7 Common Cybersecurity Attacks You Need to Stay Ahead of
The current cybersecurity landscape is pretty scary. In the past few months, we've seen supply chain attacks, AI-based phishing campaigns, and even hybrid attacks. Let's dive deep into cybercrime and cybersecurity as a service, the new standard in cybersecurity.
Table of Contents:
- Understanding Cybersecurity
- Most Common Web Vulnerabilities
- Seven Typical Cyberattacks
- How to Protect Your Network
Cybercrime has undergone a lot of changes recently. It has evolved into a managed services model reflecting today's business world. Actors with malicious intents can purchase crimeware-as-a-service and even receive 24/7 support to carry out sophisticated attacks regardless of their technical expertise.
Cybersecurity risk management involves continuously identifying, evaluating, evaluating, and addressing an organization's cybersecurity threats. Cybersecurity risk management is not just a security team's job. It involves everyone within an organization, especially if they have access to gated areas of a network.
Security education, training, and awareness program can be implemented to ensure organizational stakeholders are up to speed on cybersecurity best practices and risk management. A recent study found that the related awareness training for employees is ignored in many companies, which has made the decisions made by staff when facing cyber security breaches biased and consequentially ineffective. Implementing ongoing cybersecurity training in your organization can help mitigate risks over the long term.
Another factor besides human error to consider for a cybersecurity plan is endpoint security. Do you know how many endpoints are on your network? When was the last time you conducted an audit to understand how many devices are connected to your network? The various types of cybersecurity attacks are increasingly targeting mobile devices or Internet of Things (IoT) connected devices like smart speakers or IoT home appliances to infiltrate your network and compromise your organization's data.
The Most Common Web Vulnerabilities
Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a security vulnerability that may be found in some web applications. XSS attacks enable malicious users to inject client-side scripts into web pages viewed by other users. Attackers may use an XSS scripting vulnerability to get through access controls. An example would be when an attacker stores malicious scripts in data sent from a contact form. Search forms can also be particularly vulnerable since visitors trust the site they send information to.
Human network users continue to be the number one vulnerability for cybersecurity. We can't reiterate the importance of cybersecurity training enough! But beyond human error, issues with a network's hardware or software could provide entry points for external parties. Some of the main network security vulnerability types include insecure network access points or poorly configured firewalls.
Weak authentication is another opportunity for cyberattacks. Authentication is the process of proving an identity to an application or system. It requires system users to prove they are who they claim to be.
Typically, this is done with password protection, but passwords are becoming easier to hack. Password generator systems like 1Password or Lastpass can help you safeguard your organization. Require employees to use automatically generated passwords that are nearly impossible to guess based on personal data.
Injection attacks involve attackers supplying untrusted input to a program. They are some of the oldest and most dangerous attacks and remain prevalent in cyberattacks. False inputs are processed by programs which alter how the program executes. Similar to XSS attacks, injection cybersecurity attacks are most common with legacy applications. We recommend frequent hardware and software updates to protect your network from injection cyberattacks.
External Service Interaction
An external service interaction means inducing an application to interact with an external service, like a web or email server. While not a cybersecurity danger per se, interactions with unintended service types can be induced by external network parties. External Service Interaction arises when an attacker can induce an application to interact with an arbitrary external service such as DNS etc. The ESI can is not limited to HTTP, HTTPS, or DNS. It can lead to FTP or SMTP. Such weakness can lead to a DDoS attack.
7 Common Types of Cybersecurity Attacks
As we have mentioned in our last few articles, the types of cybersecurity attacks that are on the rise continue to change and become more sophisticated. Here are some of the most common types of cybersecurity attacks that are occurring right now.
Denial-of-service (DoS) attacks work by flooding a network endpoint with so much traffic that it triggers a crash. The DoS attack keeps legitimate users like employees, organization members, or account holders from using the service or resource they are attempting to use. These kinds of attacks are prevalent in high-profile organizations, as they delegitimize the authority of the organization's website and can result in reputational damage. While these attacks don't generally result in massive theft or loss of data, they can still cost the victim a lot of time and money to recover from.
Companies continually contend with phishing attacks, which are evergreen cyber threats. Phishing attacks—especially ones carried out using email or social media—are relatively easy to complete and don't require many resources to make. Yet, these attacks can be incredibly lucrative when they succeed.
For example, a phishing email to an accounting department gets through, and a clerk approves a fake invoice for $50,000 that wires money directly into the attacker's overseas bank account. If this trick works just one time, the attacker has made more than many people do in a year. Even if it only works once out of every 10,000 tries, the investment of time and resources to make those attempts is a drop in the bucket compared to what a single success can provide. For some companies, a $50,000 invoice might be so minor or routine as not to raise suspicion.
Structured query language (SQL) is a computer language used for database management and manipulation of data. It's rare for modern computer users to see or make SQL queries directly—the process is primarily abstracted in computer user interfaces today. Instead of manually making SQL queries on a command line prompt, most operating systems have a visual filing system interface that lets important files be sorted into folders on the computer's storage drive.
Organizations must be aware of a few types of SQL attacks, including in-band attacks, inferential attacks, and out-of-band attacks. Hackers can eliminate entire databases by manipulating just a single line of code. Firewalls are an excellent solution to safeguard against potential SQL attacks.
Brute force attacks are quite simple and are the main reason you should have your team use a password management system. These attacks happen by obtaining unauthorized network access by guessing usernames and passwords. Through trial and error, hackers use common combinations like the word "password" or common number combinations like "1234567."
Malware refers to malicious software, which is any intrusive software that infiltrates a network and either steals data or damages a system from the inside. Malware can come in many forms, including viruses, worms, spyware, adware, hijacker malware, and ransomware, to name a few. Protecting your network from malware is a challenging task. Still, with basic antivirus or antimalware programs, you can enable your security team to identify and remove most of the more common types of malware from your network endpoints.
Eavesdropping attacks entail hackers intercepting, deleting, or changing data transferred between devices. Imagine receiving messages from your boss instructing you to destroy important information, but it turns out the messages are from a hacker seeking to destroy criminal evidence. That would be an eavesdropping attack. Hackers seek out weak connections between clients and servers, and those that are not encrypted, use old devices or software, and potentially have malware installed are very high risk.
Zero-day attacks are those attacks that could not have been known or predicted. They are new threats, making them very difficult to anticipate or detect. This is where hackers are truly devious, as they constantly scan networks to identify vulnerabilities and exploit them before your cybersecurity team can patch them. A dedicated cybersecurity team that can be vigilant and scans for vulnerabilities before the hackers find them is critical for your overall network security.
How to Protect Your Network
Consider a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to protect your network from these attacks. Building your team in-house can be incredibly expensive and time-consuming and is only necessary for enterprise businesses or governments. Here are some ways that outsourcing your cybersecurity to a dedicated team of experts can help you develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy.
Managed Firewall Services
Firewall installation and management can be complex. Most businesses have a firewall system set up but often fail to maximize the firewall for realistic cybersecurity threats. Managed firewall systems provided by security experts to help with administration, operation, monitoring, and maintenance, can undoubtedly identify weaknesses in your network and patch them in real-time so you have peace of mind.
Support for Security Devices
With the number of network devices and endpoints growing exponentially, ensuring the security of those devices can be intimidating. Security devices' secure configuration, management, and maintenance are necessary to protect assets and meet numerous compliance regulations depending on your industry. With a dedicated security device management team, you'll know your devices are constantly being monitored, receive reliable updates, and even have help onboarding new employees or changing security devices.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) software is beneficial when it comes to identifying potential security breaches. These tools can also help investigate instances when a breach has occurred. However, this type of software generates a lot of noisy data, and managing and filtering out the unneeded information takes a lot of bandwidth. We suggest working with a dedicated vendor so you get access to a team of SIEM experts who are already well-versed in using the software, but those experts can also help train your internal team.
The security architecture used by your enterprise is the basis of your cybersecurity measures—including the tools, technologies, and processes you use to protect your business from external threats. Security architecture is a set of security principles, methods, and models designed to align with your enterprise's objectives and help keep your organization safe from cyber threats. Assessing your organization's cybersecurity vulnerabilities is critical to developing your security architecture, and working with an MSSP can help you get a fresh external view of your current architecture and suggestions for improving your systems.
Not sure about what MSSP services you need? Learn how to optimize your cybersecurity strategy with our MSSP Calculator now!