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4 Types of Cyber Security Threats

August 9th, 2021 by William Wentowski

A close up shot of a computer screen were you can see the pixels that make up the word Security and the cursor about to click it

Regardless of the size, scope, or industry, every business is at the risk of cyber attacks. Corporations across industries are vulnerable because a majority of their data is stored online. From data breaches to infiltration on infrastructure and spear phishing, online cyber security threats are varied. However, they don't discriminate against organizations in terms of size or industry when they are looking for a target.

A cyberattack is a malicious act seeking to steal or damage the data of the victim (individual or corporation). Such an attack can result in:

  • The theft of valuable and sensitive data
  • Disrupt communication systems and computer networks
  • Paralyze systems
  • Lead to serious business downtime and sometimes even company shut down

If you run a business, it is crucial to take effective and top-notch cyber security measures. These protect your business landscape from huge losses and business downtime these threats can cause. However, the first step you need to take is to develop a solid understanding of the biggest types of cyber threats. Read below to learn about the 4 common types of cyber security threats in detail:

  1. 1. Malware

    Malware is a cyber threat that encompasses different types of attacks like viruses, worms and spyware. In order to ensure network breach, malware uses a vulnerability. Here's how: malicious malware software is installed instantly on the system of the victim when they click on a 'planted' email attachment or a link.
    Once installed, malware can wreak havoc to your computer systems and business altogether. It can:
    • Deny your access to the network's critical components
    • Steal confidential business information by retrieving data from the hard drive
    • Disrupt your systems and render them inoperable

The most common and deadly forms of malware are:

  • Trojan

    A trojan is malware. It is a program that hides inside a useful program with malicious purposes. It does not replicate like other viruses. However, it acts like a backdoor that cyber criminals use to exploit systems and cause damage.
  • Ransomware

    It prevents the victim from accessing their data. But that's not all. As the name suggests, ransomware cyber criminals threaten to delete and publish the inaccessible data if the victim doesn't pay the ransom. Moreover, the advanced ransomware program uses cyrptoviral extortion, where the data becomes encrypted and practically impossible for the victim to decrypt.
  • Worms

    These enter the system via email attachments sending a copy to all contacts in the email list of the infected computer. It overloads the email server and leads to denial-of service attack.
  1. 2. Phishing

    This is yet another type of cyber security threat that a large amount of fraudulent emails to numerous users, disguised as if it is coming from a trusted and reliable source. They look legit but link the victims to a malicious script or file that grants the cyber attacker access to their device and extra critical data like financial and user information from the computer. Some of the common types of phishing attacks are:
    • Spear Phishing targets attacks at specific companies
    • Whaling attacks stakeholders and senior executives within a company
    • Pharming leverages DNS cache poisoning to capture the credentials of the victim through a fake login page.
  2. 3. MITM (Man-in-the-Middle)

    In this form of cyber security threat, the hackers focus on and intercept two-party transactions by inserting themselves in the middle. As the name suggests, they act as the man-in-the-middle, thereby stealing and manipulating data through traffic interruption.
    MITM types of attacks exploit security vulnerabilities present in a network, such as unsecured public WI-FI access. MITM attacker inserts themselves between the network and visitor's device proceed with the attack.
  3. 4. DOS Attack

    The DOS attack stands for Denial-of-Service. This cyber security threat attacks by flooding the network, server or system with traffic. Furthermore, this traffic overloads bandwidth and resources. Hence, the system is unable to successfully process or fulfill legitimate requests.
    Apart from this, another type is the distributed DDoS (Distributed Denial-of-Service) attack. It saturates the resources of the system. The goal of the DDoS attack is to impede the response of service requests.
    The most common sources of cyber security threats identified are:
    • Criminal Organizations
    • Unhappy Insiders
    • Hackers
    • Business Competitors
    • Corporate Spies
    • Criminal Groups

How to Keep the Risk of cyber security Threats at Bay?

As all modern businesses depend heavily on computers, it is important that effective measures are in place to keep the risk at bay. This is where we come into the picture. At BTS technologies, we work as your trusted partner in keeping an eye on potential threats and providing you with the best strategies to minimize the risk and threats of cybercrime. We utilize the NIST framework to lower your exposure to cyber risk.

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