Most Common Types of Cybersecurity Attacks and How to Avoid Them

Jun 8, 2022 | Security | 0 comments

Most Common Types of Cybersecurity Attacks and How to Avoid Them

If you think your business is not a target for cyber threats, think twice. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that by 2025, the total damage from cyber-attacks will reach a whopping $10.5 trillion.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a massive shift in the way businesses operate. Universal adoption of remote work increased the attack surface for cyber criminals. And they did not hesitate!

In 2021, the number of attacks increased by 31% compared to 2020, according to Accenture’s State of Cybersecurity report.

In this post, we will break up the main types of cyber-threats and how to minimize the risk of them affecting your business. 

Malware

Any type of malicious software, such as ransomware, viruses, trojans, or worms falls under this category. 

The effects of malware attacks can vary greatly. Here are some types of malware programs and what they do:

Adware

Adware is a program that infects your computer with unwanted ads. Some consider it more of a nuisance than a real threat, but these spammy ads and pop-ups harm productivity and may trick a user into downloading more malicious programs.

Viruses, Trojans, and Worms

These perform a variety of malicious tasks – from erasing or stealing data to giving an attacker complete control over your computer.

Ransomware

Ransomware encrypts all the data on a computer and threatens to delete or expose all the information it contains unless a user pays the attacker. Paying a ransom does not guarantee the safety of information – it still may be lost.

Cryptominers

This resource hungry beast uses your PC’s computing resources to mine cryptocurrency for the attacker’s profit. They slow computers down and can make them barely usable.

Botnet malware

This type of malware makes your computer or your whole company’s network a part of a botnet which can later be used to perform attacks on other victims.

How to Defend from Malware

To minimize the risks of infecting your company computers with malware, a set of precautions must be made:

Use Reliable Cybersecurity Software

Modern solutions such as SKOUT Cybersecurity are powered by AI and machine learning. They constantly analyze all the software in your network and block possible threats before any harm will be done. We also protect our clients against malware using CyberCrucible.

Educate Your Team on Cybersecurity

They should not download or run any suspicious programs – whether downloaded from the Internet or received by email. By no means should they use company computers for personal needs. Cyber hygiene is the key to security.

Back Up Your Data

With malware constantly evolving, there is always a chance of a successful attack. If it occurs, you have to be prepared. Storing your vital data in a secure place is a must.

DDoS

Another type of cyberattack are the Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks, which can be very harmful. This type of attack uses multiple computers (such as botnets that we mentioned in the previous part) to overwhelm a company’s server with a flood of Internet traffic.

As a result, the victim’s website or network becomes unresponsive and regular users are denied of service (that’s where the name comes from).

DDoS attacks are particularly harmful to companies that provide their services over the Internet since they are unable to do so as long as the attack continues, which directly affects their revenue.

How to Defend from DDoS Attacks

When you are under a DDoS attack, the main goal is to differentiate between “legit” and harmful traffic and cut the latter off. The easiest way to mitigate the risks is to use cloud-based DDoS protection tools. Some bigger cloud providers such as CloudFlare, AWS, or Azure, have built-in DDoS security means.  

Man in the Middle

MitM attacks are exactly what their name says: an attacker “positions” themselves between the user and the location on the web they are trying to reach. Users are especially vulnerable to these attacks when they use less-protected connections such as a public Wi-Fi network.

A perpetrator can create a duplicate Wi-Fi network and act as a relay between the user and the Internet while collecting all the data sent over this network.  

The same applies to sketchy VPN or “anonymizing” tools. Of course, there are many reputable solutions on the market that deliver exactly what they promise, but some malicious apps and services may in fact steal your data while you use them.

How to Defend from Man in the Middle

Make sure you establish a secure connection tunnel between employees’ computers and the company network. Using a private encrypted VPN is the best choice: even if an employee wants to work remotely from a coffee shop using public Wi-Fi, your data security won’t be compromised.

Spear Phishing

Phishing is used to steal a person’s credit card data or passwords using fake copies of real websites. If you are not careful, you may end up giving away your personal data to perpetrators. These attacks are usually performed at a large scale, targeting users of a certain service or clients of a certain bank.

However, spear phishing may be much more harmful because it is always aimed at a specific person or company. Attackers prepare meticulously before launching such an attack:  they learn the internal processes of the company and communicate with the victim in a very convincing manner, often impersonating someone the victim knows.

After the trust is built, they send the victim a malicious link or file.

How to Defend from Phishing Attacks

Any company may become a target for a phishing attack. And when it is, it’s essential for employees to be prepared. Phishing awareness training and phishing simulation will help minimize the risks.

Another important part of phishing protection is email security software such as tools used in CompleteCloud solution. We also provide our clients with security training through KnowBe4, and email protection using Mimecast and IronScales.

Don’t Take Cybersecurity Threats Lightly

No business is too small to become a target for cyberattack, and the number of threats increases every day. Want to make sure your company is protected from them? Reach out to Brightworks Group and let’s work on it together!