Common Types Of Cyber Threats

A cyber threat is a malicious act that seeks to damage data, steal data, or disrupt digital life in general. These attacks include computer viruses, data breaches, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

Here’s a list of common cyber threats that you should be vary of

  • Malware: Malware is any software or file that is harmful to a device or network such as corrupting data or taking control of a system. E.g viruses, spyware, worms, trojans, rootkits.
  • Phishing attacks: Phishing is when a cybercriminal attempts to lure individuals into providing sensitive information such as passwords, banking and credit card details.
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks: Distributed denial of service attacks aim to disrupt a computer network by flooding the network with superfluous requests to overload the system and prevent legitimate requests being fulfilled.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that denies access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid.
  • Zero-day exploits: A zero-day exploit is an attack that exploits an unknown computer security vulnerability. It Usually occurs on the same day this vulnerability is discovered.
  • Advanced persistent threats: An advanced persistent threat is when an unauthorized user gains access to a system or network and remains there without being detected for an extended period of time.
  • Wiper attacks: A wiper attack is a form of malware whose intention is to wipe, overwrite or completely remove the hard drive of the computer it infects.
  • Data manipulation attack: Data manipulation is a form of cyber attack that aims to change the data rather than steal, to make it harder for an organization to operate. It is usually hard to detect.
  • Data destruction: Data destruction is exactly what it is – when a cyber attacker attempts to destroy/delete data.
  • Man-in-the-middle attack (MITM attack): A MITM attack is when an attack relays and possibly alters the communication between two parties who believe they are communicating with each other.
  • Drive-by downloads: A drive-by download attack is a download that happens without a person’s knowledge often installing a computer virus, spyware or malware.
  • Malvertising: Malvertising is the use of online advertising to spread malware. This is when malicious or malware-laden advertisements are injected into legitimate online advertising networks and webpages.
  • Rogue software: Rogue software is malware that is disguised as real software. Used to trick users into revealing financial details or paying for fake goods/products.

Where Do Cyber Attacks Come From?

Cyber threats come from numerous sources including:

  • Hostile nation-states
  • Terrorist groups
  • Corporate spies
  • Organized crime organizations
  • Hacktivists
  • Disgruntled/Unhappy insiders
  • Hackers
  • Accidental actions of authorized users

Summary

It can be extremely distressing for businesses and consumers facing cyber threats due to how frequent and destructive they are. So as a business or consumer you should take measures to reduce these threats. Ensure your systems are up to date, train yourself and your employees, configure your firewall to whitelist only the specific ports and hosts you need, use strong passwords and avoid sharing them, use a least-privilege model in your IT environment, make regular backups of your files, and continuously audit your IT systems for suspicious activity. Doing all this will ensure you stay on top of these threats.

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