Cyber attackers constantly upgrade their tools to break through the cyber defences set up by businesses. Some of the most common types of cyber-attacks and how businesses can protect themselves are discussed in this post.
Cyber-attacks constantly evolve. The attackers come up with newer tools and innovative ways to break through the defences set up by businesses. As a result, it is not always possible for the businesses to stay ahead of such attacks.
However, there are a few different types of cyber-attacks that have been around for quite some time and are still very commonly used by attackers. Below is a list of some of the most common types of cyber-attacks and how businesses can protect themselves from such attacks.
Malware is a term used for many different types of cyber threats, like viruses, worms, and Trojans. It is essentially a code created by attackers with malicious intent which can be destroying business network or stealing critical information.
They are generally introduced to any system or network through software downloads, email attachments, or vulnerabilities in the operating system. The ‘Petya’ attack in the US and Europe and the ‘WannaCry’ attack in more than 90 countries were two of the biggest examples of malware incidents in 2017.
To protect yourself from malware, make sure that you use updated firewalls and OS. Do not download attachments or click on links from unknown sources. Data encryption too is a highly effective tool which can keep you protected even in the case of a breach.
People now know that they should not download attachments or click on links from unreliable sources. So, attackers have come with a neat solution for that as well. They now pretend to be something or someone to encourage you to take a particular action like clicking on a link or downloading something.
This is known as phishing and is one of the most difficult to stop cyber-attacks. Emails are the most common modes used for phishing.
In case of emails, even if you believe that you’ve received an email from someone you know if it contains any kind of unusual information it is better to confirm the same with the sender. Rather than replying to the same email for confirmation, make sure that you get the confirmation from the sender over the phone. Phishing emails generally ask you to take instant action.
When browsing the internet, prefer using websites that are secured with HTTP, especially if you want to submit sensitive information.
- SQL Injection Attack
SQL or Structured Query Language is one of the most commonly used database languages. Servers that store critical business information often suffers from SQL injection attack. In such attacks, the attackers use malicious code to infiltrate the server and access critical information.
They can then use this information in numerous ways for financial gains or to damage the reputation of a company.
White list input validation and prepared statements are two of the best ways to prevent and mitigate SQL injection attacks.
Even stored procedures, when implemented safely, are an excellent defence tool against SQL injection. While they don’t always work against such attacks, the programming of some stored procedures is as good as prepared statements.
- Password Attacks
As the name suggests, a password attack is when an attacker gains access to your password and can enter your system to steal information. Brute force attacks and comparing several word combinations are two of the most common ways used by attackers to crack your password.
Unlike most other types of cyber-attacks, protecting yourself from a password attack is easier. Make sure that you use a strong password and keep changing it on a regular basis. A lot of companies now also use 2FA (2 Factor Authentication) to add an extra layer of security against such attacks.
There are now also password generators available for generating complex, hard-to-crack passwords. If you’re planning to buy one such tool, make sure that you purchase it from a reputable source.
What Else Can Businesses Do to Protect Themselves from Cyber-Attacks?
While there are now ways to protect yourself from most of the known cyber threats, attackers often come up with innovative ways to infiltrate business networks and systems. One of the best ways for businesses to keep themselves protected is to consult professional cyber security advisors.
Professional advisors with years of expertise can help businesses take all the necessary actions they should for keeping their systems and networks protected from such cyber-attacks.
The needs of every business can significantly vary with regards to cyber safety. It is by hiring professional consultants that a business can understand their vulnerabilities and implement measures to improve an organisation’s overall IT security considerably.