Businesses are more reliant than ever upon networked computer systems. This leaves them in a rather precarious position: one in which a hacker or campaign of hacking can bring a company to its knees. It is important to know your enemy. Here are 5 of the worst kinds of cyber-attacks being faced by businesses today.
Man in the Middle Attacks
A man in the middle attack is one in which a malicious actor intercepts data as it is transferred over the internet. This kind of attack has been in use since the dawn of the new millennium, but it is becoming more and more of a threat as the world becomes ever more networked. The widespread adoption of cloud-based computing and storage technology has heralded a new age for the ever elusive ‘man in the middle’. All data stored on the cloud must be transferred over the internet and is therefore vulnerable unless encrypted.
The Internet of Things has been hailed as a great leap forward for intelligent connectivity in just about every industry you can think of. The Internet of Things is a term used to describe systems of objects connected using the internet. These objects use machine learning software to share and learn from important data to improve their performance. This is a great advance but has led to some wild vulnerability. Almost all IoT-capable objects have inbuilt sensors, which can be very useful to a talented hacker looking to steal information.
Ransomware is one of the most devastating kinds of cyber weapons being launched against businesses in 2022. Ransomware is devilishly simple in conceit. Once installed onto a computer, ransomware will encrypt all the data contained on it so that it is completely unusable and unreadable by the rightful owner. Typically, users are then presented with a mortifying message proclaiming that their data will be lost forever, unless they pay a ransom in cryptocurrency. Many businesses fall for these scams, paying the money to the hackers in the hope that they will get their data back.
Ransomware is an incredibly potent money-making scheme for hackers. It is such a successful money-making scheme that it has been adopted by rogue governments. The much publicised WANNACRY ransomware scourge was started by hackers connected to the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The scheme is thought to be related to attempts by the North Korean government to raise cryptocurrency to back up its very weak conventional currency.
DDoS – short for Distributed Denial of Service – attacks have been used by cybercriminals for over 20 years. These attacks work by ‘clogging’ a server or element of a network. A vast quantity of requests are sent across a network until it is unable to be accessed or operated. In a traditional Denial of Service attack, all these requests are sent from one place. In a Distributed Denial of Service attack, a large network of separate systems sends the requests. This is more impactful because the server operator will be unable to stop the attack by blocking off access to one IP address.
DDoS attacks can be used to seriously disrupt the operations of a business. They are, incredibly, still very hard to defend against despite being a venerable mode of attack. One of the only ways to avoid this kind of disruption causing huge financial losses is to properly cover your business with a plan by a company like kbdinsurance.com. These attacks are not usually used to make money. Instead, they are used to disrupt the operation of controversial sites.
Employees are one of the weakest links in any cybersecurity system. This is not necessarily an employee’s fault. Instead, it is up to the employing organization to correctly train their staff to avoid social hacking attempts. Social hacking is a kind of social engineering. It involves a hacker gaining the trust of a victim and then using them to access restricted areas within a network. Skilled social hackers can make a member of staff give up valuable information without having to break the law. They use tactics developed by police interrogators and slimy pickup artists to manipulate normal people into giving away secrets. Logic and diligence are nearly always based on perspective. If a hacker can offer alternative perspectives to an employee, they may develop an alternative logic that makes giving away confidential information a perfectly reasonable thing to feel like doing. This is why staff training is so important when it comes to cyber security.