What are The Most Common Cyber Attacks?
The number of cyber attacks is growing year after year and cybersecurity is something every business needs to take seriously, regardless of size. No business is too small for cybercriminals to threaten, especially since small and medium-sized enterprises are less likely to have sophisticated cybersecurity measures in place than large conglomerates. Cybercriminals often attack multiple smaller companies to make up for their lack of size in volume.
Understanding the different types of cyber attacks is the first step in building a cyber security strategy to protect your business.
What are Cyber Attacks?
A cyber attack is a malicious and deliberate attempt by cyber criminals to access a computer system or network to alter, steal, delete, or expose information. When cybercriminals breach company networks and systems they typically try to access sensitive information like customer data (including credit card details), and intellectual property, or may simply restrict access for a payout.
Anyone with a computer hooked up to an external source of access, like the internet, can be the victim of a cyber attack. With work increasingly being conducted on mobile or personal devices, it’s imperative that all personnel of a company go through cybersecurity awareness training.
Most Common Forms of Cyber Attacks
Cybercriminals are constantly innovating, creating new forms of cyber attacks to breach security systems. The most common forms of attacks are discussed below.
Malware attacks are where systems are breached using malicious software aka malware. This software is often inadvertently downloaded by users by clicking a dangerous link or email attachment that looks innocent. Depending on what the malware is meant to do, it may be described as spyware, ransomware, keyloggers, rootkits, viruses, and worms, among others. Some of these are:
- Ransomware restricts access to systems until a hefty payment is made.
- Keyloggers record every keystroke on a device to send to attackers.
- Rootkits give attackers control of a system or network which they can then use to gain access to sensitive data or install other forms of malware.
Phishing attacks prey on the basic social fabric of our society by using credible-looking sources like emails, SMS, telephones and social media to gain access to a computer network to steal data. Phishing attacks entice a user to share passwords or steal sensitive payment information. Tailgating is a social engineering attack that is increasingly on the rise.
Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
A DoS attack floods an entire network with false requests and tasks so that a system or network is exhausted to capacity and users are unable to perform even the most mundane tasks. DDoS Attacks are harder to contain as they involve requests from multiple sources, and each of them must be shut down for affected businesses to restart their operations.
This form of cyber attack involves the manipulation of Domain Name System (DNS) queries and responses to bypass security measures. Once attackers have access, they can then infect systems with malware or extract sensitive data from systems using the DNS tunnels.
Zero-Day cyber attacks occur when a vulnerability in a specific security system is announced before a suitable patch is implemented. They are hard to prevent and can be detected by constant monitoring for unusual activity.
Man-in-the-Middle Attacks (MitM)
These attacks occur when an attacker positions themselves between a user and an application. They may use their position to either eavesdrop or impersonate the application to gather sensitive data or trick the user into downloading malicious software. MitM attacks commonly occur over unsecured WiFi connections or through previously installed malware.
Supply Chain Attacks
A supply chain attack is an attack that occurs when a trusted third-party vendor who offers services or software is targeted, and networks are breached through them. Open-source software projects are a major issue as the source code can be accessed easily and vulnerabilities exploited.
Outsource Your Cyber Security
As a Managed Services Provider (MSP), Apex 365 understands that it is not possible for small or medium-sized businesses to invest as heavily in cyber security as larger companies. By outsourcing your cyber security needs to us, we can provide you with the resources to put you on par with them and give you the tools you need to grow.
We also provide your employees with the knowledge they need to become your first line of defence against cyber attacks through microlearning cybersecurity training sessions that are easy to implement and cost as little as $4/month per user.