An increase in internet users around the world sets the stage for the rapid expansion of the cyber world. Nowadays, data is everywhere, and cybercriminals know its significance.
When information is exchanged throughout a shared network, it can lead to data theft and security breaches. Hackers find ways to sneak into systems, steal valuable information, and disrupt industries to gain their objectives.
So, what can you do to stay protected in this highly digital world? Have the proper knowledge and understanding of the field!
Before we move on to understanding the different types of cyber threats and how to tackle them, let’s focus our attention to the essentials you need to be able to deal with cyber security threats.
Enroll in a Cyber Security Program
With the growing awareness of cyber threats affecting organizations, governments, and the general public, many colleges and universities have developed cybersecurity graduate programs.
Although most of these are still in their early stages, others have been carefully designed by industry experts, field practitioners, and local and national stakeholders. Through this program, cybersecurity professionals will gain lifelong learning skills and be capable of tactically defeating adversaries.
Today, employers prefer candidates with both education and experience. Therefore, although master’s degrees aren’t required for all jobs, master’s degrees in cybersecurity can lead to higher salaries, enhanced career prospects, and job security. Professionals can even pursue cyber security masters online and continue to polish skills for preventing and controlling cyber-attacks while maintaining their jobs.
6 Cyber Security Threats and Ways of Prevention
Here’s what you need to know:
Malware is one of the most common and largest cyber security threats. It activates when users click on links, downloaded files, or attachments. Once activated, it can halt business operations by blocking access to the network components, installing harmful software, and disrupting the system. It can take many shapes and sizes to damage the system.
Here are a few you should be aware of:
- Computer virus
- Fileless malware
How to Prevent: Identify the malware before clicking any link, download file, or attachment is crucial. Install strong antivirus and anti-malware software, enable firewalls, and update them regularly to combat security threats. Apply effective spam filters that can prevent malicious or harmful emails from reaching your mailbox.
Ransomware, a type of malware, has taken over the world in the last few years. In 2022, ransomware attacks are the most common attacks. Cybercriminals force businesses to pay a large ransom when they successfully lock and block access to the system. The most deadly cyber security threat leaves an organization no choice but to pay the ransom. Even then, there is no surety that an organization can resume its operations and get stolen data.
How to Prevent: All employers must develop a business security plan, including cyber threats, including ransomware. Practice and ensure safe computer and internet use. Train your staff at every level to make sure they can understand and combat the growing cyber threats.
One of the top ten cyber security threats is social engineering. Interestingly, social engineering is not high-tech or non-tech; it involves manipulating human nature to access systems and data.
Hackers exploit human greed, trust, temptation, authority, and curiosity to gain their interests. They also use threat, fear, and urgency to influence people to perform cybercriminal activities. Social engineering can take the following forms:
- Phishing, vishing, or smishing
- Snooping on screens and keyboards of digital devices to obtain login details
- Impersonating an individual or entity online or offline
How to prevent: Allow only limited users to access the system and share login information. At the same time, only giving restricted access can safeguard your sensitive information from common cyber attacks.
Phishing, a type of social engineering, deserves special mention due to its prevalence and intensity. Cybercriminals use phishing and other related techniques, such as vishing and smishing, to access confidential information. How does it work? When cybercriminals want to obtain sensitive data and financial information, they trick victims into clicking on malicious links or downloading infected files. As a result, criminals gain access to the victim’s data by entering the system and spreading the malicious code.
How to prevent: Most often, phishing emails look legitimate, and you may find it hard to notice the difference. You can be careful while surfing and clicking any link or downloading any attachments. In case of a phishing attack, isolate infected servers and cut the supply of computers and devices to avoid further damage.
Man in the Middle
A man-in-the-middle (MITM) cyber attack just works like when a hacker intrudes between two parties to steal data. Such attacks are most likely to occur when a user is accessible through a public and unsecured Wi-Fi network. Cyber attackers enter the network to install malicious software and use data to their advantage.
MITM attacks allow cyber criminals to eavesdrop on private communication and hack personal data. Once it gets access, it can collect private information and gain unhindered access to software applications.
How to Prevent: The first and foremost way to prevent such attacks is never to use public Wifi.
Always make sure before connecting to the Wifi connection, it is secured. You can also use VPNs and strong encryption methods to protect your data from potential cyber security threats.
Denial of Service Attacks (DoS)
Denial of Service occurs when a computer or an entire network is flooded with frequent and large numbers of fake requests to limit access to original users. When the network becomes overwhelmed, it stops responding to original requests.
Cyber attackers use different techniques for DoS attacks. One of the popular techniques is flooding or crashing services, where the network receives too much traffic to handle, and the server slows down and eventually stops working.
Common types of DoS attacks are DDoS (Distributed Denial of Services) and botnets. In case of a DDoS attack, multiple sources send fake requests to disrupt the system’s normal functioning. Some cyber criminals take the DoS attack time to launch another series of cyber attacks on the network. Botnets are hard to trace and infect millions of systems from different geographical locations. They are often called zombie systems targeting a server’s processing capabilities.
How to Prevent: Identify denial of service attacks and allow websites extra bandwidth to combat them. Keep your database and systems regularly updated and back up the data. Make sure to keep the backup secure and offline to retrieve data in case of loss. Patched and up-to-date operating systems and software are key to preventing cyber security threats.
Networks and equipment are essential to the smooth operation of any organization. When technology is disrupted, even for a short period of time, losses are high, so businesses need teams to be aware of current cyber threats, now more than ever. They can secure their data from potential cyber threats by staying updated and relying on well-qualified and seasoned professionals who know the game-changing dynamics of cyberspace.