With new and advanced technologies coming up in the B2B and SaaS ecosystems every day, it is imperative to understand that the accompanying cyber threats can be equally hazardous. Cybercriminals can attack, steal, destroy, expose your data, or access unauthorized assets causing massive losses.
According to the Cyber Threats 2020 talk by one of the top officials in the FBI’s cyber department, cyber threats are on the rise in the American business space, and their impact is alarming. Different types of cyber threats have caused businesses to undergo financial, operational, and legal downsides.
To avoid falling victim, you need to deploy the best cybersecurity practices in your business for assuring safety. Cybersecurity aims at safeguarding your electronic devices, servers, databases, networks, and any other delicate asset from unwarranted access. Let’s explore its relevance in businesses—both startups and established enterprises.
Cybersecurity Boosts Customer Confidence
Customer confidence is perhaps one of the primary reasons why identifying cyber threats and proactively addressing them is essential. It inspires your clients’ confidence because they are sure their data will be safe when transacting with your firm. That’s why every online platform with integrated payment systems will always assure its customers of safety.
Safeguards Your Business
In the list of cyber threats that we are going to discuss, there is ransomware that can endanger your employees and result in massive losses if employees aren’t aware of basic cyber security hygiene. Cybersecurity offers them digital protection.
Malware and viruses are some of the worst cybersecurity threats because they drastically reduce computers’ performance to the point that they cannot work. But with effective cybersecurity measures in place, you can optimize their performance and cut short any possible future attacks.
Protects Your Website
Cyber threat examples that can severely affect your website include error 404, error 50X, phishing domains, and data breaches. Some may even redirect part or all of your traffic to their websites, resulting in significant losses.
Types of Cyber Security Threats
Understanding the different types of cyberattacks and how to prevent them can be game-changers for your business needs. With most businesses switching to online operations, everyone is highly conscious of cyber attacks and their potential impact. Here are some common types of cyber threats:
Malware is a software developed to corrupt a device or gain unauthorized control for ill intentions. That’s why it is advisable to always install verified software on your devices. The FBI listed it as one of the most common cyber attack vectors in 2019.
A Trojan is a form of malware. In addition to laptops and desktops, Trojans target mobile devices. Hackers use the software to mine data using your device and can delete or transfer your credentials to their databases.
Skillshare notes that ransomware encrypts your data and demands a ransom in order to decrypt it. Ransomware can range from a trivial attack to a severe attack like the Atlanta municipal government attack in 2018, which saw the city lose over $2.7 million trying to retrieve their data.
The United States DHS’s alert on “Cybersecurity Issues 2020” shows that phishing is one of the most critical concerns during the COVID-19 period. In a phishing attack, the cybercriminal emails a target person and requires them to follow a hyperlink that prompts them to enter confidential details. If successful, the data goes to the cybercriminal’s database.
Even with the development of highly secure systems, password attacks remain among the top types of cyberattacks in 2020. Hackers use different methods such as traffic interception, keylogger attack, dictionary attack, “man in the middle” (MitM), and thwarting password attacks, among others.
SQL Injection Attack
SQL injection is one of the most disastrous attacks in the list of cybersecurity threats for any business. Injecting code into your database can manipulate your website’s entire functioning or gain access to your clients’ sensitive data.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
In a DDos attack, the attacker floods an internet-connected host system with traffic from many different sources, effectively preventing legitimate visitors from entering a digital location or site. Because the traffic is distributed across many points of origin, it is very difficult to stop this type of attack once in progress.
Recent Cyber Attacks in the News
In 2020, a handful of U.S. cyberattacks news have made headlines.
Russian Intelligence Hackers
The U.S., Canada, and the U.K. governments reported that Russian hackers tried to access COVID-19 information about the development of a vaccine. “The Dukes” (aka “Cozy Bear”) has targeted medical research laboratories, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately, the responsible security departments responded swiftly.
Students Under Ransom
There have also been cybersecurity threats to universities during this COVID-19 period using ransomware. Once the cybercriminals acquire students’ confidential details, they demand a ransom against which they threaten to transfer the info to the dark web.
Phishing Emails from North Korea Hackers
The group emailed 5 million businesses and individuals in different countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, and Singapore. The emails were COVID-19 themed, although the cybercriminals targeted their credentials, especially their financial details. The good news is that the governments exposed the vice to curb further phishing.
How to Detect Cyber Threats
Cyber threats can be classified into two types—known and unknown. Known cyber threats are common, and most likely, you’ve encountered them in the past. In contrast, unknown threats are entirely strange—they use new technologies and advanced tricks. So to identify a potential cyber threat, invest in your cybersecurity experts so they can develop agile and highly functional programs. Note that speed is critical in cybersecurity.
Here’s how to identify threats:
Threat intelligence is a simple method of identifying security threats, where you compare your enterprise data with signature data—based on attacks that have been encountered in the past. This strategy works best for known cyber threats. It finds excellent applications in technologies such as IDS, SIEM, web proxies, and antivirus.
User and Attacker Analytics
To identify risks to data security using this method, you need to monitor both user and attacker engagements. For user engagement, consider a typical example—your remote workers. You can monitor the time they log in, their location, and perhaps the data they interact with. That way, a malicious login from a different place at weird hours can easily be identified.
Cyber Threat Hunting
As we’ve seen for the user engagements, it may not be easy to trace the attacker. So, to take a proactive measure, threat analysts investigate their endpoints and networks from time to time to identify any intrusions.
Deploying Different Intruder Traps, or “Honeypots”
Since the intruder’s apparent intention is to get away with credentials or assets, set up appealing traps that promise some privileges should they perform your target action. Be sure that as soon as the intruder interacts with the “honeypot,” your team gets an immediate signal to take quick action and intervene.
Emerging Cyber Threats 2020
IoT comes first in cyber threat trends because of three main reasons. Since the technology is still in its early phases, the security practices may be less robust, making it difficult to address some advanced cybercrime activities.
Additionally, at the rate at which IoT is growing, it is almost impossible to develop cybersecurity systems that adapt quickly enough to the changes.
Lastly, the number of IoT devices is also increasing exponentially—which equally translates to the number of threats.
Anyone in the machine learning or artificial intelligence environment can tell you that deepfakes are among the most alarming cybersecurity attacks in 2020. The technology applies AI and ML algorithms on videos or images to manipulate them into something different—which may propagate deceit, including political propaganda.
One of the most recent cyber attacks that caught the attention of many internet users is the impersonation of U.S. President Barack Obama using FakeApp. The application mimics both voice and gesture as he speaks.
Now that many companies are operating remotely, some employees may want to take advantage. They may begin as an anonymous threat because they have all the information to access a network. Some may even threaten to crack your security systems. It’s important for companies to maintain their internal security measures, even outside of the four walls of an office building.
With its large bandwidth and fast speeds, 5G may multiply the avenues of cyberattacks significantly without the right strategies to counteract new threats.