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Common Cyber Threats

Learn about the common cyber threats that could disrupt both individuals and organizations

What are Cyber Threats?

Cyber threats (or cybersecurity threats) are malicious attempts that aim to cause disruptions to a computer system or network by stealing data, damaging data, accessing unauthorized files, or disrupting one’s digital operations. A cyber attack is an attack initiated by criminals using cyber threats.

Top Cyber Threats

Here are some common types of cyber threats:

1. Malware

A MALicious softWARE that breaches your system or network to perform a malicious task. Ranging from ransomware, spyware, and viruses, these could target to obtain information from a system or ultimately taking over a system.

2. Phishing 

Usually through email, it is the practice of sending a fraudulent email and tricking the recipient into believing that the email is from a reputable source. Often the aim is to steal confidential information (eg, credit card data) or to install malware on the recipient’s device or machine.

3. Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a variation of phishing, where the attacker has taken more time to learn about the victim and impersonate someone they know & trust in order to steal confidential information or to install malware.

4. Denial of Service Attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS)

A DDoS attack is a cyber attack which attempts to make an online service, server, network or website unavailable by overwhelming it with internet traffic from multiple sources. This causes the target to crash from an overload of demand and rendering it unreachable. Botnets are the primary way a DDoS attack is made possible.

5. Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack 

A Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) attack is an attacker positioning themselves in the middle of a conversation between the sender and recipient of electronic messages and intercepts the message, potentially changing them in transit. A MitM attack is usually executed in 2 phases – first phase is interception (when the perpetrator intercepts a user's traffic through their network before it reaches its intended destination), followed by decryption (usually either HTTPS Spoofing or SSL Stripping).

6. Trojans

A Trojan (or Trojan horse) is a type of malicious code or malware that looks legitimate but can take control of the target device or system if executed by the user. A Trojan is designed to damage, disrupt, steal, or in general inflict some other harmful action on your data or system. 

7. Ransomware 

A type of malware, ransomware aims to lock and encrypt a victim’s device or system data and then demand a ransom to restore access to this encrypted data. Been around since the late 1980s, ransomware is here to stay.

8. Zero-day exploits

A zero-day exploit is a cyber attack that takes advantage of a flaw in the software, hardware or firmware, occurring on the same day a weakness is discovered. It is exploited before a fix is available from the creator of the software, hardware or firmware. 

9. SQL injections

An SQL injection is a malicious code injection technique that an attacker uses to manipulate the database and obtain more information than they are authorized. Besides the ability to extract sensitive data, malicious SQL codes can add, modify — or worse — delete records.

10. Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of client-side injection attack where a malicious script is injected and allowed to run in a legitimate website, which will execute when the victim loads the website. An attack starts when the user visits the website with the malicious code.

What is it important to protect against Cyber Threats?

Cyber threats and cyber attacks need to be taken seriously on both the individual level and the organisational level. Cyber attacks can cause a range of issues, ranging from minor inconveniences, failure of military equipment, financial loss for businesses, even to cause breaches of national security. 

With the ability to steal valuable information and paralyze or disable computers and networks, they can disrupt our personal and professional lives. 

Protecting against Cyber Threats

Horangi believes to protect you and your organization against cyber threats and cyber attacks, a holistic cybersecurity strategy is important, a strategy that focuses on your people, processes, and technology. This includes: 

  • Check the sender’s email domain, link URLs, and be wary of any downloads.
  • Make sure our computers are up to date on patches and updates.
  • Surf the web securely (use HTTPS where possible, not HTTP)
  • Take care of your passwords.
  • Use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) where possible.
Axel Sukianto

Axel Sukianto was the Regional Marketing Manager at Horangi. He is a customer-obsessed marketer with a focus on storytelling in the cybersecurity space.