Cyber attacks are attempts by hackers to damage or destroy a computer or network system. These can range anywhere from malicious pranks to cyber terrorism threats, so it’s important to know exactly how cyber attacks may affect internet users like yourself. Cyber attacks are a growing threat, even for the average person. Here are some of the most common forms of cyber attacks and some steps you can take to prevent them.
Cyber attacks are often used as a means of accessing personal information from a particular user. Attackers can then use this information to impersonate the user, stealing their bank account information, their social security number and ultimately their identity. Hackers can use this information as a means of fraud, theft or extortion. To prevent this consequence, try to ensure that your information is encrypted or protected by some kind of anti-virus software or firewall.
A majority of the time, cyber attacks are dedicated to defacing particular websites. This is often done in the name of cyber activism or even just as a cruel joke. Sadly, a majority of the victims are small business owners or individuals. The reason website defacement is so largely targeted toward lower profile victims is because big businesses generally have the tools needed to prevent this kind of cyber attack. All it really takes are some basic defense mechanisms and good backup policies. By installing firewalls, creating strong passwords and protecting your information, you can prevent cyber attackers from targeting you, too.
Denial-of-service attacks are meant to make a machine or network unavailable to its intended users. These can suspend service for groups on major websites indefinitely, like Lightbend, blocking traffic and making everyday internet tasks that much more difficult. The best way to prevent this kind of cyber attack on an individual level is to maintain a strong anti-virus software (which means updating it when necessary!) and following smart security practices. Having a strong password and keeping your information private can help to keep you safe. They are little steps that can seem like a hassle, but in the end these security measures will only protect you from these types of cyber attacks.
Large Scale DDoS Attack
One of the largest DDOS attacks in history took place in October 2016. A complex attack from millions of devices was used against an internet traffic infrastructure company, Dyn. The attacks used a new bot net code called Mirai to control all types of devices including webcams and digital records to flood upstream internet providers. As a result, even some of the largest sites include Twitter, Spotify and ecommerce solution Paypal saw downtime as security experts could not block the malicious requests without blocking legitimate ones too. Clearly, DDoS attacks are still evolving and finding new ways to bring down entire networks and parts of the internet.
Malware covers a large category of cyber attacks. Essentially, malware is any kind of software or program that an attacker may use to infiltrate, destroy or otherwise gain access to your computer. Trojan Horses are one of the most common forms of malware, as they disguise themselves as harmless file downloads that can be voided with the LinkScanner software. However, once they gain access to your computer they can find out your personal information and even cause harm to your network. The best way to prevent this is by avoiding downloads from unreliable sources. Keep spam out of your email by marking and deleting it, so that you never run the risk of accidentally downloading any malware.
Surprising Security Stats
What is frighteningly real about cyber security is the lack thereof. According to a 2013 global survey, a large majority of companies have only emerging or developing levels of cyber risk management at their organization. Clearly, a lot can happen in four or so years. However, this survey indicates that hackers have already been given the leg up. This grants them the ability to make cyber attacks much more effective and devastating. Do you identify with these companies’ low level of cyber security? If so, use the tips above to lower your risk for cyber attacks.
These are just four of the most common types of cyber attacks. Loss of funds, business and trust are all a part of the cyber attack agenda. This risk is even higher for things like finance apps. You can prevent these harmful attacks by taking adequate security measures. Just remember to be mindful of what you post, download and click on.
Photo from https://www.amrita.edu/news/preventing-cyber-attacks