As technology continues evolving, it also outgives a bucket of cyber threats to individuals and organizations. Many innocent individuals and companies have been affected by this bucket of old and new types of cyber threats in cyber security.
Since we carry on with the ride of types of cyber threats, some even lose their sensitive information and credentials to hackers. However, having some basic and advanced knowledge about cyber attacks can help mitigate cyber threats.
In this blog, we will dive into different types of cyber threats in cyber security in detail. It will cover an introduction to cyber threats and a list of cyber security threats and solutions with cyber threat examples. Therefore, you can recognize them and save your company, yourself and many others.
Cyber or cybersecurity threats are malicious attacks by an individual or organization intended to damage data, steal confidential data, or gain access to the computer network to disrupt digital life.
Cyber threats include attacks from computer viruses, data breaches, denial of service and other attack vectors. They also refer to the possibility of cyber attacks to steal information, technological assets, intellectual property, or any other form of sensitive data.
Before going into the types of cyber threats, we should know about the sources of cyber threats to raise awareness.
Cyber threats can come from a variety of sources, such as hostile nation-states and terrorist groups. Also, these cyber threats can originate within an organization by trusted users who abuse their privileges or by unknown parties from remote locations.
Here is a cyber threat actors list that represents some types of threat actors against organizations,
Hackers develop a variety of attack techniques to attack different organizations. Usually, hackers do that for personal gain, financial gain, revenge or political purposes. Sometimes, they get inspired to show off their improvement in criminal activities in the hacker community.
Terrorists conduct cyber attacks to destroy or abuse critical infrastructure, threaten national security, disrupt economies and harm citizens.
Hostile countries plan cyber attacks against local companies and organizations to disturb communications and cause disorder and damage.
Criminal hacker groups want to break the computing system of organizations for economic benefits. They can use spam, spyware, phishing and malware to steal confidential data for extortion and online scams.
An individual or a group of employees who are part of the companies with legitimate access to company assets. However, they abuse their privileges to steal data and information or damage computing systems for financial or personal gain.
Corrupted corporate organizations target the intentional exploitation of a vulnerability or a situation and method that may accidentally exploit a vulnerability.
Hacktivists are a subset of hackers who adversely impact the organizational operations of individuals or nations via unauthorized access, destruction, disclosure or denial of service. Their main aim is to spread political propaganda rather than disrupt organizations.
Cyber security issues are rising daily, in sync with the digitization of business and technology. While there are dozens of different types of cyber threats in cyber security, here is a list of 10 common types of cyber security threats in cyber security with examples.
Malware is a common type of cyberattack among the kinds of security threats to organizations. It includes viruses, trojan viruses, ransomware, worms, spyware etc. Attackers often use malware to get into users' devices through social engineering.
Malware generally infiltrates a system via a link from an untrusted website, email, or unwanted software download. In other cases, they can use browser or operating system vulnerabilities to install themselves without the users' consent.
Once installed, malware can collect sensitive data, monitor user activities, and send data to the attackers. In addition, they can assist the attacker in penetrating other targets within the network. Further, they can even destroy data, block access to network components or shut down the system altogether.
Here are some common types of malware attacks,
Example: According to the email security report, Mimecast reported that 51% of organizations experienced ransomware attacks. In 2021, this statistic had risen to 61%.
Solution: A proactive cyber security approach is just needed to prevent it. Users should have common precautions, including regular computer and application patching, using endpoint protection software, multi-factor authentications, strong passwords, and protection against malicious emails.
Besides these, they should recognize the suspicious links, files or websites and anti-malware programs installed. Sometimes, a combination of caution and anti-maliciousness is enough to prevent most malware concerns.
Social engineering works to access users' sensitive information or unwittingly installs malware on their devices through manipulation and trickery. These cyber threats can be presented in person; tough phishing campaigns are usually attack vectors of social engineering. For example, threat actors pose as legitimate actors and ask for passwords.
Here are some social engineering attacks,
Solution: Usually, a common-sense approach is the best defense to it. Before clicking on any link via email, think carefully and pay deep attention. Usually, authentic emails from organizations do not require personal information. So, if it requires personal data, there is malicious intent. So, above all, don't click on any suspicious link from an unknown source.
A supply chain attack is a new cyber attack on software developer organizations and vendors. We know that attackers always look for vulnerabilities in cyber security supply networks. These vulnerabilities can be network, operating system, and human vulnerabilities for individuals, organizations, resources, and technologies involved in software development and sales.
The attacker mainly aims to infect legitimate applications and spread malware via updates, source code or development.
Supply chain attacks exploit the trust of third-party vendors of organizations, mainly updates and patching. For this reason, a supply chain attack is dangerous because the vendors are unaware that their applications or updates are infected with malware.
Examples of supply chain attacks are,
Solution: To mitigate the supply chain attacks, implementing a robust vendor risk management is the solution. This vulnerability management solution can rescue a business from becoming a vulnerable link. They can identify security weaknesses that could serve as attack vectors in the supply chain.
Man-in-the-middle attack involves intercepting the communication when users or devices access an application over the internet. Attackers can eavesdrop on the transmission, placing them between the users and the target server. Then, they impersonate each party participating in the communication and steal confidential data.
Types of MitM attacks are,
Solution: To protect organizations from MitM attacks, strong encryption and HTML5 should be used on access points.
A denial-of-service attack is an attack that can shut down a machine or network system, making it inaccessible to its users. DoS attacks conduct this with a large traffic volume or by sending information that triggers a shutdown.
However, some DoS attacks include are,
Example: According to the latest cyber attack news, Indian IT services have been struggling with a 'security event' named "Infosys McCamish Systems". Because of this, their firms' application becomes unavailable in their US unit.
Solution: to prevent this attack from your device and server, you should run a traffic analysis to identify malicious traffic. Always be careful of warning signs, for instance, network slowdown, intermittent website shutdowns, etc., and take necessary steps as soon as possible.
Distributed Denial of service attack is similar to Denial of service attack. Like DoS, it aims to disrupt a computer network or system by flooding it with superfluous requests from a botnet.
Some types of DDoS attacks are,
Example: A major DDoS attack occurred on the internet in February 2020 to Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Solution: The standard way of DdoS prevention is to use a firewall to detect whether requests sent to your site are legitimate. Allowing regular traffic to flow can discard the imposter requests.
An injection attack is the top web application security risk of an attacker injecting malicious code. Then, this malicious code is injected into a vulnerable computer network or web application. As a result, sensitive information is exposed, and DOS attacks can be executed.
There are some primary Injection attacks; they are,
Solution: One of the prevention ways is to implement an intelligent firewall. Application firewalls can detect and filter out unauthorized requests. Another way is to develop code that can identify illegal user inputs
Identity-based attacks are severe attacks that are difficult to detect. Because the attacker pretends to be a user when the valid users' credentials have been compromised. So, it is often challenging to differentiate between the user's typical behaviour and the hacker using traditional security measures and tools.
Here are some common identity-based attacks,
Solution: Some precautions can be taken to stop this attack. For example, use alphanumeric solid passwords, don't use the same password for multiple accounts or websites, update your password and don't expose your password hints.
When attackers gain access to a network but remain disclosed for an extended period. They may exfiltrate sensitive data and purposely avoid detection by the security staff. Generally, this attack is launched against nation-states, large corporations, or precious targets.
Here are some APT-based attacks included,
Solution: The primary solution to this attack is to keep updating your operating system regularly. Plus, use trusted and legitimate Anti-virus protection software to remove vulnerabilities in your system.
Insider threats are the most severe actors that don't involve a third party but an insider. In such cases, insiders can be individuals or groups who do not need to have higher degrees. Because they are authorized persons who know everything and access data to exploit sensitive data.
In addition, insider threats are perilous to predict and detect. Moreover, they quickly gain access to restricted areas. By this, they can make security changes or deduce the best time to exfoliate an attack.
Example: However, there are various types of insider threats in cyber security. The internal threats in cyber security are second streamers, malware installations, careless employees, lone wolves, disgruntled employees, collaborators and many more.
Solution: Here are some prevention measures against insider threats.
In this digital world, cyber-attacks are ever-increasing, with different attacks for different purposes. Moreover, cyber adversaries use advanced levels of attacks when exploiting victims. These new measures have forced organizations to take cybersecurity prevention seriously.
However, by staying vigilant and embracing robust technology, we can mitigate these types of cyber threats in cyber security. Organizations should upgrade security analytics for each attack and basic IT hygiene and operation tools, skills, and processes as solutions for cyber threats.
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