As cyber security threats continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, enterprises must be vigilant in protecting their data and IT infrastructure. To do that, they first have to understand the formidable security challenges they are up against.
Below are 5 cyber security threats that enterprises need to know about.
Malware is a broad term that encompasses all types of malicious programs, including computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, ransomware, and spyware. Malware is omnipresent throughout the internet, and organizations can easily suffer from malware infections due to poor cyber security practices of their employees. For example, downloading software from untrusted sources, visiting malicious websites, clicking on suspicious links, and connecting USB drives of unknown origin can all introduce malware onto the system. Malware infections can lead to severe consequences, such as allowing hackers to steal your data, spy on your actions, and restrict your access to certain files and applications.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up data with powerful encryption. Attackers then demand a ransom payment from the victim in return for a unique decryption key. Unable to operate without their data, businesses are often left with no choice but to pay up, making ransomware the number one cyber threat of recent years. Recent developments have further exacerbated the ransomware threat landscape. Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) has allowed non-experts to launch ransomware attacks against their enemies, while double extortion ransomware has exerted greater pressure on victims to pay up by stealing and then threatening to expose their sensitive data.
Phishing is a prominent cyber threat where a bad actor sends a malicious email purporting to be from a trusted sender to lure the recipient into clicking a link or opening an attachment in the email. Because of this, phishing is considered a social engineering technique where people are manipulated into carrying out harmful instructions. Phishing attacks are extremely dangerous and can result in the theft of sensitive information, such as login credentials and credit card details. Successful phishing attacks can also lead to network intrusion, allowing attackers to operate in the internal private network to stage more devasting attacks.
4. DDoS Attack
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a malicious attempt by an attacker to crash a web service by flooding it with fake internet traffic. To generate the massive volume of traffic needed for a DDoS attack, the attacker infects thousands of devices including PCs, mobile phones, and IoT devices with malware. This allows the attacker to create an internet-connected group of devices known as a botnet, which is used to make a huge number of simultaneous requests to the target. DDoS attacks are one of the most prevalent types of cyber-attacks, and successful attempts cause significant system downtime.
5. APT Attack
An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a prolonged cyber-attack where a malicious actor gains access to the target network and remains undetected for an extended period of time, typically up to months and years. Through highly sophisticated and evasive tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP), the attacker operates inside the victim’s environment to carry out long-term data exfiltration or cyber-espionage. Due to the level of resources required to conduct APT attacks, the perpetrators are invariably stated-backed APT groups, and the victims are large multinational corporations and foreign government entities possessing high-value data or critical infrastructure that are vital to social stability.
The Value of MDR to SMBs
In the face of these daunting cyber security threats, small and mid-size businesses are especially vulnerable due to their financial and human resource constraints. Advanced cyber security solutions and skilled cyber security professionals may simply be out of reach, out of budget, or impractical. That is where a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service could prove extremely valuable to SMBs. MDR is a security service where the MDR service provider protects the customer’s network using their security technologies delivered over the cloud. Customers essentially establish fully-fledged security operations without the upfront capital expenditure and the hiring of security personnel.
In a world where electronic data and digital infrastructure have become the lifeblood of businesses, safeguarding their integrity could be the difference between business success and failure.
Angela Spearman is a journalist at EzineMark who enjoys writing about the latest trending technology and business news.