These are the Top 5 Most Common Cyber Threats

Avoiding a cyberattack is important for any business. But unfortunately, these attacks do happen. With businesses being one of the biggest targets for cyberattacks, it’s essential that owners arm themselves, as well as their team members, with the right information to help strengthen their company’s infrastructure. 

Today, we’re going to share some of the most common cyber threats that businesses need to watch out for. But first, let’s take a look at what a cyber attack is. 

What is a Cyber Attack?

Businesses have one of the greatest risks of a cyberattack. This is because companies are more digitally connected today than they’ve ever been. Transactions are completed digitally, sensitive information is stored and shared online, and supply chains are often managed on a digital platform. 

A cyberattack is an assault that is launched by cybercriminals using one or more computers against a single computer, multiple computers, or a network. When a business is hit with a cyberattack, it can maliciously disable computers, steal critical data, or use a breached computer as a launch point for other attacks. Cybercriminals use a variety of methods to achieve their goal of a cyber attack. Read on to learn a few common ways that cybercriminals can target your company. 

5 Common Cyber Threats for Businesses 

Cybercriminals are becoming a lot more sophisticated in their approach. As such, this can make it easier for uninformed businesses to fall victim to an attack. With that said, the first step to protecting your company is understanding which cyber threats put your business at risk the most. 

Malware

This is one of the most common types of cyber threats for businesses. Malware is any program or file that is harmful to the computer user. It’s important to note that there are various types of malware including:

  • Computer viruses: This is a type of computer program that replicates itself by modifying other computer programs and inserting its own code when executed. 
  • Trojan horses: This is malware that misleads users of its true intent. Ultimately, the malware downloads onto the computer disguised as a legitimate program, which then infects the device with malicious code. 
  • Worms: This is a malicious program that replicates itself and automatically spreads through a network. 
  • Spyware: This is software that enables a user to obtain information about another computer’s activities. 

These programs have a variety of functions and will depend on the attacker’s goals. These malicious programs can be used to steal information, encrypt, delete files, take over computer functions, and more. 

Phishing

Another common cyber threat for businesses is phishing. Phishing is a cybercrime in which the target is contacted by email, phone, or text message by someone who is presenting themselves as a legitimate institution. 

The goal is to lure the victim into providing sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, banking and credit card details, and passwords. Once the attacker gains access to this information, they can use it to access important accounts, which can lead to identity theft and financial loss. Here are a few ways to identify phishing. 

  • You receive a lucrative offer that just seems too good to be true. 
  • You receive an email, phone call, or text that creates this sense of urgency.
  • Attachments in your email you weren’t expecting. 
  • You receive an email or text from an unusual sender

Man-in-the-Middle Attack

One of the best examples of a man-in-the-middle attack is eavesdropping. This type of attack requires three parties,  which include the victim, the entity the victim is communicating with, and the cyberattacker who is acting as the man-in-the-middle. 

So how does this type of attack work? Let’s take a look at an example that involves both phishing and a MITM attack. You receive an email from your bank asking you to log in and check your notifications. In this scenario, you decide to click on the link which seemingly brings you to the bank’s login page where you log in as requested.

However, in a MITM attack, this email would not be from your bank but rather the attacker trying to steal your personal information. The attacker will not only send an email prompting you to log in, but will build a website identical to the actual website to make it seem as though it’s legitimate. Victims who are unaware of this attack would, unfortunately, hand over their personal credentials to the cyber attacker without even noticing. 

Zero-Day Exploit

A zero-day exploit is essentially a flaw. It is an unknown exploit that exposes a vulnerability in software or hardware, which can create serious problems before anyone even notices. 

Once that flaw is exploited, the attacker will release malware before the developer has an opportunity to create a patch to fix the vulnerability. This is why detecting a zero-day exploit is difficult for businesses. There are no real warning signs, and information is easily compromised before anyone ever realizes there’s a problem. In fact, it can take months and even years for a developer to learn that a vulnerability has led to an attack. 

DNS Tunnelling

Another common strategy that cyber attackers use is DNS tunnelling. This is a sophisticated attack vector that many businesses fall victim to simply because they do not monitor their DNS traffic. 

Ultimately, DNS Tunnelling exploits the DNS protocol to tunnel malware along with other data through a client-server model. The attacker will register a domain name, which then allows the domain’s name server to point to the attacker’s server where tunnelling malware is installed.

The attacker then infects a computer with malware, usually behind a company’s firewall. Since the DNS requests are allowed to move freely in and out of the firewall, the infected computer is able to send a query to the DNS server.

The DNS resolver routes the query to the attacker’s control server, which is where the tunnelling program is installed. At this point, a connection is established between the victim and attacker through the DNS resolver. This allows the attacker to steal data, or achieve other malicious goals. 

Cyber threats can be a serious problem for businesses if they aren’t addressed early on. If you want to strengthen your business’s IT infrastructure, it’s important to have the right support to secure your business.

Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of consulting experts to prevent cyberattacks from happening or what you can do after one occurs. You can also arrange a free cyber threat assessment for you and your business today.



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