It seems like everyone these days has a computer or internet service that is attached to a web connection. Every other business on earth is trying to get in on this new gold rush – and quite honestly, they are succeeding. As more businesses realize the profit potential cybercrime offers, so does legislation (at the state level) that attempts to curb cyber attacks. Unfortunately, much of this legislation is not well designed or simply doesn’t work.
Recent Examples online: A group of hackers gained access to the payroll information of several large corporations, causing millions of dollars in losses. The hackers gained access because of simple phishing techniques – they phished employees of legitimate companies by sending fake emails offering a large sum of money in the form of a “bribe.” Once the employees were made aware that there was no real money to be had, the company’s financial future was in serious jeopardy.
This incident is just one of the many common skills cybercriminals use against businesses. Most businesses have common skills, but some use more malicious than others – and more successfully. The following list describes some of the most common malicious attacks that hackers use against networks.
Phishing. Phishing is a broad term that describes a number of ways attackers try to acquire your personal information. These cyber-attacks can include spear-phishing (the most common), password guessing, and back door attacks. Common methods include sending emails with bogus information asking for personal information. Many times, personal information such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, credit card information, and even passport information is being targeted in these types of cyberattacks.
Viruses. Viruses are malicious software programs that spread through the internet and destroy systems by gaining access to vital data. The most popular viruses today, such as Stuxnet, are designed to attack computer networks, gather personal information, and propagate themselves through files. The most deadly viruses, such as HIV/AIDS, were designed to attack specific infected computers and cause catastrophic damage.
Computer malware. Malware, is a program designed to corrupt or damaged files in a computer system. They are sometimes hidden within other programs, or they can appear as authentic applications. Computer malware is one of the most lucrative cybercrimes, because the market for identity theft and credit card fraud is immense, and it is also a very effective way to get computers infected with malicious programs. These programs may install damaging programs on a computer system without the user ever knowing.
Network attacks. Network attacks occur when attackers get access to a computer system through various means, such as a wireless network or a local area network (LAN). Some examples of common types of cyberattacks include denial of service, packet flooding, and application downtime. When a network is attacked, cyber security professionals can detect the problem and work to restore normal operations. Companies that respond quickly to cyber threats reduce their exposure to possible losses and protect their customers from possible legal claims.
Cyber security roles require skills in many different areas. An offensive cyber specialist needs to be skilled in applications like programming, application security, and reverse engineering. A network security specialist needs to have knowledge of intrusion detection, prevention, and response. Information security analysts will be responsible for detecting, blocking, and correcting intrusions into computer systems. Every one of the top skills required for cyber security roles requires considerable computer knowledge and experience.
As well as having the skills to perform their job, cyber security specialists must also be on the lookout for new malware and viruses that are constantly being created and deployed on the Internet. They also must be aware of new trends in online security, including security threats, phishing, spoofing, and social engineering. Many hackers and cybercriminals use “skins” to make their attacks more realistic, so it can fool most security programs. Skilled information security analysts can quickly analyze the latest threat models and work to mitigate or completely eliminate them.
In addition to working to prevent threats, these professionals must also work to deal with the aftermath of a security breach. There can be a great deal of emotional stress and anxiety related to an attack, and not all businesses are willing to put this strain on their employees. It’s important to work with cyber defense professionals to help them manage the impact of a security breach and to implement best practices to minimize future risks.
In the end, it’s up to companies to do what they can to prevent security issues from causing real harm to their customers’ data. Good security reviews can help them do just that. By implementing best practices for securing data, businesses can ensure that their customers’ information is kept safe at all times. This can prevent a wide range of potential issues from arising, and it can help them avoid a major security breach that could have a long-term negative effect on their business.