Human error is used in many of the strategies used by cyber criminals to breach businesses. Even your most intelligent staff can become your greatest liability if they unknowingly click on a malicious link. Other assaults, on the other hand, take advantage of flaws in your data security attempts to get access to important information.
Attacks by Phishers
Phishing attempts to steal information from consumers or deceive them into downloading malware by sending malicious emails or text messages (SMS) that appear to be legitimate requests but are actually phishing attempts. This Dropbox email, which asks recipients to confirm their email address, is actually a phishing attempt:
Phishing attacks are the most common cause of data breaches globally, according to Verizon’s 2021 Data Breach Investigations Report, and have been the underlying cause of major cases of cybercrime in the recent decade.
The bad actors who hacked the AP News Twitter account and falsely tweeted that the White House was under attack, as well as the bad actors who leaked sensitive emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman before the 2016 election, used a targeted phishing attack (spear-phishing) to gain access to the account.
There are few ways you can take which can reduce your exposure to phishing:
A- Implement controls to Block Spam:
Since Phishing is done in form of an email, the better you get at blocking spam, the more you will be protecting yourself from phishing.
a. At the user level: Users can control spam at their inbox by flagging unwanted emails as junk
b. At the organization level: Organizations can block spam at their email server by backlisting known spammers or blocking entire domains and IP address ranges.
B- Block Bad Websites:
Block access to fraudulent and malicious websites.
a. At the browser level: This can be done at the user level by accessing the websites only with web browser that shows a warning if user attempts to go to a fraudulent website. Most modern browsers have security settings that can be configured to do this.
b. At the organization level: Organizations can install firewalls or proxy servers that prevent users from accessing known bad websites.
C- Use Password Manager:
This is a digital safe that can generate and stores strong and unique passwords. This way you are not reusing the same password on different websites. So, even if one of your passwords gets compromised in a phishing attack, it won’t work anywhere else.
D- Multifactor Authentication:
This is a stronger form of authentication than just passwords. It requires a password plus another factor (a device you have or a bio-metric factor like a fingerprint), that way even if the attacker gets your username and password, they can’t login without the other factor.
E- Security Training:
When a user knows to open phishing emails, click on manipulated links then phishing would not be such a serious problem.
Cyber Security Companies get on boarded to teach users how to recognize phishing attack, explain why they should be suspicious of urgent emails and hover over links to see if they are legitimate or not. These Cyber Security Companies offer Cyber Security Professional Services to tackle with Phishing attacks and train users in such way so that they can safeguard themselves as well as entire organization.
Conduct phishing drills to check how many users might fall for an actual phishing attack.
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are a type of distributed denial of DDoS attacks cause traffic to a website, application, server, service, or network to be disrupted by flooding it with traffic from compromised computer networks (botnets) that prevents actual users from accessing it. In 2018, GitHub was subjected to the world’s greatest DDoS attack, receiving 1.35 terabits of traffic per second and being knocked offline for about 20 minutes as a result.
According to security firm Kaspersky, DDoS assaults are prevalent and have increased by 50% in 2021 compared to 2020, with a major spike in early 2020 during the pandemic. Read More:- 10 Warning Signs Of An Imminent Cyber Attack in 2022
How to Protect Yourself From DDoS Attacks
DDoS assaults are difficult to spot since they’re often difficult to tell apart from real traffic. Blocking all traffic for a brief period of time, rate-limiting traffic to a website, utilising a web application firewall to identify suspicious traffic patterns, or spreading traffic across a network of servers are all ways to mitigate the impact of a DDoS attack. Some Best Penetration testing companies offer unique IDS/IPS tools to stop DDOS Attacks.
- Attacks by a Man-in-the-Middle
Bad actors spy on or intercept communication between you and your users or staff in man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks. MitM attacks are most typically used to steal or divert personal or company information, or in espionage circumstances, such as when Russian hackers attempted to breach the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
MitM assaults aren’t the most prevalent cyberattack because malware can accomplish many of the same goals. MitM assaults, on the other hand, pose a threat to businesses because they’re typically difficult to detect, and more employees will be working remotely after 2020. Read More:- Juice Jacking : A Cyber Attack to Steal Your Sensitive Data
Fake WiFi networks, for example, are simple to set up in public settings like coffee shops, where remote employees frequently operate. People unwittingly connect to these networks, allowing unscrupulous actors to snoop on them while they utilise the network.
How Can You Prevent MitM Attacks?
The easiest way to fight against MitM attacks is to use end-to-end encryption protocols like Transport Layer Security (TLS). Furthermore, requiring your employees to use a VPN to access company networks via public WiFi ensures that any information shared during their session remains private, regardless of whether the network belongs to a bad actor or if the WiFi at their coffee shop is simply unsecured.
- Malware Attacks
Malware is a broad term that encompasses a variety of harmful software meant to penetrate, spy on, or construct a backdoor into a company’s systems or data. Ransomware, worms, trojans, adware, and spyware are all examples of malware. Malware usage has increased by about 800 percent since early 2021, according to experts.
Malware has the ability to cause big data breaches and corporate operations to be severely disrupted. WannaCry, a massive ransomware attack that took advantage of a flaw in Microsoft’s operating system, sent the following message to banks, health-care providers, manufacturing, and other businesses throughout the world:
Businesses had to pay a Bitcoin ransom to the WannaCry program’s designers to recover access to their systems and any files that hadn’t been saved up.
Malware is often downloaded unintentionally by clicking on a malicious link or deceiving a user into believing they are downloading something legitimate when they are not.
How to Prevent Malware Infections
Teach your employees how to recognise strange links and pop-ups that could contain malware to help limit the risk of infection.
Keeping your operating systems up to date to ensure known security flaws are fixed and installing anti-virus software are two other ways to defend yourself from malware. The Equifax data leak, for example, could have been avoided if a known fix had been applied in a timely manner.
- Passwords Spray Attacks
Password spraying is a form of brute-force attack in which hostile actors try to guess a user’s password by using a list of commonly used passwords such as “ABCDEF” or “Querty@123.”
Password spraying, like credential stuffing, is quite prevalent. According to Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Report, brute-force methods like password spraying were used in over 80% of all hacking-related data breaches. Security Testing Companies keep offering cyber security training to all users on how to make strong passwords.
How Can You Avoid Password Spraying Attacks?
Password spraying attacks, like credential stuffing attacks, can be mitigated by employing passwordless authentication or MFA. However, by adopting the NIST Password Guidelines, which are widely regarded as the highest password standards in the world, you can limit the danger and consequences of a data breach caused by password spraying.
1. Avoid using consecutive numerals or letters.
For example, do not use the numbers 12345678, Qwerty, PLM, or 1234.
2. Your password should not contain your birth year or month/day of birth.
Remember that digging into your social media accounts might readily reveal sensitive information to cyber attackers.
3. Include at least eight characters, numbers, and symbols in your answer.
The more characters you put in your password and the longer it is, the more difficult it is to guess. KOO#?12ASHCJahshA, for example, is a one-of-a-kind combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numerals, and symbols.
4. In your password or passphrase, combine different unrelated terms.
Cyber crooks will have a hard time guessing your password as a result of this. Use phrases from popular songs, movies, or TV shows sparingly. To make your pass, use three or four longer terms. 8KKSA&&ErscalashaskhKetobogGaN, for example.
5. Do not use dictionaries for names or words.
To make the password more difficult to guess, replace letters with digits or symbols. Alternatively, make purposeful spelling mistakes in the password or passphrase. P8tty0G#5dn, for example, stands for “patio garden.” People seek cyber security consulting firms help to safeguard from cyber attacks. Some penetration testing companies also help to prevent the user breaches by proactively raising the alert.
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In this blog post, we’ve briefly explained 5 Most Common Cyber Threats in 2022. We hope you enjoyed it! Stay safe from cyber-attacks!
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