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Top 5 Most Prevalent Cyberattacks & Ways To Avoid Them

Common cyberattacks

Robust cybersecurity initiatives are essential to avoid the risk of non-compliance with new data privacy regulations such as PDP and GDPR. While failing to adhere to these regulations result in paying huge fines, it also negatively impact brand value. So what can one do to avoid these common cyberattacks? 

Since the adoption of public cloud is on the rise, companies are heavily relying on them to safeguard their data from hackers. Undoubtedly, cloud providers have helped firms to focus on business rather than to struggle protecting data. However, companies should also focus on business operations rather than just protecting their repositories and services on the cloud.

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Here are the top most common cyberattacks and practices to fortify them in 2020.

Ransomware

Organisations that are unprepared to fortify ransomware are highly prone to these attacks. And according to reports, nearly 60% of ransomware attacks are delivered through email as embedded URLs. While every sector has been negatively impacted by it, ransomware is highly prevalent in retail and healthcare (source: BBR Services 2017).

According to another report, the average ransom ranges from $500 to $2,000 for SMBs. Therefore, businesses need to dodge skyrocketing ransoms and avoid financial losses. Usually, hackers encrypt the data and ask to pay for obtaining the key for decrypting information. Besides, one cannot assure whether they will provide the key after the payment. Consequently, one should always back up their data, thereby restoring it in case of any ransomware attack on the original data.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

The idea behind the distributed denial of service (DDoS) is different than that of other ransomware and phishing attacks. The mission is not to get direct benefits but cause hindrance to businesses operations and government services. Highly familiar with large firms, DDoS attacks involve flooding networks with a colossal amount of data to cause congestion and crashing of services. 

Hackers hijack personal computers of different users and submit additional traffic, and users arent often aware that their systems being used for the DDoS attack. While DDoS attack can come in many ways like volumetric, application-layer, and protocol attacks, the best approach is to move to the cloud, thereby outsourcing the attack for the cloud provider to handle. However, if one does not want to move their sensitive data to the public cloud, opt for various services that vendors provide to safeguard the data

Man-In-The-Middle

In man-in-the-middle attacks, hackers have their play between a client and a server. A typical MITM begins when devices like mobile or laptops are connected to public Wi-Fi, which is very often the case in today’s connected world. Perpetrators exploit the technicality in public Wi-Fi to penetrate networks and collect critical information from the connected devices.

Consequently, to avoid such attacks, one should ensure that employees do not connect devices to public Wi-Fi, which have business email logged onto it. However, this is not the safest approach because, if the employee has saved credentials on productivity applications, hackers can still get them. But it can drastically reduce the potential of being a victim of MITM attacks.

Another productive approach for safeguarding information on public networks is to use virtual private networks (VPNs). Although it requires investments, but can completely block the access of users outside authority. One can safely login with public networks with activated VPN without worrying about lurking hackers.

Phishing

Phishing has been known for a while now, but it continues to be one of the effective hacking techniques for getting hold of sensitive information. It is also believed that the Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election started with phishing.

One common practice of hackers is to send password change request, which then takes to the look-alike page of the email service provider. Users often do not identify the phoney landing page and provide their credential, which results in giving access to sensitive information.

The workaround for phishing is to educate employees not to be falling for these emails and be critical of the links that require passwords and usernames. 

Social Engineering

Social engineering is an attempt to take advantage of human psychology and find effective ways to reveal confidential information. While phishing is a type of social engineering, it doesn’t involve unlawful activity through physical presence. On the other hand, social engineering goes a set further adopt numerous techniques that require physical presence to execute cybersecurity breach. For one, one can get close to the users’ device and steal information.

Rejecting the request of help or offers of help is highly recommended for ensuring one does not hand over their laptops and desktops to others unless confident about the person’s authorisation. Besides, one should provide training for employees to alter them of potential common cyberattacks.

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Rohit Yadav
Rohit is a technology journalist and technophile who likes to communicate the latest trends around cutting-edge technologies in a way that is straightforward to assimilate. In a nutshell, he is deciphering technology. Email: rohit.yadav@analyticsindiamag.com

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