Cyber attacks are on the rise. According to Purplesec, in the COVID-19 era, the number of cyber-attacks has increased by 600 percent. This is an additional problem for companies that could lose money, data, and reputation due to network attacks. About 80 percent of companies are losing confidence in their resilience to cybercrime, it’s no surprise that companies plan to increase investments in cybersecurity.
To protect your IT infrastructure from constant cyber threats, you need to understand the nature of different types of cyber attacks and the measures to prevent them. That’s exactly the topic we’ll cover in this article. We will also define what a cyber attack is, give examples of recent cases, and explain why criminals are constantly attacking vulnerable IT systems.
What is a cyberattack?
A brief definition of a cyber attack is an attack by cybercriminals on one or more computers and networks. Cyber threats target not only networks and devices of various types but also entire computer infrastructures and systems.
Depending on the type of cybercrime, hackers may aim to steal, modify, delete data, or destroy an entire system. Hacking attacks are usually carried out for a specific purpose. For example:
- Espionage. According to Verizon, in 2020, only about 10 percent of Internet attacks will be motivated by spying on company business processes or sensitive data to gain an unfair competitive advantage.
- Financial motivation. This is a much more common motive for attacks on companies or individuals. Criminals demand a ransom from the victim or sell the compromised data to third parties. Overall, more than 8 in 10 hacking cases in 2020 fall into this category.
In both cases, the main target is valuable data. While in the case of individuals, it can be incriminating information to blackmail the victim, companies must protect all of their business data, including user data. They have a high value in the marketplace and can be resold to competitors or published to undermine the company’s reputation. The methods of obtaining the information depend on the type of cyber attack.
Here are the types of cyber attacks any company can face today:
- DoS and DDoS attacks
- Denial-of-service (DoS) and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) cyber-attacks are similar in concept. The first involves disrupting system resources to the point where they cannot respond to service requests. The second attack also targets system resources but from multiple malware-infected host machines.
Usually, denial of service is not the ultimate goal of the attack. It is just a step to launch another attack. DoS and DDoS attacks come in many forms, including Teardrop, Smurf, and Ping of Death attacks.
- MitM attacks
MitM stands for Man-in-the-Middle, which is self-explanatory. In this type of attack, the hacker intercepts communication between the client and the server. There are several ways to do this:
-Get the user’s cookie and hijack the session.
- Phishing and spear phishing attacks
In a phishing attack, hackers send emails that look like they come from a trusted source to obtain valuable information or get the user to perform specific actions, such as downloading a file containing malware. Spear phishing is the same, but it’s a very targeted cyber threat. Both types use technical tricks and social engineering techniques to influence the end user.
- Pass-through attacks.
This is a type of Internet attack where a hacker injects a malicious script into insecure HTTP or PHP code. As a result, the user may automatically install malware or be redirected to another site. However, drive-by downloads are not limited to websites: you can download a malicious file when viewing a pop-up window or an email. As a result, your application, web browser, or entire operating system could be compromised.
- Password attacks
Again, the name is self-explanatory: hackers try to obtain passwords by compromising personal data, gaining access to password databases, or simply guessing. The latter approach can be divided into:
- SQL injection attacks
An SQL injection attack occurs when an SQL query is executed against a database through input from the client to the server. It is inserted into the data entry plane to initiate specific SQL commands. If the attempt is successful, the perpetrator can not only access the database but also modify it, disable it or restore the data.
- XSS attacks
- Malware attacks
Malware, or malicious software, is a common type of cyber attack where, as the name suggests, malicious software is installed on a device. There are many ways to carry out an attack, from attaching malware to legitimate code to hiding it in an application or file. There are many types of malware:
- Polymorphic virus
- Stealth virus
- System or file infectors
- Logical bombs
- Hashing attacks
This type of hack involves attacking hash algorithms that verify the integrity of software or message. Each hash function generates a unique message digest (M.D.) that characterizes a particular message. A hack attack aims to find two random letters with the same M.D. to replace one legitimate message with a criminal one. The catch is that the recipient won’t notice anything because the M.D. is the same.
However, not all types of cyberattacks involve hackers resorting to modern warfare techniques to obtain valuable data. They also apply:
- Eavesdropping attacks.
- URL Interpretation
- DNS spoofing
- Brute force attacks
- Internal Cyber Threats
How to protect yourself from cyber threats?
The modern war between hackers initiating cyberattacks and users fighting them has escalated significantly. Cybercriminals are mastering increasingly sophisticated ways to penetrate networks and sabotage victims, posing significant threats to unsuspecting victims. Therefore, knowing how to prevent a hacking attack is crucial to avoid future losses.
Here are two basic things to consider when developing a strategy to counter an attack:
- Educate yourself and your team
- Given that 95% of hacks are due to human error, you must recognize the fact that people are the biggest vulnerable in your company. Therefore, extensive training is a must. You must cover the following topics:
- Develop a cybersecurity policy and ensure your employees adhere to it. They should take all preventative measures, such as setting up multi-factor authentication, avoiding copying data to flash cards, sharing access with third parties, etc.
- Don’t forget to provide regular training and testing so that your employees are always on the lookout.
- Address vulnerabilities in your software and hardware.
Whether you’re worried about malware or an Internet attack, the first thing you need to do is install reliable software that can handle today’s cyber problems. Here’s what you can do:
- Keep your software up to date.
Consider installing a patch management system that will update it in a timely manner.
- Configure access settings for private and sensitive data to reduce the risk of insider threats.
- Invest in secure equipment, mostly networking equipment, such as routers that boast advanced security measures.
To keep your systems secure, you need to develop a set of measures to combat various types of cyber-attacks. This includes training employees on corporate cybersecurity policies, as well as having qualified IT support with reliable, resilient software and hardware. While employee training is your own responsibility, the latter can be outsourced to a trusted vendor.
At Altezza Creative Solutions, we’re ready to share our extensive knowledge and experience in this area. Our engineers will not only help you scan your IT infrastructure and find potential loopholes but also create a well-protected network to prevent unwanted guests, be they hackers or malware. Let us know if you’re looking for an effective partnership to combat cybersecurity risks.