Cyber security professionals continually protect computer systems against different types of cyber threats. However, cyber attacks hit businesses and private systems every day. There are many motives for cyber attacks. Cyber attackers may take a system offline and demand payment to revive its functionality. Besides, corporations are vulnerable to cyber attacks, but individuals are the targets, too, as they save personal information on their mobile phones and use insecure public networks. Hence, the focus needs to be on the cyber-attack surface and vectors for 2023 and ahead of that to figure out what can be done to eliminate cyber threats and improve recovery and resiliency. Six areas with growing cyber threats should be prioritized for those safeguarding the digital ecosystem.
What is a Cyber Attack?
In a cyber attack, an attacker tries to gain access to an IT system for extortion, theft, disruption, or other scandalous reasons.
Six Areas That Pose Cyber Threats:
Though there are many ways that an attacker can infiltrate an IT system, most cyber threats rely on similar techniques. Below are some of the common types of cyber threat
1. Network Vulnerabilities:
Networks serve as the backbone of digital communication and information exchange. Cybercriminals exploit vulnerabilities in network infrastructure, software, and hardware components to gain unauthorized access. Weak encryption, unpatched software, misconfigured firewalls, and insecure Wi-Fi networks create opportunities for cyber threats like data breaches, eavesdropping, and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
2. Phishing and Social Engineering:
Phishing is a tricky tactic where cybercriminals show as legitimate entities to trick users into revealing sensitive information like passwords and financial details. Social engineering techniques exploit human psychology, often influencing emotions like fear or curiosity. By sending nasty emails, messages, or phone calls, cybercriminals deceive individuals into taking actions that compromise their security, like clicking on negative links or sharing confidential data.
3. Malware and Ransomware:
Malware that is continually developing is challenging to both stop and find. In this case, polymorphic malware can do that. Polymorphic malware uses the idea of polymorphism to avoid detection rather than efficiency. Polymorphic malware is that if a specific malware strain is acknowledged for having any particular factors, then future versions of that infection might avoid detection by making minor changes. Moreover, Malware, short for malicious software, includes viruses, trojans, worms, and spyware designed to infect computers and networks. Ransomware is an explicit type of malware that encrypts the victim’s data and demands payment (ransom) for its dismissal. Cybercriminals distribute malware through infected attachments, malicious downloads, or compromised websites. Once installed, malware can steal data, disrupt procedures, or even allow remote control of devices.
4. Supply Chain Attacks:
The supply chain has historically been in the areas where cyber threats have been most vulnerable. Cybercriminals target supply chains for unauthorized entry into organizations’ systems and data. Attackers may compromise a supplier’s software or hardware components, embedding malware or backdoors into products before they reach the end-users. Their goals are to breach contractors, companies, systems, and suppliers through the weakest links in the chain. This is done by taking advantage of poor security practices of suppliers, embedding compromised hardware and software, or threats within the network. Once the compromised products are integrated into the organization’s infrastructure, attackers can exploit the hidden vulnerabilities to breach security and exfiltrate sensitive data.
5. Internet of Things (IoT) Devices:
IoT devices, like smart home appliances, wearables, and industrial sensors, are powerless to cyber threats due to weak security practices and limited processing power. Hackers can exploit default passwords, insecure firmware, and a lack of security updates to gain control over these devices. Compromised IoT devices can be harnessed to form botnets for large-scale attacks, invade user privacy, or be used as entry points to target larger systems.
6. Insider Threats:
Insider threats emerge when individuals within an organization misuse their access privileges to compromise security. This could be due to hostile intent or unintentional actions. Employees with authorized access may leak sensitive information, intentionally introduce malware, or improperly handle data, posing substantial dangers to an organization’s data and operations.
In today’s interconnected digital landscape, these six areas represent critical points of openness that require constant attention and proactive security measures. Organizations and individuals must implement strong cybersecurity practices, including regular software updates, employee training, multi-factor authentication, and security audits, to eliminate the risks posed by these cyber threats.