4 Common Cyber Threats and How to Counter Them

4 Common Cyber Threats and How to Counter Them

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Cybercrime is an ongoing threat that can harm both your business and personal life. Therefore, you need to take the proper steps to protect yourself from the different cyber criminals that exist. Since more of the world relies on digital infrastructure, cyber threats have evolved to target various facets of our daily lives. These crimes are not simply limited to financial attacks. The best way to prepare for any attack is to learn about the types of danger you might face. With the help of this guide, you can become aware of the most common forms of cyberattack and how to counter them.

What is a Cybercrime?

Any criminal activity that takes place online is a cybercrime. These can include activities specifically limited to the virtual world, such as a malware attack or a distributed denial-of-service attack on a server. This can also include personal attacks with real-world consequences, such as identity theft, cyberbullying or phishing and exploitation. You could face a cyberattack not only against your company but against you personally. As the methods of attack are often similar, it’s best to learn about all of them to protect yourself properly. These attacks have become so common that entire IT firms are dedicated to providing you with the tools to protect your assets. These organizations have experienced professionals. Fortunately, the convenience of opting for a masters in cyber security online from a reputable university has resulted in excellent cybersecurity experts capable of countering these threats. 

Types of Cybercrimes

Let’s take a look at some of the common ways in which cybercriminals threaten your IT systems. 

  • Malware

Malware is injected software that initiates malicious activities on your computer. For example, phishing emails or text messages asking you to click on unverified links or download unendorsed software are often used to infect your computer with malware. Most malware consumes your system’s resources and bothers you with pop-up ads. The intention is to increase generation revenue by having you click on the endless stream of ads. This type of attack can slow down your computer and interrupt your workflow. The software can also be hard to remove as it attaches itself to existing programs on your system. 

  • Ransomware

This is a more dangerous form of malware and has been used against personal computers and a company’s digital infrastructure. It is one of the most common forms of cyberattack. The estimation is that one attack took place every 11 seconds in 2021, according to a report. This malicious software locks you from your computer and prevents you from accessing your files. You will only get the key to unlocking the system after paying the ransom. Individuals would lose data like family photos and are often willing to pay to get them back. Many businesses cannot operate without their files, including HR information, customer orders, and more. 

  • DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial of service attacks overwhelms a server with useless traffic, rendering it inaccessible to the actual users. These attacks do not breach your company’s databases, but they can cause significant losses. For example, if you run an online store, a DDoS attack means no customers can access the site, and you cannot make any sales until you find the attacking source or stop it. DDoS attacks are harmful and can be used in conjunction with other attacks. It becomes a clear means of distracting the cybersecurity team at your company. While the team works to end the DDoS attack, the hackers can target your data unimpeded. 

  • Identity Theft

Spyware and trojan horses can be used to access your personal information, such as your log-in credentials. This allows the hacker to impersonate you. This hacker could access your social media accounts, make statements under your name, and sabotage your relationships. Worse than that, they may be able to access your work data, your credit card information, and your social security numbers. They can steal your money and sell your information to third parties who may use it for illegal activities. If they use your social security number to open a bank account, for example, you could unwittingly become a mule for tax evasion purposes. 

How to Defend Yourself

It can be quite scary to keep an online identity given the dangers, but you will be able to protect yourself with the right steps.

  • Create Many Backups

Whether you’re protecting your personal or company files, the best way to deal with most attacks is having backups. If you back up your systems regularly, you can restore your computer to the state it was before it became infected by malware or ransomware without having to pay any money. Make sure that you create at least three backups, one in hard drive format and the other in the cloud.

  • Avoid Suspicious Sites

Secure sites follow the HTTPS protocol, usually shown by a lock symbol next to the website name in the URL bar. If any site does not have this symbol, it means your data is not encrypted, and it is best to avoid it. You should also block any unusual email senders or social media accounts, as they might be phishing attempts. 

  • Use 2FA on Your Accounts

2-Factor Authentication is one of the simplest means of preventing identity theft. A hacker may be able to access one part of your log-in information, but without verification from your 2FA set up, they would not be able to access your account. 2FA can exist in the form of a PIN sent to your phone, dedicated authentication apps, or physical keys in RFID cards or USBs.

  • Consult an IT Firm

There is no room for cutting corners when it comes to protecting your business. You should contact a reputable cybersecurity firm to create protection plans and backups. Cyber threats evolve regularly, and it’s best to have access to experts that can protect your assets. For issues like DDoS attacks, only a good IT firm would be able to help you overcome them promptly.

Final Thoughts

While the digital world does have a lot of pitfalls, there are steps you can take to avoid them. Through this guide, you’ve learned of the types of threats you may face and how to recover from them. It is impossible to eliminate the danger, but you can minimize the damage by taking the right precautions

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