There’s no way around it — keeping your servers secure is one of the most important, yet complicated aspects of cloud storage. There’s a lot to keep track of, and most of it is constantly changing. Cybercriminals are evolving and growing more sophisticated all the time. The best way to protect your data and your business is to understand the potential threats. The more you understand, the better you’ll be able to thwart their attempts.
Types of cyberattacks
The goal of a cyberattack is to disrupt, deny, degrade, or destroy information or an information resource. There are many types of cyberattacks, from malware to social engineering, each relying on different tactics to exploit security weaknesses.
Some of the most common cyberattacks include:
- Ransomware. This is a type of software that locks you out of your system until you pay.
- Phishing. This method uses a false identity online, typically via email, in an effort to obtain sensitive information, usually by pretending to be a trusted entity like a bank or even a colleague.
- Spyware. This type of cyberattack involves specialized software that “spies” on you to get your data. Spyware can do things like log your password through your keystrokes, obtain credit card info, or even turn your camera on.
- Password attack. This happens when a cybercriminal leverages spyware or social engineering to obtain passwords.
- DDoS. This form of cyberattack involves a flood of corrupted requests intended to overload a system and shut it down.
Stages of a cyberattack
Knowing the common types of cyberattacks is an excellent start, but how are these attacks planned? Why did they go for you? A cyberattack has a lifecycle, and if we understand that cycle, we can better prepare for it.
It starts with recon. If your company’s security has a weakness, cybercriminals will attempt to identify and exploit it. They might, for example, gather profiles on your employees and see who would fall for a phishing scam or notice you have an outdated firewall and plan an attack to take advantage of it.
Once they locate a weakness, they can push on it to gain control of your system. This stage is called weaponization — and it leads to exploitation and installation. In these stages, cybercriminals can take any data they find valuable. They also can install malicious code, like malware, allowing them to lock your system down with ransomware or increase spyware surveillance.
The cybercriminal can then set up their own infrastructure to do whatever they want with your system. At this point, it’s very difficult to kick them out.
Tips to avoid or minimize risk of a cyberattack
The first step to avoid or minimize your risk of a cyberattack is through education. Take the time to understand not only the types of cyberattacks, but also the various forms they take and the potential risks associated with them. There are security measures you can take at every level to disrupt a cyberattack, such as:
- Establishing an NIST (National Institutes of Science and Technology) framework. By following a standard framework for security, your team can not only mitigate security risks, but also increase your level of cybersecurity. These standards provide clear guidelines and security protocols that enable your team to optimize security practices.
- Encouraging and enforcing personal security habits. Ensure team members use strong passwords and adopt two-factor authentication. Also encourage team members to adopt a level of healthy skepticism, questioning suspicious activity or even slightly odd messages. Your team should be considered a layer of defense against a cyberattack. Empower them and arm them with the knowledge and skills they need to help your team minimize risk.
- Ensuring your team knows the signs. Cyberattacks can be hard to spot, especially if they’re built to be background processes. Be sure to train team members on the various types of cyberattacks and the telltale signs to look for with each one.
- Using the newest tools. Cybercriminals are always evolving — and we need to as well to stay ahead. Tools like artificial intelligence-driven managed detection and response (MDR) security can always be on and ahead of the attack. Keep your software updated and physical hardware well maintained.
Security is everyone’s responsibility. Arm your team with the information they need to spot a potential threat and avoid a damaging cyberattack. For even more support, consider partnering with NCC Data for a comprehensive assessment and custom security strategy to fit your unique needs. To learn more, visit us at nccdata.com/cybersecurity.