What Are the Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks And How to Prevent Them? | Hacker Noon

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@diptokmk47Dipto Karmakar

I am a tech lover. Passionate about programming and learning new skills. Love to build applications.

All the businesses are in a race of expanding their digital footprints but with this expansion, comes an inherent risk- a risk of cyberattacks. Attend any cybersecurity event and you’ll hear some version of the famous quote: “There are only two types of companies: those that know they have been hacked and those that don’t know this yet.”

It is no secret that cyberattacks are increasing at an all-time high rate with the University of Maryland suggesting that almost 2,244 cyber-attacks occur per day. Hackers are getting smarter, and cyberattacks are getting difficult to trace and deal with. This is why it is crucial to take cybersecurity seriously.

I’ve compiled a list of the most common types of cyberattacks along with some security measures that you can take to prevent those.

So, let’s begin.

Most Common Types of Cyber Attacks:

Malware:

The term Malware refers to any unwanted software sitting on your computer without your knowledge or consent. Malware is usually disguised as legit files and once the user clicks on those files, malware is installed on the computer.

Depending on the type of malware, it can do any of the following things after getting into the system:

  1. Encrypt and deny access to important user files in order to demand a ransom (Ransomware)
  2. Spy on the users’ activities and then report it to the author of the malware (Spyware)
  3. Force the users to watch random ads when surfing the internet (Adware)
  4. In the worst-case scenario, gain unauthorized access to your computer and use it to install other malicious files, steal financial information, etc. (Trojan)

    How to protect yourself from malware?

    Stay vigilant. 92% of malware is delivered via email and usually requires an action on the users’ end to enter into the system.  So, be extra careful when clicking on random attachments or downloading files from your emails.

    DoS/DDoS attacks

    Flooding of a system’s resources, servers, networks by overwhelming them with multiple requests in an attempt to take it down is referred to as a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.

    Similar to the DoS attacks, DDoS attacks are also launched to crash servers of websites. The only difference is, in DDoS attacks hackers use an army of compromised IoT devices referred to as bots in order to take down a website making it unavailable to the legit users.

    These attacks are particularly harmful to the organizations as the loss suffered is not only financial but also reputational.

    How to protect your business from DoS/DDoS attacks?

    The risk of DDoS attacks can only be mitigated via constantly updating and patching your network security programs and firewalls. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to leverage the services of cloud-based service providers as the cloud has far more bandwidth and resources than normal servers.

     Zero-day exploit

    In zero-day attacks, hackers target system vulnerabilities that are just discovered and unpatched or in some cases, vulnerabilities that are yet to be discovered.

    In some cases, hackers can exploit these vulnerabilities and steal valuable data or even take control of the targeted systems for months before the victim realizes that something is wrong making these kinds of attacks extremely dangerous.

    How to protect yourself and your business from Zero-day exploit?

    Dealing with Zero-day attacks is very difficult and therefore, employing XDR in your business servers to constantly monitor your network and systems status and trace any abnormal behavior is an efficient way to ensure your businesses’ safety against these zero-day exploit attacks.

    Phishing

    A phishing attack usually begins with a hacker sending an email to the victim disguised as a trusted entity in order to trick the victim into taking a specific action such as downloading an attachment or entering login credentials, etc.

    Once this interaction has been made, hackers can steal valuable user data including login credentials and financial details. Hackers can also use phishing attacks to trick victims into installing malware into their systems. It’s safe to say that Phishing attacks are the root cause of all other cyberattacks.

    How to protect yourself and your business from phishing attacks?

    Being extra careful when interacting with someone via email and avoiding offers that seem too good to be true is a good way to ensure your safety from phishing attacks. If you are a business owner, then educating your staff members about the basic cybersecurity tips can do the trick for you.

    SQL injection

    Structured Query Language (SQL) injection attacks commonly occur with data-driven websites. These attacks use malicious SQL codes to gain access to sensitive information of servers not meant to be displayed. This includes users’ information or the information about the app/server itself and in most cases, the hackers can also manipulate this information and use it to their benefit.

    How to protect your business from SQL injection attacks?

    SQL injection attacks can be prevented by creating an input validation check as well as using a web application firewall to identify and deal with malicious SQL queries.

    Wrapping it up

    Most of the cyberattacks can be prevented if we just keep our eyes open and practice basic cyber hygiene. Stay vigilant and stay safe.

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I am a tech lover. Passionate about programming and learning new skills. Love to build applications.

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