Top Cybersecurity Threats in 2021

Top Cybersecurity Threats

Before I begin, let me talk about a few real life scenarios. In 2018, and 2019, the famous American multinational coffee and donuts company Dunkin Donuts, announced that it had been a victim of a cyber attack.

It stated that it was a case of credential stuffing attack in such an attack user’s credentials are stolen. In this case, hackers use user credentials leaked at other sites to gain entry to the Dunkin Donuts perks rewards accounts.

The type of information available inside such an account includes a user’s First and last names, email address, a 16 digit accounts number and QR code. Here the hackers targeted the account itself, which they could then sell on dark web forums.

In order to prevent such attacks in the future. Dunkin Donuts asked its customers reset unique passwords that are not repeated. That was all about the cyberattack, Dunkin Donuts witnessed.

Now that we have an idea as to how cyber attacks can affect us, let’s go ahead and understand the meaning of a cyber threat.

What is a cyber threat ?

A cyber threat is a warning which allows you to prepare against a cyber attack. When there is an unauthorized access by a third party to your system and network it is termed as a cyber attack.

The person who carries this out is known as a hacker or an attacker or cyber criminals. possibility of such an attack is stoned as a cyber threat. As we saw previously, cyber attacks lead to data breaches which result in either data manipulation or loss of highly confidential data.

It also results in financial losses and which in turn has a colossal impact on the businesses. In addition to these losses, a lot of companies face reputational damages as well. Trust plays a vital role when it comes to customer relationships.

cyberattacks can hamper an organization’s reputation and erode the customer’s trust. Let’s now get an understanding of the most common cyber attacks. Here we will look into the top 10 cyber threats in today’s times.

1. Malware attack.

Malware

This is a very common form of cyber attack. The term malware refers to malicious software why Including spyware, worms ransomware alphabet and Trojans. Trojan virus is a form of malware that disguises itself as a legitimate software.

ransomware blocks access to the key competence of the network whereas spyware, as the name suggests, is a software that steals your confidential data without your knowledge.

Come into Adware it is also a software but this software displays advertising content such as banners or pop ups on a user’s screen. malware reaches a network through a Vulnerability it usually happens when the victim clicks a dangerous link or download an email attachment or also when an infected pendrive is used.

How to prevent to Malware attack ?

  • Use Antivirus

Let’s now have a look at the ways in which we can prevent a malware attack. First and foremost, you should use any kind of an antivirus software. This tip might be something that you have heard time and again but it is a very effective way to prevent a malware Attack.

antivirus software is a program that can protect your computer against the abovementioned viruses. This data security utility installed on a computer can prevent a malware attack.

Few of the popular antivirus software are Avast antivirus, Norton Antivirus and McAfee antivirus.

  •  use firewalls

Secondly, you should use firewalls. Our firewall helps prevent and unknown viruses and other malicious activities that occur over the internet. As the name suggests, it acts as a wall between your system and the internet.

It filters the traffic that is allowed to enter your device. Windows and Mac OS 10 have the default built in firewalls named as Windows Firewall and Mac firewall respectively. Apart from this, in order to prevent attacks on your network, your router should also have a firewall built in.

  • avoid clicking on suspicious links

you should always alert and avoid clicking on suspicious links. The links might look to be legitimate but they can be home to malware which is going to enter your system and cause a havoc.

  • update operating systems

And lastly, it is wise to update operating systems and browsers regularly. If this is not done cybercriminals can exploit these vulnerabilities and attack your system that was all about preventing a malware attack.

2. phishing attack

Phishing Attack
Phishing Attack

It is one of the biggest widespread types of cyberattacks. As per reports phishing accounts for over $12 billion in business losses. So what is a phishing attack?

It is an attack wherein an attacker in person needs to be a trusted contact and since the victim fake emails. unaware of this, the victim opens the email and clicks on the malicious link or opens the attachment in the mail.

The aim of such an attack is to gain access to confidential information and account credentials. hackers can also install malware to a phishing attack. This attack is growing bigger each day as attackers are becoming more convincing and pretending to be a trusted source.

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For example, you might get an email from Apple stating that your Apple account is kept on hold for security reasons, and the mail will ask you to type in your login credentials in order to restore your account.

Do not fall for that as it is a phishing email. Legitimate sources will not randomly send you meals and ask for your account credentials. Fishing as a type of social engineering attack,

social engineering attacks refer to several malicious activities that are obtained through human interactions. it manipulates the victim in such a way that he or she ends up divulging personal information in such an attack can happen on any platform such as text messages or even on social media sites

similar to phishing you also have worse phishing known as wishing, wishing will be carried out over a voice email or mobile phone or even over landlines. So how do we prevent a phishing attack?

prevent a phishing attack

Human error is the reason for a high percentage of cyber attacks. To prevent a phishing attack, the wisest way will be to scrutinize the emails you receive. A phishing email will have some spelling mistakes or a format change from that of the legitimate source that is pretending to come from.

Look for these loopholes and do not click any sub suspicious emails. Next, you can also make use of an anti phishing toolbar. Sometimes when it is impossible to identify a phishing email this toolbar is helpful.

It is a tool that provides you with anti phishing solutions and information about the website you are browsing the prevent fraudulent websites from masquerading as other legitimate websites. For example, Avast online security is a good anti phishing tool but you can get.

You should also make it a habit to update your passwords regularly. This way even if your own password is known to a third party, it will still be invalid. Let’s now move on to the next type of cyber attack. That is the password attack.

3. password attack

password attack

This is a form of attack most of us might have experienced at some point in time. Imagine when you try to log into an account and it says incorrect password. In such a scenario, it is possible that an outsider has managed to either guess or steal your password.

By doing so all your data is compromised. a hacker can track your password with the help of various programs and password cracking tools like aircrack, Canaan, evil, john Ripper, hashcat, and so on. There are different types of password attacks.

  • brute force attack

A brute force attack happens When the hacker tries to log in with all possible password combinations. Meanwhile, in the dictionary attack, a list of common passwords is used to crack the user’s login credentials.

  • keylogger attack.

keystroke logging records the keys struck on a keyboard by the victim and the victim is totally ignorant of this. This keylogger or a keystroke recorder can either be a hardware or a software.

How to prevent password attacks

Speaking of how we can prevent password attacks, it is crucial that you use alphanumeric passwords which are strong, incorporate special characters in your passwords as well. It is to be noted that you shouldn’t be using the same password for multiple websites or accounts.

Also make sure to not use easily guessable passwords which includes your name or your family members names or even your date of birth. Needless to say, update your passwords regularly. This will limit your exposure to a password attack.

The next tip is something we should all be careful about. Often we make complicated passwords and to remember them we noted down somewhere or keep them short of a password hint in the open.

They shouldn’t be done in the open as this can prove to be a gateway to an attack as a third party can misuse your account with the help of your password hint. Let’s now move on and have a look at the fourth type of cyber attack on our list. That is the man in the middle attack.

4. The man in the middle attack.

4. The man in the middle attack.

man in the middle attack is also known as eavesdropping attack. It takes place when an attacker In between a two party communication.In other words, the attacker hijacks the session between a client and host. So what do they gain by interrupting the session?

Well, they’re able to steal and also filter the data. Imagine you are logging into your bank account. In such as data a man in the middle attack can be used to obtain information related to your bank account.

How to prevent man in the middle attack

Let’s now have a look at how we can prevent man in the middle attack. Firstly, you should be aware of the security of the website you are using and it is advised to use encryption on all devices that contain crucial data.

Using an unsecure public Wi Fi can help attackers carry out the man in the middle attack. Hence it is suggested that you avoid using public Wi Fi to carry out important work. Next attack that we will be talking about is the SQL injection attack.

5. SQL injection attack

SQL injection attack

Structured Query Language SQL injection occurs in a database driven website when the hacker when you place a standard SQL query.

This attack can be carried out by submitting a malicious code into a wonderful website search box, thereby making the server reveal information. The outcome of this attack is that the attacker is able to view edit and delete tables in the databases. In addition to this, the attackers can also obtain administrator rights.

An SQL attack manipulates data and accesses confidential information. In order to prevent a SQL injection attack, you should use an intrusion detection system and IDs is designed to detect unauthorized access to a system.

It is used together with a firewall and router. This way unwanted requests can be filtered out. The next step is to carry out a validation on The user supplied data, there are codes that are developed to identify illegal user inputs. 

The validation process helps in verifying whether or not a type of user input is allowed or not. This way, only that value which passes the validation will be processed. That was all about the SQL injection attack.

6. Denial of service attack.

Denial of service attack.

This is a type of attack that proves to be a major threat to companies in this attack malicious parties, target systems, servers or networks and then flood them with fake traffic. So why should we exhaust their resources and bandwidth As a result, the server’s unable to handle incoming requests and thereby resulting in the website it hosts to either slow down or shutdown.

This leaves legitimate service requests unattended. It is known as Distributed Denial of Service DDoS when attackers use multiple compromised systems to launch this attack.

Like I mentioned earlier, the DDoS attack is a major threat to organizations. Let’s have a look at DDoS attack.

DDoS attack

In February 2018, the famous United States based global company GitHub revealed that it was hit with a distributed denial of service attack DDoS attack, this DDoS attack is considered to be the world’s largest DDoS attack.

As you might be aware, GitHub is a developer platform used by millions all over the world. Hence, it always has high traffic and usage. But this time, it wasn’t just high traffic, but a whopping 1.35 terabits per second Sending packets at a rate of 126 point 9 million per second.

These figures speak for itself. Fortunately, GitHub is running a DDoS protection service which was automatically alerted within 10 minutes of the start of the attack. This attack only to get up systems down for about 15 to 20 minutes,

GitHub was able to stop the attack quickly only because it utilized the DDoS mitigation service that helped in detecting the attack and which further helps in quickly taking the necessary steps to minimize the impact.

how to prevent a DDoS attack.

Firstly, to stop a DDoS attack, you’re required to identify the malicious traffic. This can be made possible by running a traffic analysis. Also remember to comprehend the warning signs. Few symptoms of a DDoS attack include network slowdown, intermittent web site shutdowns, etc. If anything seems irregular and unusual, then the organization should do the needful.

Secondly, understand that every organization can face a DDoS attack and be ready with a prevention plan, as there won’t be any time to prepare one when it hits. For this purpose, develop an incident response plan, have a checklist and make sure your team and data center is prepared. If you are well prepared, you can tackle a DDoS attack smokey like how GitHub did.

Lastly, the conventional DDoS mitigation solutions oversize the network bandwidth and require complex hardware which proves to be costly and also ineffective. Whereas cloud has greater bandwidth and resources. It is also to be noted that cloud based apps can absorb malicious traffic way before it reaches its intended destination.

Hence, it is good to outsource DDoS prevention to cloud based service providers. That was all about the DDoS attack.

8. Insider threat

8. Insider threat

as the name suggests, is one that does not involve a third party but an insider. It could be someone from the organization who knows everything about the organization. It could be current employees, former employees, contractors or even associates.

These threats have the potential to cause huge damages.Researchers show that insider threats are growing in small businesses, as employees have access to multiple accounts that have a lot of data.

That individuals who misuse This data can put everyone else at risk resets for such security breaches or many, it can be due to malice, greed or even carelessness. Such a threat is quite tricky as these attacks are hard to predict.

In order to prevent that in insider threat attack. thorough preparation is required. organizations should make sure that they have a good culture of security awareness.

Businesses can limit the It resources a user can have access to depending on their job roles. This way the damage of cost can be minimized to all the employees should be trained to identify insider threats.

And this way employees can understand when an attacker has manipulated or is attempting to misuse the company data.

 8. crypto jacking

 8. crypto jacking

I’m sure most of you are aware of the word cryptocurrency. crypto jacking is related to cryptocurrency you must be wondering how let’s understand what is crypto jacking.

crypto jacking takes place when attackers make their way into someone else’s computer to mine cryptocurrency. This is done by infecting A website or by manipulating the victim to click on a malicious link, which in turn loads crypto mining code on the computer.

It is also done through online ads with JavaScript code that will auto execute once loader in the victim’s browser. victims are unaware of this as the crypto mining code works in the background. The only sign beam eyewitness is a delay in the execution

crypto mining is a form of obtaining cryptocurrency crypto mining by itself is an immense process. That is the reason attackers make use of other computers in order to crypto mine.

prevent crypto jacking.

It is advised that you keep all security apps and software updated to the latest versions as crypto jacking can infect most unprotected systems. It is also good to have a crypto jacking awareness training and give tips to employees as to how to detect crypto jacking threats.

Make sure to enter inform them about the risks of opening emails from unknown senders and clicking on attachments. ads are a primary source of crypto jacking scripts.

Therefore, it’s good to install an ad blocker and also have extensions like minor block which is used to detect and block crypto mining scripts.

9. zero day exploit.

9. zero day exploit

A zero day exploits occurs after the announcement of a network vulnerability. Usually the winter becomes aware of a one mutability, but a solution to it is still not available for the same. Hence the vendor announces the vulnerability so that the users are aware of it. But this also makes the attackers aware of it.

The vendor or the developer could take any amount of time to find a solution. It could vary from a few hours to days, two months, depending on the vulnerability. In the meantime, the attackers target that is Close vulnerability.

They exploit the vulnerability even before a patch or a solution is implemented. And speaking of ways to prevent zero day exploit organizations should have a well communicated patch management process.

It is also crucial to use management solutions to automate the procedures. Thus it avoids delays and deployment. Having an incident response plan helps in dealing with a cyber attack, you need to have a plan primarily looking into zero day attacks.

10. watering hole attack

10. watering hole attack

Generally in a watering hole attack the victim is of a specific group. It could be either victims of an organization or region or so on. Here the attacker targets the websites which are frequently used by the particular group.

The identify bs websites either by guesswork or by closely monitoring the group. after which the attacker is in fact a few of these websites with malware and anyone who happens to visit the infected website will have their computers automatically loaded with malware.

This attack use the victim system with malware similar to the phishing attack. The malware in such an attack targets personal information of the victim. There is also a possibility that the hacker will actively take control of the infected computer.

prevent the watering hole attack

Just like most other cyber attack prevention methods in this attack as well it is strongly suggested that you regularly update your software and by doing so you can reduce the risk of this attack as this attack most often exploits vulnerabilities and also make sure to regularly check for any security patches make use of your network security tools to detect watering hole attacks.

intrusion prevention systems work finally when it comes to detecting a suspicious act. Similarly, you can conduct regular security checks using various network security tools. To conduct a watering hole attack, it is good to conceal your online activities.

This can be done with the help of a VPN and also through your browser’s private browsing feature. A virtual private network often called a VPN provides a secure connection to another network over the internet. It acts as a cover to your browsing activity.

Not VPN is an example of a VPN that can be used to provide a secure connection. So those were all about the different types of cyber threats. Cyber Security is implemented in order to put a curve on these cyber attacks.

Cyber Security refers to the practice of protecting networks, computer systems and their components from unauthorized digital access.

According to the Gartner forecasts will By it is stated that the worldwide spending on cyber security is forecasted to reach $133.7 billion in 2022. And according to the University of Maryland, hackers attack every 39 seconds that is on an average 2244 times a day.

And there you go. Those were a few of the cybersecurity tips and ways to prevent a cyber attack. So we are now done looking at the top 10 cyber threats and the ways to prevent these cyber attacks and with that we have reached the end of this Article 

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