A deliberate and malicious attempt by hackers to breach, disrupt, or destroy the information system and network of an individual or organization is called a cyberattack. The number of cyberattacks is increasing globally every day, crippling businesses overnight and wreaking havoc on people’s lives.
The number of cyberattacks increased almost fourfold between January 2016 and October 2017. Hackers continually are searching for new ways to exploit and benefit from vulnerable business systems. Many cyberattacks are seeking some type of ransom payment and over half of the cyberattacks against corporations have resulted in damages over $500,000.
Although the different styles or scams in hacking attempts are constantly evolving and changing, there are a number of frequently used methods. These are some of the most common cyber-attacks to be aware of:
Coined from the words ‘malicious’ and ‘software’, malware includes ransomware, spyware, viruses, and worms. Malware attempts to breach a network via a vulnerability, sometimes technically but usually when an individual clicks a dangerous link or an infected attachment, triggering an installation of the malicious software. Once malware has gained access to a system, it can block access to key components (frequently seen in ransomware attacks), install harmful software, transmit sensitive data (spyware), disrupt or render the system useless.
Fraudulent communications that appear to come from reputable sources are phishing attacks. These are commonly sent in the form of emails or text with the intent to steal sensitive data like passwords and credit card information or to install malware onto the victim’s device. Phishing attacks are soaring in popularity and with the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there have been a number of attacks, taking advantage of people’s fears.
Also known as eavesdropping attacks, MitM (man-in-the-middle) attacks occur when a hacker inserts themselves between a transaction that involves two parties. Common entry points include unsecured public WIFI or via malware breached devices. Once inserted between a visitor’s device and network, all the user’s information is passed directly on to the hacker.
Denial-of-service attacks are designed to exhaust networks, servers or system resources by flooding them with traffic. The goal is that the system is unable to fulfill legitimate requests and allows the hacker to breach. Another form of this attack is a distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) attempt and this is when multiple devices are used to launch an attack against a network.
Attackers will also try to insert malicious code into servers that use a Structured Query Language (SQL). A SQL injection is an attempt to utilize a malicious code into instructing a server into revealing sensitive information. This is typically accomplished by entering the malicious code into a website’s search box that may be vulnerable.
Zero-day exploits are something that requires constant awareness. This is when a manufacturer has announced a network or software vulnerability before a solution or patch has been implemented. Hackers will pounce on the opportunity and target the vulnerability to gain access.
If your organization’s database gets compromised, held ransom, or your critical system files encrypted, it can have devastating consequences and bring your operations to a grinding halt. Because of the severity, this is why many cyberattacks are geared towards businesses as hackers know how quickly an infection can spread and that the larger the disruption the more likely they are to receive their demanded payment.
In addition to financial losses associated with cyberattacks, the damage to your organization’s reputation can be equally as destructive, especially when customer’s data has been compromised.
It is vital that your business understands just how powerful the threat of cyberattacks are and that you are properly protected. As many organizations just do not have the resources or skills to be cybersecurity experts, working with a Managed Service Provider like MBC can ensure that you have the latest cyber protection resources and a team of experts at your side, constantly monitoring and securing your systems.
To find out about what cyber risks your organization may be facing, get a free assessment today.