulent emails to unsuspected users. Most of these emails might seem legitimate, but they aren’t. Clicking some of the links in these emails can grant attackers access to your computer system. There are various types of phishing attacks:
- Pharming phishing
- Spear phishing
- Whaling phishing
Pharming phishing is a situation whereby cybercriminals use DNS spoofing to obtain your login credentials. On the other hand, spear phishing attacks target a specific individual and company. Lastly, whaling phishing is a cyber-attack that targets stakeholders and senior executives within a firm.
How to Prevent Phishing Attacks?
- Rotate passwords regularly
- Install firewall
- Install an anti-phishing toolbar
- Update your browser regularly
- Verify a site’s security
2. Malware Attack
The term malware refers to malicious software viruses, including polymorphic, macro viruses, file infectors, Trojans, logic bombs, ransomware, worms, etc. A malicious software is unwanted software that’s installed in your computer system without your consent. Below is comprehensive information about some types of malware:
Ransomware is a malicious software that blocks access to your data and threatens to delete or publish it unless you pay a ransom. Currently, attackers are using crypto-viral extortion to encrypt your files without your permission. You’ll require a decryption key to access your files.
These viruses target various types of Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Excel and Word. Macro viruses replicate and attach themselves to various computer system codes.
They conceal themselves during various cycles of decryption and encryption. It’s hard to detect this type of malware because it’s associated with a mutation engine.
Stealth viruses compromise your computer’s malware detection software. They take over the functions of your computer system. In addition, they can modify the date and time of your files.
Worms are spread via email attachments. In most cases, they are self-contained programs that disseminate across computers and networks.
Trojans hide in a program and alter its functionality. This type of malware doesn’t self-replicate, but it can give attackers easy access to your device.
How to Prevent Malware Attacks?
- Update your computer’s operating system regularly
- Configure regular scans
- Use trusted malware software and antivirus.
- Rely on encrypted and secure networks
3. SQL Injection
It’s a type of cyber-attack where cyber criminals insert malicious codes into an SQL server. These codes lead to server malfunctioning. This issue is common with data-driven websites. A successful SQL injection exploit can:
- Execute administration operations
- Read sensitive data from the server’s database
- Issue commands to your computer’s operating system
- Recover the contents of your files
The SQL injection affects websites that use dynamic SQL. In addition, ASP and PHP applications are more vulnerable to this attack.
How to Prevent SQL Injection?
- Validate user inputs
- Raise physical and virtual firewalls
- Sanitize data
- Actively manage updates and patches
- Use stored procedures in the database
4. Password Attack
Passwords are the most used method of authentication in most information systems. Therefore, cybercriminals use various ways to obtain someone’s passwords:
- Social engineering
- Looking around your desk
- Outright guessing
- Gaining access to your password database
- Acquiring unencrypted passwords in your system
In addition, an attacker can opt for a dictionary or brute-force attack. Brute force involves random guessing of passwords, while dictionary attack involves an attempt to gain access to your passwords via invading your computer or network.
How to Prevent Password Attacks?
- Use complex passwords
- Invest in a password manager
- Enable and configure remote access
- Opt for multi-factor authentication
- Avoid using dictionary words as a password
5. Drive-by Attack
This is a common method of spreading malicious viruses on a computer. Hackers use insecure websites to plant malware into PHP or HTTP code on one of the pages. Drive-by downloads might occur when you’re viewing a pop-up window, email message, or website.
How to Prevent Drive-by Attacks
- Update your operating system regularly
- Use software security solutions
- Be careful of too many external software and plug-ins.
- Avoid websites with malicious codes
There are other types of cyber attacks, including man-in-the-middle attacks, denial-of-service attacks, insider threats, cryptojacking, watering hole attacks, and zero-day exploits. To minimize the risk of cyber attacks, you should perform vulnerability assessments, conduct phishing campaigns, develop cyber security policies, and install anti-malware software.