6 Key Differences in the Types of Cybersecurity Threats

cybersecurity and cyber attacks

Cybercrime is growing. While it has always been concerning for business owners, the quantity and sophistication of these crimes are becoming a larger threat. The rate of cybercrime grew by 600% during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the total of all cybercrime damages in 2021 is approximately $6 trillion globally.

Additionally, small to medium-sized businesses are at a greater risk than many large or enterprise-level companies since they often lack the resources for comprehensive cybersecurity measures. In reality, many businesses need to better understand the different types of cyber threats to prepare for or prevent an attack.

Defending your business from a cyber attack begins by understanding the nature of the different threats and the differences in the types of threats. The different types of threats include:

  1. Malware: Malware is an umbrella term that encompasses many cyberattacks, such as viruses, worms, and trojans. All of these attacks attempt to infect your site or data. They are often hidden in an application you approved or linked in an email you opened. The goal of malware attacks s to steal or corrupt data to replicate itself across the internet. Malware attacks can be very convincing by looking like legitimate communication, and these threats can be found in every corner of the internet. Awareness is often the best defense from these attacks. Providing education about malware can often prevent employees from falling victim to these malicious attacks.
  2. Phishing: Phishing attacks are one of the most popular cybersecurity threats. They can be highly sophisticated or very simple. Still, the common theme in these attacks is that they try to trick an individual into providing confidential information, such as a password or credit card number. These attacks are commonly received as an email or text message that appear to be from a trusted source but, in reality, are dummy sites that store your information. The cybercriminal then has your sensitive information and can use it to access your accounts. Spear phishing is highly personalized and often comes only after the criminal has researched their target, which enables them to be far more successful at getting the information.
  3. Ransomware: Ransomware is a subset of malware that is highly prevalent. It is slightly different than a standard malware attack. In addition to accessing your data, the cybercriminal will hold it hostage in exchange for a large ransom. It’s effective because many companies cannot function without their data, meaning they will pay the ransom to get it back. Because cybercriminals have been massively successful at getting entities to pay the ransom, these attacks increase tremendously every year. The best way to defend yourself from this attack is to keep your data as secure as possible and back it up frequently.
  4. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS): DDoS is a term you frequently hear concerning attacks on government or enterprise-level business sites. This attack floods your network with data until it becomes too congested and crashes. Attackers use this high volume of data by hijacking other PCs, often without the user knowing. These attacks generally serve as a form of protest against an individual or a policy. Unlike other cyber threats, DDoS attacks generally have no financial incentive. Instead, these attacks are generally carried out to make a statement.
  5. Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: The man-in-the-middle attack is one that can occur without the victim being aware. With this type of attack, the cybercriminal is trying to eavesdrop on a conversation in the hopes of getting sensitive information without any other party to the communication knowing. Of course, the attackers can impersonate the other endpoints, so it looks like communication is going directly to the person you intend to speak with, and it does eventually. It’s just that the attacker is also getting the information. The best way to prevent or defend from this attack is to use encrypted access points or VPNs and always check that sites you use have HTTPS, which means they have a security certificate.
  6. Social Engineering: Unlike other attacks, social engineering does not focus on technology to access sensitive information. Rather, it exploits human psychology. Often, these attacks start with a cybercriminal posing as someone else (either in-person, online, or on the phone). They can frequently be convincing enough to get someone to trust they are legitimate. Once that happens, they can get the information they want.

Cyber threats of all kinds are increasing in number. To learn more about cybersecurity that can defend your company from the different types of attacks, contact Sagacent Technologies today!

Sagacent Technologies offers technology management and support, including proactive/preventative maintenance, onsite and offsite data back-ups, network and security audits, mobility solutions, disaster planning, and emergency business resumption services. The company serves clients of 10 to 150 employees within the Silicon Valley region.