Cybersecurity Threats and the State of Our Digital Privacy

October 04, 2021 by Anita Basa, Digital Marketer and Content Writer at Mindmajix.com

Professionals in cybersecurity are constantly defending computer systems against a variety of cyberattacks. Every day, cyber assaults target corporations and private networks, and the range of attacks has grown rapidly. As per the former Cisco CEO John Chambers, "There are two sorts of businesses: those that have been attacked and those who have been attacked, but are unaware."

A wide range of factors can influence cyber assaults. The first is monetary. Cyber attackers may disable a system and demand cash to reactivate it. Ransomware, a type of attack that encrypts data and demands money to regain access, is more advanced than ever.

No corporation or IT firm is secure in today's cyber environment. When hackers become more skilled, companies frequently feel helpless as their private data and key assets fall victim to harmful assaults.

Furthermore, the fast adoption of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud technology have introduced new cyber dangers to businesses while complicating old ones.

What Is a Cybersecurity Threat?

A cybersecurity attack is a hostile and purposeful assault by an individual or organization on another person's or organization's system in order to destroy, disrupt, or hijack information technology resources, computer systems, proprietary information, or any other type of sensitive data.

Various high cyber assaults in subsequent years have resulted in the exposure of critical data. For instance, the 2017 Equifax data breach exposed around 158 million individuals' personal information, including dates of birth, residences, and SSN. In 2018, Marriott International confirmed that the attacker got access to company networks and seized the personal details of about 650 million customers.

In all cases, the organization's inability to deploy, verify, and recheck technological protections such as encryption, authorization, and firewalls permitted the cyber security danger.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

1.     Malware

Malware includes spyware, trojans, and worms, among others. When people click on a malicious site or file, malware is triggered, which results in the installation of harmful software. Cisco claims that once triggered, malware can:

  • Limit access to critical system components.
  • Acquire information surreptitiously by transmitting files from the hard disk.
  • Disrupt specific components of the system, rendering it unusable.

2.     Emotet

Emotet is described by the National Security Agency as an "advanced, flexible banking Trojan which primarily acts as a loader or distributor for other banking Trojans." Emotet remains one of the most expensive and damaging forms of malware.

3.     Denial of Service

A Denial of Service (DoS) attack is a form of cyber assault in which a system or network is flooded with data, rendering it incapable of responding to requests. Cyber attackers frequently employ a flood attack to interrupt the "handshake" procedure and perform a denial-of-service attack. Numerous other tactics may be employed, and some cybercriminals use the downtime of a system to launch additional assaults.

As per Jeff Melnick, a botnet is a sort of DDoS attack in which millions of devices may be infected with ransomware and commanded by a hacker. Botnets, a.k.a. corpse systems are used to attack and overload a target's processing capacity. Botnets are dispersed geographically and therefore difficult to track.

4.     Man in the Middle

When hackers inject them into a two-party interaction, this is referred to as a man-in-the-middle assault. Cisco reports that after interfering with communications, they may analyze and collect information.

Man-in-the-middle attacks usually appear when a person connects to a public Wi-Fi network that is not protected. Attackers place themselves in the path of the user and the connection, then employ viruses to install software and steal information.

5.     Phishing

Phishing attacks employ forgery, such as mail, to mislead the recipient into reading it and following the instructions contained therein, such as entering credit card information. "The objective is to collect sensitive data such as banking information or to infect the victim's system with botnets," Cisco reports.

6.     SQL Injection

An SQL injection is a part of a cyberattack that occurs when malicious code is injected into a system that utilizes SQL. When a server is infected, data is released. Uploading the malicious script is as simple as typing it into a search bar on a susceptible website.

7.     Password Attacks

A cyber attacker may get access to a lot of data with the proper credentials. Social engineering is a form of password attack used by cyber attackers that largely depends on human contact and frequently includes scamming individuals into violating established security standards. Other forms of password assaults include gaining access to a password database or predicting the password directly.

Sources of Cybersecurity Threats

1.     Nation States

A nation's cyberattacks can have a harmful effect by interrupting telecommunications, military operations, and daily life.

2.     Criminal Organizations

Criminal organizations seek financial advantage by infiltrating computers. These gangs commit identity fraud, cybercrime, and network extortion through the use of phishing, spamming, malware, and ransomware.

3.     Cybercriminals

Hackers employ a variety of cyber methods in order to circumvent protections and exploit weaknesses in a computer network. Self-interest, vengeance, spying, monetary reward, and political action inspire them. Hackers create novel threats for the excitement of the task or for bragging rights among the hacking community.

4.     Terrorist Organizations

Terrorists utilize cyber assaults to damage, penetrate, or exploit vital infrastructure, posing a danger to national security, compromising military weapons, disrupting the economy, and resulting in mass fatalities.

5.     Hacktivists

Hacktivists commit cyberattacks in the name of political causes, not financial gain. They attack companies, organizations, and individuals that do not share their political beliefs and objectives.

6.     Intimidating Insiders

Insiders can be workers, third-party suppliers, collaborators, or other company associates who have lawful access to business resources but use that authority to acquire or corrupt data for financial or private benefit.

Best Practices to Protect from Cyber Threats

●      Establish an Insider Threat Initiative

Organizations must establish an insider threat program to prevent workers from abusing their access rights to acquire or damage business information. The IT security staff should move quickly and obtain senior management clearance before deploying rules across departments.

●      Employee Training

Employees are a firm's first line of defense against cybersecurity threats. Thus, businesses must implement robust cybersecurity training programs to educate staff about identifying and responding to cyber-attacks. This significantly enhances the overall security and proactive measures of a company.

●      Strengthen Cyber Security Strategy

No company is immune to cyberattacks in the modern digital world. As a result, businesses of all sizes must develop an effective Cyber Security Strategy in order to combat cyber attackers. It helps organizations to plan for the unforeseeable, respond to new risks, and swiftly recover from an assault.

●      Consistently Update Systems and Applications

Due to the fast evolution of cyber threats, your optimal security network may become obsolete in no time, placing your business in danger of cyberattack. As a result, keep the security network, as well as the related software systems, up to date on a regular basis.

●      Data Backup

Regular data backups help mitigate the risk of data loss. On a continual and fairly regular basis, back up your software, data sets, messages, and documents.

●      HTTPS-secured website

Companies must use an SSL certificate to encrypt and safeguard their website. HTTPS encrypts the information between the client and the server, ensuring its privacy and consistency.

State of Our Digital Privacy

The Indian government appears to be on track to enact a Personal Data Protection Bill (DPB) that would regulate the acquisition, storage, maintenance, utilization, transmission, security, and disclosure of private data pertaining to Indian residents.

India has followed the EU's Legal Provisions (GDPR) in permitting global digital businesses to run under certain circumstances, rather than following China's isolationist regulatory framework, which prohibits global players such as Google or Facebook from functioning inside its borders. As a sovereign nation, India would consider citizen-generated data as a national asset, storing and safeguarding it inside national borders, and reserving the right to utilize such data to protect its defense and strategic interests.

Numerous provisions of the DPB will force businesses to alter their business structures, methods, and beliefs. All of this serves as a foundation for what businesses should bear in mind in the context of India's proposed policy and the global growth in data protection laws.

These new methods and processes included in our digital privacy will make a substantial contribution to the decrease of cybersecurity threats as data protection is prioritized.

Conclusion

As our usage of digital technologies grows, cyber assaults have grown increasingly powerful. As a result, companies that rely on outdated cybersecurity measures expose themselves to the risk of a cyberattack. Organizations must hone their cybersecurity programs to stave off these attacks. A strong cybersecurity program may assist businesses in disrupting assaults in real-time, reducing recovery time, and avoiding future risks.

 

Author: I am Anita Basa, an enthusiastic Digital Marketer and content writer working at Mindmajix.com. I write articles on trending IT-related topics such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle, Salesforce, Cloud Technologies, Business Tools, and Software. You can reach me on Linkedin at Anita Basa

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