The term ‘cyber attacks’ conjures up an image of a masked crook sitting in a dark room and working on a computer system. However, the term entails much more than that. It involves disruption of services and large scale losses to businesses.
The main motive behind a cyber attack is usually financial gain. Although in some cases, cyber criminals just want to prove their superiority over the target network. There are numerous ways that cyber criminals orchestrate attacks. Here are a few common methods:
- Zero-day Attacks: These attacks occur between the duration a network vulnerability is announced and the time its patch is released. Cyber criminals use this period to exploit the disclosed vulnerability.
- Phishing: A form of social engineering where cyber criminals earn trust of unsuspecting customers and extract personal information that is later used for criminal activities.
- Bot attacks: These are automated attacks that involve a network of infected devices to increase the intensity and scale of an attack. Botnets are used to disrupt the services of the target network through distributed denial of services (DDoS) so as to deny availability of the services to the end customer, automatically match common passwords with breached emails, skim details from credit cards, and so forth.
- Malware: Any malicious software—virus, ransomware, spyware, and so forth—constitute malware. Cyber criminals look for weaknesses in a network and install malicious software through email attachments or infected/spoofed links. Malware is used to extort money (ransomware), steal data (spyware), and disrupt services.
- Man-in-the-Middle: A method to steal user data by intercepting data flow across an infected network. Usually open WiFi networks are prone to such attacks.
- SQL Injection: This method is used to steal network information and other data by injecting a malicious software into an SQL server.
Businesses must plug-in loop-holes
As more and more businesses embrace digital transformation, the window of opportunity for cyber criminals is also increasing. It is fast becoming a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ a business will become a target of cyber attacks. In such a landscape—rife with cyber attacks—the onus is on the businesses to plug-in security loopholes and deploy adequate precautionary measures.
The article has been written by Neetu Katyal, Content and Marketing Consultant
She can be reached on LinkedIn.