What Are The Different Types of Cyber Threats?

Companies around the world are increasing their security measures to prepare themselves for all kinds of external threats. You may remember one of the largest attacks in history against the internet giant, Yahoo? This global breach alone affected over 3 billion accounts in 2013 (New York Times, 2017). Since then, cyber threats have become more sophisticated and complicated to detect. Luckily, most breaches that occur around the world are not as large as this one, but various consequences can be endured by companies experiencing them. In 2020, 46 % of UK (United Kingdom) businesses experienced security breaches or issues related to cybersecurity (UK Government, 2021). We will find out more about some of the cyberthreats lurking around the internet and how they can dramatically impact organisations daily.  

Phishing 

Let us start with Phishing, that is known to be the most common cyber threats in the world. Phishing accounts for over 80% of total threats in the UK alone, so it is best to know what you are dealing with (UK Government, 2021). These attacks usually occur through email with the aim of stealing sensitive information such as credentials and credit card numbers. An individual sends a “phishing” email to other individuals, with a link leading to a phishing website looking like a legitimate website. The victims are asked to type in their confidential information, thinking the website is legitimate due to the similarities with the official website. Once the credentials are types into the phishing website, the cybercriminal can collect information from them and use it. 

Sounds scary to think you can easily get tricked by a simple email and loose so much? Do not worry, there are specific measures you can take now that will be explained at the end. In the meantime, feel free to watch this short video, that gives you a high-level overview about how you can spot a suspicious email. 

SQL injection 

A SQLI is a type of attack by which cybercriminals exploit software vulnerabilities in web applications for the purpose of stealing, deleting, or modifying data, or gaining administrative control over the systems running the affected applications. For this reason, it is important for companies to always ensure that they have updated and secured software services to avoid any vulnerabilities for incoming attacks. 

Cross site scripting (XSS) 

This type of threat occurs during web vulnerabilities, with an attacker able to compromise the interactions that users have with the vulnerable application. Cross-site scripting vulnerabilities usually enable an attacker to masquerade as a victim user, to carry out any actions that the user can perform, and to access any of the user’s data.  

In some cases, the cybercriminal can gain full control over all the application’s functionality and data. The attacker impersonates his victim identity and may steal further data from a website if not contained in time. Companies with strong security structures and scanning technology can prevent these types of attacks in most cases. 

Denial of service (DoS) attack 

DoS attacks are launched by an attacker to disactivate access to a server from its legitimate owner. Attackers usually aim to overload servers or systems with requests for data or access to resources like the processor or main memory. Computers from all over the world are controlled to take part in the attack, each sending only a small part of the entire data flood.  

The more vulnerabilities in the security structure of a business the easier it is to disactivate access to legitimate users. Victims will not be able to access their information during the attack. Although the process usually takes 1 to 2 hours to eliminate this kind of cyberthreat, the consequences can result in loss of income and cost of repair of breached software (BBC, 2021). 

Malware 

Malware is malicious software’s specifically created by attackers to destroy or collect sensitive information. The use of malwares has increased by 358% through 2020, with many developments since (Deep instinct, 2020). Malware is a collective term that includes many subcategories like viruses, worms, Trojans, Ransomware and more. The threat is usually distributed by email as a link or file, requiring the recipient to click on the link or open the file to execute it.  

Each Malware has its own plan of action, which can cause complications for the awareness of this threat. For example, ransomware occurs with a hacker is accessing sensitive information from other individuals and blocking access to it. In this situation, victims are at the mercy of hackers and are asked for monetary payments in exchange for their stolen information.  

Man in the middle (MITM)  

MITM attacks can be done in many ways just like Malware. An attacker intercepts information from two legitimate parties and uses it against them. For example, an attacker can intercept a conversation between two colleagues talking on a public or unsured network. The attacker sends a forged message to one colleague that appears to originate from the other one. The attacker can then ask for and access sensitive information from the breach. Banking and credit card details can be accessed by attackers when they are used on a network through encryption keys. A highly secured network with regular monitoring is necessary to avoid this kind of cyberthreat. 

What to conclude from this?

As you’ve probably noticed, this review gives you a brief overview of what to expect when it comes to cyber threats. There are so many more details and complexity that security experts must consider when securing various networks. Additionally, cyber threats are gradually evolving towards more complex structures making them difficult to detect and eliminate. Adaptive technology that updates regularly according to those changes is required to ensure consistent and strong protection. Weak security structure and uncovered vulnerabilities are the main reason for cyberthreats occurring in most businesses. 

Adopting the right options for each business is not an easy task due to the complexity of security structures and the constant mutations of cyber threats. Companies have struggled to find cyber security providers due to an increasing demand for these services. 

What can you do to prevent all these threats from occurring in your organisation? 

Well due to the complexity of the cyber world and the rapid changes to the environment, it is important to consider working with a security expert who is able to help deliver appropriate results. risual is a Microsoft Gold partner with many years of experience in cyber security capable of delivering services for companies of all sizes in every market. We strongly focus on client satisfaction and feedback to understand how we can offer the most relevant services according to each organisation we work with. We currently have a number of exclusive offers to maximise your security services and help with becoming complaint with legal security standards.  

Our Managed Services Operations Centre (SOC) offers 24/7 support and monitoring for all types of business, implementing ambitious standards of security. Our security cleared engineers are available through instant chat to provide detailed updates.  

The cloud security review offers a detailed analysis of the security structure for every business and develops a roadmap with recommendations for improvement in under 4 days. Training with Microsoft technology is provided alongside the security review to ensure a good understanding of the possible opportunities. 

We have other security offers available to you now and we can make the necessary adjustments to match your objectives. Share our ideas with us if these offers are not suited specifically to your organisation. we have various security and managed services engagements available to help with your business challenges or accelerate existing projects. Feel free to read about how we helped various businesses secure their services and offer a safe work environment for the employees.  

An international consumer organisation optimised data security 

A local council required a cloud transformation to secure its services 

Oil and gas organisation enhances security with the deployment of Exchange 216 

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