Each year we see periodical news of large cyber-attacks that have destroyed individuals or businesses. As digital technologies develop, online security attacks become more sophisticated and threatening. Cybercriminals aren’t stupid, and they are using new technologies to improve their attacks.
You must understand that they do this full-time and work hard on upgrading tools to breach security. In 2019 we saw a lot of scary cyberattacks, and this trend isn’t going to stop anytime soon. These are just some of the largest attacks on business organizations that made the headlines.
Who knows how many more there were during the whole year and not to mention attacks on individuals. That’s why companies are buckling up and looking to reinforce their cybersecurity. Here are some of the most dangerous security threats online.
1. MITM Attacks (Man-in-The-Middle)
Man-in-the-middle attacks refer to situations when a hacker “locates” himself between an app or software and the user. Cybercriminals do this to observe your information flow and steal data they might find valuable. They often mimic an app and simulate feedback information.
In most cases, these attacks focus on acquiring a sensitive business or personal data such as:
- Credit card numbers
- Accounts information
- Transaction details
- And many more
These types of attacks are usually set up to target people using financial apps, SaaS tools, e-commerce sites, and so on. More specifically, any app that involves financial transactions or information about accounts.
2. Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS)
DDoS attacks focus on traffic of various services, different networks like Wi-Fi connections, or servers. DDoS attacks are pretty straightforward, and there’s nothing complex about them. They set a target and bombard it with vast amounts of traffic or simulation of internet traffic.
If the server or website isn’t protected against this kind of attack, they can break down quickly. DDoS attacks are usually organized by a group of devices and involve lots of coordination. That’s how they can generate such huge amounts of traffic.
But this doesn’t mean that there are hundreds of different hackers working together. Instead, a cybercriminal will infect different devices with malware and use them as bots. When the time is ready, they can use devices from third-parties to disrupt networks.
They take their time to build a network of bots, also known as a “botnet”. When the time comes, the main device sends out remote commands telling all devices to send requests to some destination.
3. Phishing Attacks
If you want to fish you need a good decoy, right? That’s what phishing attacks are all about. Hackers set up a decoy that baits online users to do an action. These decoys come as email links, malicious attachments, fake websites, or forms for data entry.
However, in most cases, they are focused on emails. A lot of companies still actively use email to do their work, and that’s why phishing targets this channel. On top of that, it’s very cheap to create these “baits” and send them in bulk to hundreds of email users.
That’s why companies are especially careful and look to protect their emails from phishing. These fake messages are designed to look real. It might seem obvious to some people, but it only takes a second to lose concentration and click on a link by accident.
On the other hand, a lot of older people that aren’t quite experienced with the internet often get caught in the sea.
4. Ransom Malware Attacks (Ransomware)
In the past couple of years, ransomware attacks have grown in volume. More hackers are switching to this attack method because of bitcoin. But what does bitcoin have to do with it? Quite simply, a ransomware attack is a security breach when a hacker hijacks an account, data, or software.
The hijacker also encrypts the asset that’s been hijacked and denies access to the victim. In most cases, cybercriminals ask for money in exchange for the code needed to access the encrypted data. More specifically, modern ransomware attacks demand bitcoin payments.
They even give instructions on how to purchase them. Why bitcoin? Bitcoin payments can’t be tracked, which means that victims and authorities can never learn where the payment went.
Ways to Protect Yourself Against These Attacks
Make an effort to protect your passwords. Set complex and long passwords, don’t memorize them and don’t use a single password for every account.
Make sure to update all of your software and operating systems. It’s especially important if you are using business software for multiple employees. These updates come with valuable security fixes.
Install a VPN
Virtual private networks are an added layer of security. A VPN encrypts the data you are sending or receiving and makes your IP address private.
Pay Attention to What You’re Clicking On
Establish a habit of being sceptical when online. Always remember that everyone has access to the internet, including bad people.
Online security is very important. Most people think that it won’t happen to them, and they get careless. However, in reality, the less secure you are, the higher the chances are of someone trying to steal your money or personal information.