Cyberattacks are all too common these days. Our lives are transitioning ever-rapidly to the online realm, giving hackers more opportunities to undermine sensitive information. During a cyberattack, the attacker takes measures to access an IT system without authorization, generally to steal, disrupt, or extort information.
Cybercriminals can take a broad range of measures to carry out cyber attacks. Your IT system in Aurora or any other region around the world may be at risk without a reliable security strategy. Even for the most protected of organizations, cyber crimes remain an imminent threat.
So, how can you combat cyber attacks and keep your information safe? Education is one of the first steps toward cybercrime protection. Here, we’ll teach you about the most common types of cyberattacks today so that you can more effectively prepare for a potential security breach.
Malware attacks are among the most prevalent cyberattacks today. Defined as pernicious software to compromise information, malware targets vulnerable aspects of digital systems to gain access. Malware comes in many different types, including ransomware, spyware, worms, and viruses. These varieties of malware can function differently to weaken an information system. For example, malware may:
- Begin the installation of additional malware
- Prevent the victim from accessing the network
- Duplicate data and send it without the user’s permission
- Render the system unusable
With so much malware out in the world today, it’s not feasible to avoid it completely. But, with reliable security software in place, you can reduce your chance of being compromised by a malware attack. Your security software should carry out tests to identify weak points in your system. These weak points can then be strengthened before an attacker can take advantage of them.
Phishing attacks involve malicious links disguised as reliable sources. These links may be sent in emails or messages, and if the victim clicks on the link, the attacker may then access their personal information. This information can be used as blackmail to get something out of the victim, as is the case in ransomware attacks. Phishing emails are a common distributor of ransomware, as the goal is often to get the victim to pay a sum of money in exchange for their information. The links included in phishing attacks may also be used to download malware onto the victim’s system.
Unfortunately, a more advanced and malicious form of phishing is also at large: spear phishing. With spear phishing, the cybercriminals research targets to ensure that the message appears as legitimate as possible. This makes it particularly difficult for victims to identify phishing messages. Email spoofing is commonly used in phishing and spear-phishing attacks, and this tactic involves using a counterfeit email address for the “from” portion of the email. This makes it seem like the victim is getting an email from an entity that they’re familiar with.
Phishing is a difficult form of cyberattack to stay safe from. But, you can implement these protective measures to lower your risk:
- Don’t rush through opening emails. Open your emails thoughtfully and take a hard look at who it’s from.
- Examine the email headers to see how the email reached you.
- Try sandboxing, with which you can test out the content of an email.
- Hover over any links in the email to see a preview of where it would lead.
Man-In-The-Middle (MitM) Attack
Man-in-the-middle attacks, or MitM attacks, have been around for a long time. With this type of attack, the attacker is positioned between two parties who are interacting with each other. The attacker can then monitor the interactions or interfere with them. Attackers may reroute, alter, or steal the traffic after removing its encryption. This can be done passively, making MitM attacks tricky to identify.
Using a VPN, having a strong encryption system for wireless access points, and using strong login credentials can reduce your risk for MitM attacks.
To learn more about cyberattacks and how you can prevent them, contact Inletware today.