Here are some common cyber security attacks and their preventive actions;
The most prolific and common form of security threat: malware. It’s been around since the internet’s inception and continues to remain a consistent problem. Malware is when an unwanted piece of programming or software installs itself on a target system, causing unusual behavior. This ranges from denying access to programs, deleting files, stealing information, and spreading itself to other systems.
Prevention: A proactive approach is the best defense. Common sense dictates users and organizations should have the latest anti-malware programs installed, for starters. It’s also important to recognize suspicious links, files, or websites, which are effective ways of implementing malware. Often, a combination of caution and anti-virus is enough to thwart most malware concerns.
Distributed Denial of Service is an attack method in which malicious parties target servers an overload them with user traffic. When a server cannot handle incoming requests, the website it hosts shuts down or slows to unusable performance.
Prevention: Stopping a DDoS requires identifying malicious traffic and halting access. This can take time depending on how many malicious IP’s are used to distribute the attack. In most cases, servers need to be taken offline for maintenance.
A nasty variant of malware, ransomware installs itself on a user system or network. Once installed, it prevents access to functionalities (in part or whole) until a “ransom” is paid to third parties.
Prevention: Removal is challenging once installed. Keeping anti-virus updated and avoiding malicious links are the best current prevention methods. Also, current backups and replications are key to keeping ransomware attacks from becoming catastrophic.
A Man-in-the-Middle attack occurs when a third-party hijacks a session between client and host. The hacker generally cloaks itself with a spoofed IP address, disconnects the client, and requests information from the client. For example, attempting to log-in to a bank session would allow a MITM attack to hijack user info related to their bank account.
Prevention: Encryption and use of HTML5 are recommended.
Cryptojacking is an attempt to install malware which forces the infected system to perform “crypto-mining,” a popular form of gaining crypto-currency. This, like other viruses, can infect unprotected systems. It is deployed because the act of crypto-mining is hardware intensive.
Prevention: Keep all security apps/software updated and make sure firmware on smart devices is also using the latest version. Cryptojacking can infect most unprotected systems.