6 Cybersecurity Threats in the World Today

The world is increasingly shifting toward more reliance on technologies and interconnectivity. Technology has permeated practically every aspect of existence, and we cannot picture our lives without it. The way businesses work has been transformed by information technology. With greater reliance on information technology and the internet, businesses and organizations consider digital information a critical asset. However, cybercriminals have found new ways to steal this valuable information. Cybersecurity is a crucial concern as the world faces digital data security threats. Scroll down to see the negative side of the modern digital world.

Understanding Cybersecurity Threats and Security Breach

A security breach occurs when cybercriminals successfully enter a system and perform malicious activities to harm an organization. As the name suggests, cybersecurity threats include everything a cybercriminal does to harm an organization, steal digital information and use it for malicious purposes, or disrupt systems and networks. While there are countless ways to attack a system, cybercriminals constantly analyze network activity and applications to find a “trap door.” Trap doors, also known as vulnerabilities, are entry points into the system that hackers exploit to penetrate a system and gain access to valuable information by bypassing the standard authentication process.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats and How to Counter Them

Here are the six most common types of cybersecurity threats the world faces today:

1. Brute Force Attack

Although brute force attack has been around for many years, it continues to be the primary tool for hackers to gain unauthorized access to user accounts. However, software gurus have created powerful tools to counter such attacks, one of them being a password manager. Many people might wonder, “are password managers safe?” The answer is yes! Hacker uses a combination of characters and numbers to ‘guess’ the password.

Password managers have been one of the most effective tools to turn down a brute force attack. In a brute force attack, a hacker uses specialized tools to create thousands of possible password combinations for a user account. Still, they find it extremely difficult to guess a password with alphabets, numbers, and special characters in a unique combination. It is precisely what a password manager does. It generates strong, nearly impossible-to-break passwords for all your accounts and stores the username-password combination in a highly encrypted database. This way, instead of remembering these unique passwords for each account separately, you only need to remember one ID and password of your account manager. It will take care of login into all accounts that require a username and password. The advanced encryption techniques and two-factor authentication mechanism make password managers one of the most secure options for creating and maintaining unique passwords.

Password managers are now available for all platforms and devices, including Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS.

2. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are becoming increasingly common in the internet world. These attacks aim to impede the availability of websites for internet users. A denial of service (DoS) attack occurs when a hacker successfully gets access to a website or web server, renders it ineffective, and puts it offline. Businesses lose thousands of dollars as a result of a single DDoS attack.

A simple denial of service (DoS) attack works by sending a large number of artificially generated connection requests from an overwhelming number of IPs. The web server fails to handle the exceptional amount of requests and ultimately crashes. When a website crashes, it is no more available for use on the internet.

The purpose and nature of DoS and DDoS attacks are the same. In a DDoS attack, the cybercriminal uses multiple controlled sources to generate attacks from random locations and various compromised systems. It means that while DoS uses a single device as a point of entry to the website, DDoS attacks use a vast array of devices to overwhelm the website with millions of requests at a time.

Apart from detecting such attacks through detection techniques, managed web hosting services and firewalls are some effective counter-strategies to prevent DoS and DDoS attacks. Cloud computers provide backup web servers and instant repair services to counter DDoS attacks, making managed web hosting services much safer against such cybersecurity threats.

3. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks

Cross-site scripting attacks target client-side web applications. The client-side script is manipulated to obtain desired outcomes from the website, most commonly to install a Trojan or retrieve user account information by altering the website’s content.

Attackers use client-side code, usually JavaScript, to carry out their attacks.

You can block unauthorized access and connection requests through a web application firewall. Web application penetration testing is another highly effective approach to finding logical and functional errors in client-side code that may have caused a data breach.

4. Injection Attacks

SQL injection attacks are one of the most common types of website attacks in the modern digital age. A cybercriminal uses the application code to access the database on the server. Malware or other malicious programs, such as adware and spyware, can also be used to gain access to the database. Once access is granted, the hacker alters the database or steals sensitive information.

The most successful techniques in countering SQL injection attacks are source code assessment and web application security services. A web application firewall also effectively blocks unauthorized connection requests from the hacker.

5. Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks remain at the top of the list as a significant and most damaging security threat businesses face today. In a phishing attack, the attackers pretend to be a trusted contact and send malicious emails with links that appear genuine. Upon opening the link, the victim falls into the attackers’ trap leaking sensitive organizational data.

Phishing attacks have been an enormous success and will likely prevail in the coming years. The best way to avoid these attacks is to train your employees and define strict security parameters.

6. Malware Attacks

Malware, or ‘malicious software, is a collection of various software or pieces of code that hackers use to infiltrate a system. Malware is the most common cybersecurity threat to an ordinary internet user. There are various categories of malware, including Trojans, adware, viruses, ransomware, spyware, rootkits, etc. The primary function of malware is to trick the user into clicking a malicious link which results in the malware being downloaded on the user’s system to gather sensitive information or interrupt system activities. Once a hacker gains access to a user’s system, they have countless opportunities to exploit this unauthorized access and harm the system. Here are the top 3 malware that most users on the internet fall victim to:

1. Viruses

Viruses are similar in functionality and purpose to human viruses. A virus is a small program attached to particular software or operating system tools. Whenever a user initiates the software or tool, the virus runs itself and performs the required operation. It multiplies in the same way as the human virus. With each new click, the virus can make hundreds of new copies.

2. Trojan Horse

Trojan horse or trojan, as the name suggests, is a software that pretends to be legitimate and tricks the user into providing sensitive information like bank credit card numbers, account numbers, IDs and passwords, etc. While the purpose remains hidden from the user, the hacker exploits this information to steal information and harm the user in various ways. Some perilous Trojans in recent years are banking Trojans, mobile remote access Trojans (MRATs), downloader Trojans, DDoS trojans, antivirus Trojans, mailfinder Trojans, and many others.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware is malware that allows hackers to hijack computers or files and demand ransom in the form of bitcoins to let users regain access to critical information. The hackers exploit compromised security at the user’s end to gain access to the system and admin accounts. Once they have absolute power over a user’s system, they start restricting files and folders, and even services, for the user. The hacker contacts the user through email, messaging, or other communication techniques to demand ransom in exchange for access to critical files.

Final Thoughts

With technological advancement, hackers and cybercriminals have invented new and more sophisticated ways to commit crimes and steal sensitive information from individuals, businesses, and organizations. Organizations must deploy rigorous security mechanisms and educate staff on various security dangers and how to fight them to combat the ever-increasing cybersecurity threats.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button