Cybersecurity Threats and How to Avoid Them
Cybercrime is one of the biggest threats facing businesses, with 39% of businesses reporting a cyberattack in 2022 alone. If you get hit by a cyberattack, it can be costly, not just to your finances but to your business’ reputation too. But help is at hand. This article will give you the lowdown on cybersecurity, covering everything from identifying threats to keeping your systems secure.
What are cybersecurity threats?
A cybersecurity threat is any suspicious, malicious, or deliberate activity that attacks computer systems, networks, intellectual property, information technology assets or sensitive data. Motivations can vary, but the attacker will usually benefit from the attack, such as obtaining unauthorised access and stealing sensitive data.
The more common types of attacks include:
- Hostile nation-states
- Terrorist groups
- Insiders and third-party vendors
What are the most common cybersecurity threats?
Awareness of the most common cybersecurity threats is critical to line your digital defence. Some attacks are more challenging to detect than others, and cybercrooks can often use cunning ways to breach your network.
Let’s look at the common ways cybercriminals breach networks:
- Malware is a general term for malicious software and often involves installing ransomware, viruses, and worms. Its purpose is to create vulnerability by encouraging insider users to click a link or email attachment which then installs harmful software.
- Man in the Middle Attacks (MitM) allow cybercriminals to place themselves between a two-party transaction to filter and steal data. Often, it results from a transaction performed on an unsecured public Wi-Fi connection or malware that has breached a device and installed software to steal a target’s data.
- Phishing is one of the most common cyberthreats. Hackers use deceptive and fraudulent communications (primarily emails) that appear to be addressed by a reputable sender, such as a senior member of an organisation. The hacker uses these tactics to steal sensitive data. They could also install malware to make breaching your entire network easier.
- DNS tunnelling is an infamously difficult threat to detect. Cybercriminals re-route DNS requests to their service, giving them a command, control channel and data extraction path to secure sensitive data.
- Denial-of-service attacks cripple bandwidth and resources by flooding computer networks, servers, and systems. Commonly targeting high-profile websites, its purpose is to render a service inaccessible to its intended customers or users. DoS attacks are often used as punishment when a victim refuses an extortion demand.
- Ransomware uses encryption to block a user’s access to files and displays a ransom demand in exchange for the decryption code. Alarmingly, the only way to recover important files is to pay the ransom demand or to restore the data from a backup if you have one.
- Structured Query Language (SQL) injections are malicious code ‘injected’ into a database to acquire access to sensitive data or information, such as user lists or customer details.
- Zero-day threats are when cybercriminals attack an unknown vulnerability in your network. They’re often deployed before you’ve incorporated solutions or patches to correct the issue.
How to prevent cybersecurity threats
Now that we know how cybercrooks can attack, it’s time to look at prevention methods to stop them from causing any disruption or damage to your systems.
Here’s how to line your defence:
- Train staff. Cybersecurity training can help staff understand their position in keeping your organisation secure. Minimise improper usage of unsecured connections and devices with practical training on how to detect unusual activity.
- Install the latest software. Keeping your tech up to date is one of the most vital lines of defence against cybersecurity threats. Ensure your network system is updated regularly so it always has the latest software installed.
- Wi-Fi security. Using open or unsecured networks can be risky for businesses. Hackers target internet-connected devices to collect users’ information and steal identities. Employing media access control, Wi-Fi encryption, VPN and security software effectively bolsters your network security defence.
- Passwords. Password-cracking technology has developed in recent years, and 80% of business data breaches now result from password hacking. Utilising password managing software and multi-tier factor authentication strategies helps prevent a cybersecurity breach.
- Access management. Control access software and tools can identify and authenticate users, ensuring only authorised personnel have access to your network. They can also prevent employees from downloading harmful software.
How to identify cybersecurity threats
At Fabric, we can perform a cybersecurity assessment in your network with an in-depth 360° view of your IT system. This includes a comprehensive review of user permissions and security controls, a range of test strategies, and even interviewing key members of your team to gather an understanding of hierarchies’ responsibilities and processes. Once completed, we upgrade and protect your business with the appropriate action.