Do you know what cyber-attacks are and how to prevent them?February 21, 2020 by Juan Camilo Ruíz
It is no secret to anyone that we are in the information age. During 2018, almost 50% of the world’s population had internet access, which resulted in 3,700 million people who enjoy the advantages of a mailbox, rumors on social networks, and sharing each Happy moment in their public and private profiles.
For this 2020, the whole world is waiting for significant technological advances at the information level, including increasingly smaller and compact drones, the edition of the human genome (the human simile of the code and language of software), and the storage of DNA.
With so many innovations in terms of information, more and more gaps could be open towards the possibility of theft, modification, corruption, and illegal use. Something that, for many, could be the starting point of uncontrollable chaos.
Over 1,5 billion records breached so far this year, gaps that managed to affect the health system American, the financial information of thousands of citizens in India and New Zealand, and the emerging marijuana industry.
Can you imagine waking up one day and finding yourself with an absurd balance in unnecessary purchases with your credit card? Imagine that you made none of those purchases, that someone else has supplanted your identity and took advantage of it to fill their pockets. That’s the kind of situation when you understand that you have just been the victim of one of the many modalities of cyber assaults.
Let’s review the term
A cyber-attacks is any attempt to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal, or gain access to any device or platform without prior consent.
It’s usually aimed at infrastructures, network, and devices. In some cases, cyber-attacks are classified as cyber wars or terrorism, especially if they expose the information of an entire nation or indicate the participation of organized groups. Also, solo individuals and activist groups could be the perpetrators of the attack.
Today, for anyone in the world, including companies, protection against cyber-attacks has become a high priority necessity. Especially because although the benefits of technology are incredibly high, so are its risks.
Remember: the more companies and nations accept the challenge of technological transformation, opening new paths for access to digital information, the higher the need to strengthen security barriers.
Types of cyber-attacks
During 2020, computer security specialists are preparing each of their best techniques to deal with the extensive list of types of cyber-attacks that could be frequent during this year.
Among the most common are the phishing attacks commonly executed by sending emails that invite the victim to open links and files, and allowing theft of information such as personal data, credit card numbers, or access passwords.
Following this modality, there is the installation of malware, codes designed to affect the performance of specific software, product, or device. It is the most recurring form of attacks between companies, states, and hackers.
The third type of cyber assault aimed at web pages (XSS), especially for the manipulation of databases of sites with high user flow and the injection of malicious scripts into the content, which allows the criminal to arrive to the victim’s device through the browser. Despite how devastating the outcome of one of these attacks can be, preventing them and eliminating the vulnerabilities that allow them is relatively simple.
However, these three types of a cyber-attacks are not the only ones expected by cybersecurity specialists; others may become popular this year:
- DDoS attacks: it makes impossible to access information by making excessive consumption of resources, you can know it in detail by clicking here.
- Password theft: it is the attempt to decrypt or obtain passwords for illegal acts.
- Eavesdropping: they are based on the interception of a network, and stealing information from mobile devices and computers.
- Birthday paradox: it is a phenomenon that makes the brute-forcing of one-way hashes easier, so the assailant can get all your passwords.
- Internal threats: these are attacks carried out by individuals with authorized access to the networks and accounts of another person or a corporation.
- Man in the middle (MITM): this is the interception of communication in a continuous listening until the attacker obtains the public key and relays the message while exchanging the requested key with his.
- Attacks of artificial intelligence: can be used to hack autonomous vehicle systems, home appliances and drones, facilitating the possibility of converting them into potential weapons.
How to protect yourself
The level of security required depends on the information to be protected. This suggests that there are differences between efforts to ensure the security of a personal email account to a company’s email inboxes. However, it is a bit of scaling levels; the higher the amount of information, the greater the protection strategies should be.
In the case of companies, check the list below and validate at what point you should increase information security:
- Strengthen security practices, including training of security policies at all levels of the organization and creating the good habit of building strong passwords.
- Make backup copies of the information and guarantee an audit flow where the modification record can be archived.
- Try to encrypt all data, especially the information that is sensitive and can impact the company’s customers.
- Use cybersecurity softwares, including protection against malware, spyware, and network intrusion systems (NIDS).
- Monitor vulnerabilities by using computer security analysis tools in the organization.
- Evaluate the security practices of the service providers of your organization with whom you share corporate information. Request these processes to ensure proper management and custody of the information.
Finally, for your personal accounts, it is essential to use strong passwords avoiding evident information (such as name or date of birth), accompanied by backups and good spam filters in your inbox. Of course, don’t forget to get constant training on the vulnerabilities that may exist in standard tools and devices.
If you want to prepare yourself as an expert in computer security against these undesirable assaults, you can download our ebook on tools to avoid cyber attacks below, and read the small guide to good cybersecurity practices in the companies.