Cyber security concerns come in many shapes and sizes, from malicious software to identity theft. This makes it extremely important for companies to take a comprehensive approach to protection. Without a holistic perspective on overall data protection, companies will leave themselves open to attack. These are the most common cyber threats.
Hackers are human threats. These individuals have the skills to break through security in order to access confidential data, breach networks, and otherwise compromise information. Hackers may or may not use other tools, like malware, to coordinate an attack.
Malware is a portmanteau of “malicious software,” or any program that threatens to do harm to a computer or computer network. Malware is often used a general and all-encompassing term to describe all kinds of security threats, including spyware, worms, trojans, and other forms of attack.
A trojan, or a trojan horse, is a form of malware that is disguised as a legitimate software application. Users are tricked, either willingly or unwillingly, to install these programs onto their machines, creating a backdoor way to breach a system. This provides a way to steal sensitive data. Numerous forms of trojans exist, and each option provides distinct risks.
Ransomware is a form of malware that essentially holds a computer system hostage until a ransom amount is paid. Ransomware is like other forms of malware and is generally downloaded from phishing emails or dangerous third party sites.
A bot is an automated form of malware attack. Malicious code create bots that are designed to infect a computer or network and then connect back to a server to create a network of compromised computers or systems known as a botnet. From here, attackers can launch an attack that is flood-like in nature to cause maximum damage across as many systems as possible.
Phishing is an email scam in which individuals receive emails from seemingly trustworthy companies or individuals but are really fake impersonations designed to harm. These emails generally contain attachments that will then install malware of some kind on the host computer.
DDoS attacks, or distributed denial-of-service attacks, are a form of attack intended to disrupt traffic to a server, essentially shutting down websites and other forms of company operations. This is usually done by sending high levels of traffic to a website in order to overload servers. In many ways, DDoS attacks are like forced traffic jams: when false traffic is targeted to a website, legitimate visitors can’t break through the barrier. DDoS attacks usually begin with malware and are carried out by a botnet.
DDoS attacks are particularly harmful to cloud computing networks as these resources are server-driven and are frequently the target of attacks. Those who use cloud servers are encouraged to focus heavily on security and protection, regardless of cloud choice.
These attacks can be extremely problematic, creating issues for both companies and their customers. All companies, regardless of size or scale, should be aware of these threats and actively work to avoid challenges.