In our modern world, data is the most important asset for businesses. That’s why cybercriminals are generally after the data that companies hold. These malicious actors want to steal sensitive credentials, financials, new business projects, etc. Today’s decentralized work environments increase the risk of cyber attacks.
As of 2022, all businesses can be a victim of data breaches regardless of their size. That’s mainly because cybercriminals improve malware and use more sophisticated methods to accomplish their malicious goals every day. Additionally, cyber attacks and data breaches have severe consequences on businesses. Just a year ago, the global average cost of data breaches was 4.24 million dollars for businesses.
Falling victim to a data breach not only has monetary costs, but also intangible results like damaging the reputation and credibility of businesses in the eyes of their customers. So, businesses have to be more aware of the most common cybersecurity attacks and take measures to prevent them. Let’s explain these cyber security attacks further.
1- Phishing Attacks
Phishing is one of the most common cyber security attacks which is used by malicious actors. In these attacks, cybercriminals are after users’ credentials such as ID, passwords, credit card information, etc. To accomplish their goal, they create fake websites that look like legitimate institutions. Then, they send emails or SMS messages which include infected attachments or links of fake websites. Once target individuals click on these links or download infected email attachments, hackers start to steal their sensitive credentials.
After stealing these credentials; hackers can blackmail users, sell them on the internet or use them to get into corporate networks, etc. So, everyone should be cautious about downloading email attachments or clicking login links.
2- Social Engineering Attacks
Cybercriminals are aware that bypassing security systems is difficult and complex. So, social engineering attacks’ goal is to steal credentials or get into the corporate systems by exploiting human error. They deceive individuals to reveal their sensitive credentials. These attacks can happen via phone calls, infected flash disks, emails, etc.
3- Man-In-The-Middle Attacks
Man-in-the-middle attacks’ goal is to spy on your activities and steal sensitive data. These attacks usually succeed because of the vulnerabilities and gaps in security systems, such as expired SSL certificates, out-of-date VPNs, and so on. If these tools aren’t functioning effectively, the target’s communication channels and network can be monitored or hacked.
4- Network Intrusion Attacks
Network intrusion attacks’ goal is to gain unauthorized access to online or corporate networks. If cybercriminals can bypass network security, they can reach all of the data a company holds. Network intrusion attacks happen via some malware types that give hackers unrestricted access to corporate networks. So, they can reach and possess sensitive data.
5- Malware Attacks
Malware is a malicious code constructed by cybercriminals to do certain tasks in the target machine’s systems. Additionally, there are numerous malware types, and these differ according to their purpose. But, a malware attack’s goal is to steal sensitive data, create a hole in the target’s cybersecurity posture, and disable the security system’s functions.
Today, cybercriminals try to use improved malware that can slip through security systems without security systems noticing it. Especially, when companies use out-of-date security tools, malware attacks are difficult to detect. So, businesses should be more aware of these constantly evolving malware types and adopt enhanced malware detection tools because these are critical for immediate response against attacks.
Ransomware attacks are generally after financial earnings. These attacks’ goal is to infect target’s systems with a specific type of malware, and get hold of data storage. Once cybercriminals access the storage, they encrypt all the data and demand ransom in exchange for decryption.
Most of the time, businesses accept to pay the ransom because encrypted data is critical for them. But, in the cases where businesses don’t accept to pay the ransom or can’t afford it, ransomware threatens to share or sell the data on the internet. During the last few years, ransomware attacks have been increasing drastically. By 2031, ransomware damages cost is forecasted to exceed 265 billion dollars globally. That’s why businesses should be more aware of ransomware attacks.
7- Insider Threats
Generally, businesses want to trust their employees fully. But, giving unlimited access to them can be very risky. In the cases where a business gives unlimited access to its employees, insider attacks can have severe consequences.
In these types of attacks, employees can work with cybercriminals in exchange for money. They can install malware that creates backdoors on the target’s cybersecurity posture or use their unlimited access to leak data to these criminals. To eliminate the massive impacts of insider attacks, businesses can implement network segmentation, Zero Trust Access Network (ZTNA), and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) solutions.
The more our work environments become decentralized and web-oriented, the more we are up against cyber-attacks. A single successful data breach has severe outcomes for a business. So, it is important to acknowledge potential threats and take measures accordingly.