Cyber security professionals are constantly protecting computer systems from various types of cyber threats. Cyberattacks affect business and personal systems every day, and the variety of attacks has grown exponentially. According to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, “There are two kinds of companies: companies that have been hacked, and companies that don’t even know they’ve been hacked.”
There are many motives for cyber attacks. One of them is money. Cyber attackers can take systems offline and demand payment to restore functionality. Ransomware, attacks that require payment to restore services, are now more sophisticated than ever.
Corporations are vulnerable to cyber attacks, but individuals are also targeted, often because they store personal information on their phones and use unsecured public networks.
Keeping an eye on evolving cyberattacks is the key to better cybersecurity. As cybersecurity professionals work to increase their knowledge of cybersecurity threats and information, earning a master’s degree in cybersecurity online can be invaluable. Graduates of the University of North Dakota’s Master of Science in Cyber Security program can expect to gain a deep and nuanced understanding of cyber-attack methods.
What Is a Cyber Security Threat?
Cybersecurity threats refer to potentially malicious attacks that attempt to illegally access data, disrupt digital operations, or damage information. Cyber threats can arise from a variety of actors, including corporate spies, hackers, terrorist groups, hostile nation-states, criminal organizations, lone hackers and disgruntled employees.
In recent years, several high-profile cyber attacks have resulted in the disclosure of sensitive data. For example, the 2017 Equifax breach compromised the personal data of about 143 million consumers, including birth dates, addresses and Social Security numbers. In 2018, Marriott International disclosed that hackers accessed its servers and stored the data of around 500 million customers. In both examples, the cybersecurity threat was activated by organizations failing to implement, test, and retest technical security measures such as encryption, authentication, and firewalls.
Cyber attackers can use a person’s or company’s sensitive data to steal information or gain access to their financial accounts, among other malicious actions, which is why it is important to keep personal data safe. A cyber security professional is important.
7 types of cybersecurity threats
Cybersecurity professionals should have a thorough understanding of the following types of cybersecurity threats.
Malware is malicious software such as spyware, ransomware, viruses and worms. When users click on malicious links or attachments, malware is activated, causing installation of malicious software. Cisco reports that the malware, once activated:
Block access to key network components (ransomware) install additional malicious software
surreptitiously obtain information by sending data from the hard drive (spyware)
Interfere with individual parts, causing the system to become inoperable
The Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) describes Emotet as “an advanced modular banking trojan that primarily functions as a downloader or dropper to other banking trojans. Emotet has been the most expensive and destructive malware to date.” Has occurred .”
- Denial of Service
Denial of service (DoS) is a type of cyber attack that overwhelms a computer or network so that it cannot respond to requests. Distributed DoS (DDoS) does the same thing, but the attacks originate across a computer network. Cyber attackers often use flood attacks to disrupt the “handshake” process and execute DoS. Many other techniques can be used, and some cyber attackers use network down time to launch other attacks. According to Jeff Melnick of NetWorks, an information technology security software company, a botnet is a type of DDoS where millions of systems can be infected with malware and controlled by a single hacker. Botnets, sometimes called zombie systems, target and overwhelm the target’s processing capabilities. Botnets are in different geographic locations and difficult to track.
- The Man in the Middle
A man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack occurs when hackers insert themselves into a two-party transaction. According to Cisco, they can filter and steal data after intercepting traffic. MITM attacks often occur when visitors use unsecured public Wi-Fi networks. Attackers position themselves between the visitor and the network, then use malware to install software and access data with malicious intent.
Phishing attacks use fake communications, such as emails, to trick recipients into opening them and carrying out instructions such as providing a credit card number. “The goal is to steal sensitive data such as credit card and login information, or to install malware on victim machines,” said the Cisco report.
- SQL injection
Structured Query Language (SQL) injection is a type of cyber attack that occurs by injecting malicious code into a server that uses SQL. When infected, the server issues a notification. Submitting malicious code can be as easy as entering it into the search box of an unsafe website.
- Password Attack
With the right passwords, cyber attackers have access to a lot of information. Social engineering is a type of password attack that Data Insider defines as “tactics used by cyber attackers that rely heavily on human interaction and often involve people violating standard security practices.” Another type of password attack involves accessing password databases or outright guessing.