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Top Cyber Security Threats| Types, Examples & Prevention

Cyber Security-CRC-Texas

Cyber security is a real issue for an individual or an organization. From the beginning of the Internet, various security risks have come and gone. Their severity ranges from mild disruption to devastating cyber-attacks. You can be sure that cyber threats will continue so long as the net does. However, terrible it is, many common types of security risks are identifiable and preventable. In this article, we will focus on the types of cyber security risks and cyber attacks that people face today, along with ways to stop them.

What is a Cyber Security?

If a third party accesses an unauthorized system or a network, we call it a cyber-attack. A person who commits a cyber-attack is called a hacker or attacker.

Cyber security is a way to protect networks, computer systems, mobile devices, electronic systems, and their components from unauthorized digital access. It aims to reduce the risk of cyber-attacks and to protect against unauthorized misuse of systems, networks, and technologies. Cyber-attacks have many negative effects. When an attack occurs, it can lead to data corruption, which results in data loss or manipulation. Organizations face financial losses, customer confidence is undermined and reputational damage occurs. Hence, cyber security is implemented to prevent cyber attacks.

The COVID-19 situation also had a negative impact on cyber security. According to Interpol and the WHO, the number of cyber-attacks increased dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Types of Cyber Attacks

There are many different types of cyberattacks. Being aware of the different types of cyberattacks will make it easier for us to protect our networks and systems against them. Let’s take a closer look at the most common types of cyberattacks.

Malware

Malware is the most widespread form of cyber threat. It is a situation in which an unwanted program or software is installed on a target system, and causes unusual behavior. This behavior includes denying access to programs, deleting files, stealing information, and spreading it to other systems. “Malware” also refers to malicious software viruses, worms, spyware, ransomware, adware, and Trojan horses. The Trojan virus masquerades as legitimate software. Ransomware blocks access to key network components, while Spyware is software that giveaways all your private data without your knowledge. Adware is software that displays advertising content on a user’s screen.

Prevention: Users and organizations should have the latest antimalware program installed, to begin with. It is also important to identify suspicious links, files, or websites. Often, a combination of precaution and antivirus is enough to avoid most malware worries. Use firewalls to filter out unwanted traffic from your device. Windows and Mac OS X have their standard built-in firewalls, called Windows Firewall and Mac Firewall. Keep your browsers and operating systems updated.

Zero-Day Exploits

This exploitation is a targeted attack on a system, network, or software. This attack exploits a maliciously created vulnerability, attempts to cause unusual behavior, destroys data, and steals information.

Prevention: Stopping exploits is a challenge because it relies on the organization to find security issues and come up with a solution. The vulnerability can exist for a long time. Hence, organizations should introduce proactive security measures to protect their network and keep software up to date.

Password Theft

Password attacks are one of the most common forms of business and personal data breaches. So, a Password attack refers to any of the various methods used by a hacker to steal your password and maliciously authenticate password-protected accounts.

Prevention: Here are some ways to prevent password attacks: Use strong complex alphanumeric passwords with special characters. In addition, do not use the same password for multiple websites or accounts. Update your passwords. The hacker/attacker could use brute force attacks, dictionary attacks, and keylogger attacks to guess the password. They can also steal it from an unsafe location or use social engineering to trick a user into providing it. Two-factor authentication is a powerful protection method because it requires additional devices to complete the login.

You can use tools like (a) Keeper- which is the most secure way to store and protect your passwords and private information from cyber threats. LastPass- which is a password manager and password generator that locks your passwords and personal information in a secure vault

Traffic Interception

In this threat, a third party “listens” to information sent between the user and the host. The type of stolen information varies depending on the traffic but is often used to capture credentials or valuable data.

Prevention: Avoiding compromised sites is the best defense. Encrypting network traffic — for example, through a VPN — is another way to prevent this.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing attacks are one of the most common widespread cyber attacks. This is a type of social engineering attack in which the attacker pretends to be a trustworthy contact and sends a fake email to the victim. The victim opens the e-mail and clicks on the malicious link or attachment. In this way, attackers gain access to confidential information and account credentials. They can also install malware through phishing attacks.

Prevention: Carefully check the emails you receive. Most phishing emails contain a number of errors, such as spelling and formatting errors from legitimate sources. Use the anti-phishing toolbar. Always update your passwords.

Distributed Denial of Service ( DDoS) attack

Distributed Denial of Service is a major threat to businesses. It is a type of attack in which malicious people target systems, servers, or networks and overload them with user traffic. If the server is unable to process future requests, the site it hosts shuts down or slows down with unusable performance. It is also known as a distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, where attackers use multiple compromised systems to launch the attack.

Prevention: Understand warning signs such as network delays, website outages, and more. At such a time, the organization must take the necessary steps immediately. Create an incident response plan, have a checklist, and make sure your team and data center can handle DDoS attacks. Stopping DDoS requires identifying malicious traffic and stopping access. This may take a while depending on how many malicious IP addresses are used to spread the attack. In most cases, servers need to be taken offline for continuity.

Cross-Site Attack

Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) attacks occur when an attacker uses a Web application to send malicious code, usually in the form of a browser script, to another end user. In this case, the third party will target a vulnerable website, usually one that does not have encryption. Vulnerabilities in Web scripts could allow an attacker to disguise themselves as a victim user, perform all actions that the user can perform, and gain access to all user data. If the victim’s user has permission to access the contents of the application, then the attacker can gain full control over all equipment and data in the application.

Prevention: Encrypt all systems. In addition, it is important to offer the ability to disable site scripts to prevent malicious loading. Users can also install script-blocking add-ons in their browser if they want more control over browsing.

SQL Injection Attack

A Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attack occurs when a hacker manipulates a standard SQL query on the database site. The hacker uses a piece of Structured Query Language (SQL) code to manipulate a database and gain access to potentially valuable information.

Prevention: Implementing smart firewalls is one way to prevent this; Application firewalls can detect and filter unwanted requests. It is often the most efficient way to generate code that identifies illegal user input. Intrusion detection systems help to detect unauthorized access to the network. During the authentication process, implement validation of user-supplied data.

Conclusion

With more and more cybercrimes nowadays, it’s good to know about cyber security, cyber threats, and how to protect your network from cyber-attacks. The complexity of these types of cyber threats is growing, but understanding them is the best way to protect your networks and systems.

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