Types Of Cyber Security Threat
Welcome to our blog series, where we embark on a journey through the ever-evolving landscape of digital defence and how to protect your business against all kinds of threats.
In today’s interconnected world, where information flows freely and technology reigns supreme, we find ourselves confronting a myriad of digital adversaries. From stealthy hackers lurking in the shadows to cunning malware seeking to infiltrate our most secure fortresses, the realm of cyber threats knows no bounds.
In this blog series, we will explore the diverse and constantly evolving types of threats that pose significant risks to individuals, organisations, and even nations.
So, fasten your seatbelts as we delve into the world of cyber security and arm ourselves with the knowledge to stay one step ahead of those who seek to exploit the vulnerabilities of the digital age.
Chapter 1 – ‘The Threats’
What is a cyber security threat?
Cyber threats are deliberate attempts to steal data and cause disruptions in a malicious manner. The frequency and impact of these threats have significantly increased in recent years.
By 2025, these crimes are expected to cost the world about $10.5tn, up 250 per cent from 2015’s $3tn, the company added.
The increasing recognition of cyberattacks has led individuals and businesses to emphasise safeguarding their devices and data. Nevertheless, while defensive measures have improved, cybercriminals have adapted their tactics, resulting in the rise of numerous, complex, and sophisticated cyber threats.
A troubling aspect is that these threats can materialise suddenly, leaving organisations in a constant state of uncertainty. This fear of the unknown persists even among the most vigilant establishments. Reacting to a breach after it has already happened often proves too little, too late, as significant damage may have already occurred.
Types of cyber attack
Malware, which stands for malicious software, is a term used to describe any software or code intentionally created to inflict damage on computer systems, networks, or servers. This category of malicious activity is widespread and includes a diverse array of cyberattacks. Among the various forms of malware are ransomware, trojans, spyware, viruses, worms, keyloggers, bots, crypto-jacking, and several other types of software-based attacks aimed at exploiting systems for malicious intentions.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) attacks
A Denial-of-Service (DoS) attack involves overwhelming a network with fraudulent requests to disrupt its normal operations. This results in users being unable to access crucial services such as email, websites, and other online resources. On the other hand, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks originate from multiple systems, making them more agile and challenging to counteract swiftly. The distributed nature of DDoS attacks allows them to achieve greater speed and resilience, making them harder to block effectively.
Phishing is a malevolent type of cyber assault that exploits different communication channels, such as email, SMS, phone calls, social media platforms, and social engineering techniques. Its main goal is to dupe unsuspecting individuals into revealing sensitive information, such as passwords or account numbers. Alternatively, victims might be deceived into downloading malicious files that release viruses onto their computers or mobile devices.
Spoofing is a technique used by cybercriminals to deceive their victims by adopting the identity of a known and trusted entity. This deceptive act allows wrongdoers to interact with their targets, exploit weaknesses, and gain unauthorised access to their systems or devices. The primary purposes of these malicious actions include acquiring sensitive information illicitly, extorting money, or injecting malware and other harmful programs into the victim’s machine.
Detecting these types of attacks poses significant challenges. When an intruder acquires a legitimate user’s credentials and masquerades as the user, it becomes extremely difficult to differentiate between the genuine user’s typical behaviour and the malicious actions of the hacker using traditional security methods and tools. Moreover, the process of identifying such breaches can extend up to 250 days, highlighting the prolonged duration required to recognize and respond to these identity-driven threats.
Code Injection Attacks
Code injection attacks consist of an attacker injecting malicious code into a vulnerable computer or network to change its course of action.
Supply Chain Attacks
A supply chain attack is a type of cyberattack strategy that targets a trusted third-party vendor responsible for providing crucial services or software within the supply chain. These attacks can be classified into two main types: software and hardware supply chain attacks.
In software supply chain attacks, the attackers insert malicious code into an application, which allows them to infect a large number of users who utilise the compromised application.
On the other hand, hardware supply chain attacks focus on compromising physical components to achieve a similar objective. The vulnerability of software supply chains is particularly concerning because they heavily rely on pre-existing elements, such as third-party APIs, open-source code, and proprietary software from vendors, rather than building everything from the ground up. This reliance increases the potential entry points for attackers to exploit and infiltrate the supply chain.
IT teams focused solely on external adversaries miss half the picture. Insider threats, such as current/former employees, pose dangers due to direct access to networks, sensitive data, and knowledge of company processes. Motivations range from selling information on the dark web for profit to using social engineering tactics. Organisations should implement comprehensive cybersecurity training to raise awareness of potential insider attacks.
But why do you need a cybersecurity strategy?
Cybercriminals are well aware that small businesses often face limitations in their ability to invest in strong security personnel and software, unlike larger companies. As a result, these malicious actors view small businesses as attractive targets due to their perceived vulnerability, especially when essential security measures, such as antivirus software, are missing.
Moreover, cybercriminals are well aware that many small businesses have partnerships or collaborations with larger corporations. This means that if they can breach the network of a small business, they might gain unauthorised access to the interconnected systems of a larger enterprise. This realisation significantly increases the attractiveness of targeting small businesses in the eyes of hackers.
Furthermore, small businesses often store significant amounts of sensitive financial data, including bank account and credit card information. The presence of such valuable data makes exploiting vulnerabilities in the security infrastructure of a small business an enticing prospect for those with malicious intent. They see it as an opportunity to obtain valuable information that can be used for various nefarious purposes.
The risks …
- Compensating customers for theft of banking or credit card information
- Losses due to business disruption & shutting down operations
- Costs related to adding new security systems and software or replacing devices
- Reputation damage, informing customers of the breach and losing potential new business
In conclusion, the ever-evolving landscape of digital defence demands our utmost attention as we face an array of relentless cyber threats. From stealthy hackers and cunning malware to identity-based attacks and supply chain infiltrations, the realm of cyber threats knows no bounds. The increasing recognition of these dangers has led individuals, organisations, and even nations to prioritise safeguarding their digital assets.
As cyber criminals adapt their tactics and exploit vulnerabilities, the fear of sudden and significant breaches looms over even the most vigilant establishments. To stay one step ahead of these adversaries, it is crucial to arm ourselves with knowledge and adopt robust cybersecurity strategies. Small businesses, in particular, must be wary of their attractiveness as targets to cybercriminals due to perceived vulnerabilities and interconnected relationships with larger corporations. The risks of falling victim to cyberattacks can result in dire consequences, including financial losses, business disruptions, reputational damage, and the costly aftermath of enhancing security measures.
As we delve into the world of cyber security, let us fortify our defences and remain vigilant to protect the digital age from those who seek to exploit its weaknesses.
Ready for more?
Keep your eyes peeled for the next instalment of our Cybersecurity Series – Chapter 2 ‘Tips For The Office’ …
As ever, if you need help or have any questions with regard to your IT or technology requirements, then do not hesitate to contact our IT superheroes, they may not wear capes or fly, but they certainly can work magic for your business!
Ready for the next chapter?
Read more below …
Please feel free to contact us today! Tel: 0330 400 5465