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What is a Cyber Threat? Types of Cyber Threats & Solutions

by Kevin Bellah

Digital infrastructures come with immense advantages, of which reaching out to the masses is the most pivotal factor. This has led to the rise in digitalization (as per Gartner Inc.), which is projected at a total of $4.1 trillion in 2021.

Such a massive market attracts many cyber thieves who threaten to steal finances for fulfilling their desires. 

What is a Cyber Threat?

A cyber threat is a malevolent effort made by cyber-criminals to intrude into digital systems and networks in an unauthorized way. The main motto of a cyber-threat is to steal or compromise sensitive data. 

This threat/attack is carried out for accessing or corrupting data to gain finances illegally. 

Also termed as cybersecurity threats, they are of varied types ranging from encroachment on the digital business, spear-phishing attacks, man-in-middle attacks, malware attacks, etc., and many more. These threats apply to all, irrespective of businesses or individuals.

Cyber threats can be external, like malware, DDoS attacks, ransomware, etc., whereas internal cyber threats include threats within the organization by a restricted employee or vendor.

Let me brief you on some of the common but dangerous cyber-threats so that you can stay cautious about the same. 

Types of Cyber Threats:

Different cyber threats display varied symptoms, and hence it’s essential to recognize them and prevent the same.

  1. Malware:

Statistics indicate that malware infects 30% of the computers in the US.

Malware is malicious software meant to induce spyware, viruses, ransomware, etc. This attack usually breaches the system when a spurious link is clicked, or an attachment in an email is downloaded by the user. 

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The above image gives a clear idea about the dangers of malware and how malware-infected machines can capture data and financial information for creating monetary frauds.

  1. Phishing:

Phishing attempts to trick the user by posing as a trusted identity to capture personal information and other sensitive details. Installation of malware can also be the motto of a phishing attack. It can be in the form of an email consisting of a malicious link, a false text message, or a fake phone call asking for personal details.

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Look above how scammers try to penetrate your networks to gain your data or block your access.

  1. MItM Attacks:

When a hacker becomes a mediator between the sender and the receiver in their digital communications, it is called a man-in-the-middle attack. 

The hacker here tricks both these parties into believing that they are communicating with each other and captures personal information, login credentials, or other data for their pleasure or desires.

  1. Trojans:

A trojan is a type of malware designed to control your computer, monitor your data, access your system, or steal your information. They also come in the form of infected emails, fake anti-virus software, etc.  

  1. Ransomware:

Ransom! Ransom! And only Ransom! Most of the cyber threats have financial motives. Only a few are meant for pleasure and achievement. Ransomware holds the victim’s data by encrypting the same. The hacker then demands a ransom amount to release the data. 

Access to data is denied, and ransom is demanded against the exchange of the decryption key. The same is required for accessing the data in case of a ransomware attack.

  1. DDoS Attacks:

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In a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, the hacker floods the website traffic with multiple requests from multiple devices, thus making it inaccessible and unavailable.  

It is like a traffic jam, making your website inaccessible due to the vast malicious traffic from multiple IP addresses.

  1. Attacks on IoT Devices:

IoT devices (sensors, smart gadgets, fitness trackers, security systems, etc.) are also a favourite target, and hackers use these smart devices to manage the attack and gain data access. 

Since these IoT devices are connected to the internet, they are enticing targets for hackers to carry out successful cyber-attacks.

  1. Data Breaches:

Data breaches are caused by cybercriminals who steal data.

  1. SQL Injections:

SQL Injections (SQLI) is a cyber-attack wherein the attacker uses compromised Java codes for backend entry to access and manipulate information. The server is targeted and forced to display sensitive data, login credentials, or other confidential information. 

  1. 10.Zero-Day Exploit:

This attack is planned when there is a network vulnerability whose solution is pending. Since the patch is unfixed, attackers attack the hole, and this is when constant monitoring helps prevent the cyber threat. 

  1. 11.Computer Viruses:

This cyber threat generally enters the network when suspicious links are clicked. This is the most common cyber threat which compromises the software, thus posing a threat to the hardware.

Solutions of Cyber Threats:

Statistics by Capita (2020) indicate that the average cost of data breaches is $3.86 million. This number keeps on rising thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the use of third-party vendors. Hence, it is essential to secure your digital infrastructure against these dangerous threats.

I have compiled some of the best cyber-security solutions to secure your digital business. Let’s check them out. 

  1. Encrypt your Database: 

The first and foremost solution is to encrypt your database by installing SSL certificate security on your website. SSL (Secure Socket Layer) is a digital certificate and a web security solution, which uses encryption methods for securing your data. 

The encryption method converts the information into a secret code language that is non-readable and looks gibberish. Usually, all SSL certificates secure the online transactions and website data with 256-bit data encryption and 2048-bit CSR encryption. 

When you need to choose the best SSL service provider for fulfilling your web security requirement, I would like to recommend Cheapsslshop personally. This cheap SSL certificate provider is a one-stop destination for all your web security requirements.

With all the best global brands under their kitty, they have a vast customer database since they prioritize customer service.

Example: Comodo Positive SSL comes at a cheap rate of $5/year at Cheapsslshop.

  1. Conduct Cyber Security Assessments Regularly: 

Cybersecurity assessments are meant to examine the web security controls and their capacity to eliminate security vulnerabilities. Therefore, cyber audits should be conducted regularly to cover these risk assessments for the security of your digital business.

Benefits:

  • It helps prevent data breaches
  • It helps prevent data loss
  • Better for future assessments
  • Reduces long-term costs

Prioritize your assets, identify the cyber threats, look out for the vulnerabilities, analyse the controls and install new web security solutions to erase the risk quotient.

  1. Make Use of Cyber Threat Intelligence:

Cyber threat intelligence has a record of all the threats and its control factors that help nullify the cyber world threat. 

Cyber threat intelligence sources are:

  • Open-source intelligence
  • Social media intelligence
  • Human intelligence

With the help of cyber threat intelligence, you can make better web security decisions and prevent cyber-attacks.

  1. Perpetuate Regulatory Compliance:

Regulatory compliances are for the security of your digital world, and hence they must be adhered to for protection against cyber threats.

Data Breach Notification Act, PCI DSS Act, etc., should be considered by organizations, and a proper compliance management plan should be maintained. 

Regular monitoring of these compliances should be done to eliminate the digital risks.

  1. Regular Monitoring of Cyber Security Solutions:

Constant cyber-security monitoring helps in the early detection of risk, thus making the prevention process easy. Hire a professional IT team or cybersecurity agency to monitor your digital business and ensure that your web securities are in place. 

  1. Use Threat Detection Tools:

There are many threats detection tools available in the digital world. While some are available free of cost, some are paid tools that monitor and detect threats. 

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Use some best threat detection tools like Datadog Security Monitoring, Splunk, Paessler PRTG Monitor, etc., can be used for early threat detections.

  1. Use Dedicated Internet Access (DIA):

Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) helps in preventing access sharing of bandwidth. Since the bandwidth access is solely allotted to you, performance can be monitored, speed can be maintained, reliability can be assured, and threats can be minimized. 

Wrapping Up:

Keep your devices updated, do backups regularly, ensure to install trustworthy threat detection software, invest in SSL security, use reliable anti-virus software, monitor regularly, and secure your digital world against these menacing cyber threats.  

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