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The main types of cyber attacks and how to deal with them

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The main types of cyber attacks and how to deal with them

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The main types of cyber attacks and how to deal with them

There are many different cyber incidents that can pose a threat to your business. This article lists the 7 most common types of cyberattacks and how to protect against them.

What is an information security incident?


Information security incident is unauthorized access to information for the purpose of its further use for malicious purposes, as well as disruption of IT systems. An injection threat or an unsuccessful attempt to gain access are also considered incidents.


Information Security – a set of systems, processes and tools for protecting the company’s confidential information from any violations, including modification, theft and loss.

Types of information security

It is important to note that information security and cybersecurity are different concepts. Information security is a type of cybersecurity that refers directly to data, and cybersecurity is a general term that covers the security of data and IoT devices, hardware, and software.

There are several types of information security and many processes to protect data from compromise and leakage.


Application Security

Includes security enhancements at the application level to prevent data leaks and reduce the likelihood of vulnerabilities. Common flaws are often encountered in the user authentication process and make it easier for an attacker to access.


Cloud Security

Includes data protection across applications, platforms, and infrastructure in the cloud. Often, businesses operate in the public cloud, that is, in a shared environment. Therefore, processes must be put in place to protect data from leakage or other security issues so as not to put all users of the cloud at risk.


Cryptography

Cryptography and encryption refer to the encoding, verification, and protection of data. An example is the AES algorithm (Advanced Encryption Standard).


Infrastructure Security

Refers to the security of physical media, from mobile phones, desktops, and servers to entire labs, data centers, and network nodes.


Incident response

When preparing for a possible data breach, a company needs to have a response plan in place to contain the threat and restore the network. It should also include a data storage system – with timestamps – for analyzing and investigating a cyberattack.


Vulnerability management

In today’s fast paced business systems need frequent checks and updates. Risk factors include outdated equipment, insecure networks, human error, and vulnerable employee personal devices. An organization can assess the level of potential risk to its networks through a well thought out risk assessment plan.

Types of cyber attacks

The types of incidents and attacks vary in their level of complexity, from simple hack attacks to complex and carefully planned long-term attacks.


Phishing


Phishing attacks are based on human error, so employee training is critical to prevent data leakage. Employees need to know not to click on suspicious links or download files from unknown sources.


Brute force attack

In these attacks, hackers use software to guess a combination of passwords. Given the complexity of credential cracking tools, relying on a combination of letters, symbols, and numbers is no longer enough to provide strong protection. Limit login attempts and enable two-factor authentication are the best defense against brute force.


Malware

Malware infects a device without the user’s knowledge. This includes Trojans, spyware, ransomware, and viruses. For example, in 2021, the largest oil supplier to the United States, Colonial Pipeline came under attack ransomware and paid the attackers a ransom of $ 5 million.


Attack drive-By Download

This attack silently downloads a malicious file from the browser to the target system without the knowledge of the victim. The file can be downloaded through an advertisement, a floating frame (iframe) or a malicious script embedded in the site.


SQL injection


Attackin which a hacker places malicious code on a server to manage a company’s database. The goal of the attack is to gain access to sensitive company data such as customer information and credit card numbers.


Intersite scripting (Cross Site Scripting, XSS)

During this attack A hacker exploits vulnerabilities by injecting malicious JavaScript code into a user’s browser to gain access to the victim’s browser and sensitive information. Usually XSS attacks are aimed at stealing personal data, cookies, passwords, etc.


Attack “man in the middle” (Man-in-the-middle, MITM)

AT MITM attack an attacker intrudes into an existing communication process between two users and quietly intercepts a conversation or data transmission by eavesdropping or pretending to be a legitimate participant. The purpose of a MITM attack is to obtain confidential information – bank account information, bank card numbers or credentials.


Denial-of-service attacks (Denial of Service, DoS)


DoS attack overwhelms a device or network with a flood of traffic to bring down the system and deny access to real users. Sometimes hackers initiate a DoS attack to test the integrity of a system.

How to detect security incidents?

There are various ways to determine if your company is at risk of a cyber incident. Different types of incidents will have different detection markers.

  • Look for traffic anomalies, attempts to access accounts without permission, overuse, and access to suspicious files.
  • Servers tend to have a relatively stable and constant amount of traffic depending on the needs of the users. If there is an unusual increase in traffic, the company must investigate the cause and identify the possibility of an attack.
  • Employees are the main attack vector for data breaches, so be aware of employee access and whether any employees can use an account to obtain information outside of their area of ​​work.
  • A noticeable increase in memory or hard drive usage means that someone is using it for malicious purposes or is leaking data. Files that are too large (obviously incompatible in size) may contain material that the hacker is trying to hide.

Common attack vectors


Attack vectors are the means or ways by which a hacker can compromise a target device. They are based on system vulnerabilities and human error. Attack vectors include:

  • email;
  • compromised credentials;
  • weak encryption;
  • stolen physical media;
  • brute force attacks;
  • DoS attacks;
  • malware attacks.

7 Common Types of Cyber ​​Incidents and How to Deal with Them

Each type of information security incident has its own method of handling, and they are all an important part of a rigorous and comprehensive information security strategy.


1. Third party scanning

Scanning occurs when an external threat actor conducts reconnaissance or checks the security of a site. Scans cannot be ignored if the IP address is from a source with a bad reputation or there are many hits from the same IP address. If the scan is from a legitimate source, you can contact their security team. If you cannot find source data, please search WHOIS for details.


2. Malware Infection

Frequently scan systems for signs of compromise. Signs of malware include unusual system activity—sudden memory loss, unusually slow speeds, repeated crashes or freezes, and unexpected pop-up ads. Use antivirus software that can detect and remove malware.


3. DoS attacks

DoS attacks can be detected by the flow of traffic to your website. You need to set up your servers to deal with multiple HTTP requests and coordinate with your ISP to block sources when an attack occurs.

Also, beware of a sabotage DoS attack that is used to distract the security team from a real data breach attempt. If a DoS attack causes the server to crash, a reboot usually solves the problem. After that, reconfiguring firewalls, routers, and servers can block future traffic flows.


4. Unauthorized access

Unauthorized access is often used to steal sensitive information. Monitor and investigate any unauthorized access attempts, especially those that occur on critical infrastructure with sensitive data. two-factoror multi-factor authenticationdata encryption is a strong protection against unauthorized access.


5. Violation of internal security

You need to make sure that employees do not abuse their access to information. Maintain access levels for workers to domains, servers, applications, and sensitive information for which they have permissions.

Install a system to record and notify unauthorized access attempts. Also install employee activity monitoring software, which reduces the risk of insider theft by identifying insiders and employees with malicious intent.


6. Privilege Elevation Attack

An attacker who gains access to a network often uses privilege escalation to gain capabilities that regular users don’t have. This usually happens when a hacker gains access to a low-privilege account and wants to elevate privileges in order to study a company’s system or carry out an attack.

To protect against this type of attack, it is necessary to limit the access rights of each user, configuring them only for those resources that are necessary to complete tasks (Zero Trust).


7. Improved Persistent Threat


Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) is a designation for a state-sponsored group that gains unauthorized access to a computer network and remains undetected for an extended period of time, monitoring network activity and collecting victim data.

Monitoring incoming and outgoing traffic can help prevent the extraction of sensitive information. Firewalls also help protect network information and can prevent SQL injection attacks, which are often used in the early stages of an APT attack.

Protect yourself from cyber attacks now

It is essential to develop an information security incident response plan to ensure that your company is prepared to deal with all types of cyber threats. This will reduce the financial losses from the attack and help prevent them in the future.

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