Cybersecurity, Emerging Issues in Security

7 Types of Cybersecurity Attacks and What You Need to Know About Them

According to recent estimates by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrimes will cost businesses $6 trillion annually by 2021. This growth in cybercrime will force businesses to increase their cybersecurity budgets, reducing profits and increasing the cost of doing business.

Woman holding a security awareness sign.

Den Rise /

There are other repercussions apart from financial damages. Cybercrime puts your business continuity at risk and dents your reputation, which is one of the hardest things to repair. To ensure that your business doesn’t end up damaged, it is important to know about cybersecurity threats that are becoming rampant with each passing day.

Below is a list of the 7 fastest growing cybercrimes with the potential to impact your business.

1.      Formjacking

According to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report 2019, formjackers compromised 4,818 unique websites every month last year. Cybercriminals insert malicious code in E-commerce website to steal the sensitive financial information that you enter on an E-commerce website while making a purchase. Hackers tend to wait for the holiday season and launch formjacking attacks during Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales when most people buy items from online stores. The worst part, the victim is typically unaware that their financial data has been compromised.

2.      Botnets

Botnets are a powerful tool comprised of a network of hacked Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be easily assembled by cybercriminals Hackers can then deploy these botnets to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, among others. Cybersecurity experts predict that this trend will continue as more poorly secured devices connect to the internet, making them vulnerable to infection, resulting in more digital wallets being stolen in future. That is not all, these botnets can also be used for delivering malware to other devices, launch crippling Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on websites, and gain access to protected networks to steal sensitive information.

3.      Mobile Cryptojacking

Cryptojacking is a form of malware that uses your device’s its resources to mine cryptocurrency for the cybercriminal. As mobile devices become more powerful, hackers will shift their focus from desktops to mobile devices. If your organization is developing a mobile app, make sure that you invest heavily into mobile app security, as cryptojacking malware can enter into mobile devices when a user downloads a rogue app. The malicious code injected by hackers does all the damage and make the end user’s mobile device sluggish.

4.      Remote Desktop Protocols

Microsoft developed remote desktop protocol to ensure safe and secure application data transmission. It achieves this by encrypting data being transferred between users, devices and servers. Unfortunately, hackers have exploited the vulnerabilities in this protocol and started launching deadly cyberattacks.

You can protect against remote desktop protocol attacks by:

  • Using an alternative port for remote desktop protocols
  • Implement multi-factor authentication and stronger password policies
  • Limit remote desktop protocol sessions on each IP address
  • Use remote desktop protocol gateway
  • Restrict remote desktop users

5.      Accountant Targeting

Since most cyberattacks have a financial motive, it is obvious why we are seeing a surge in number of cyberattacks targeting accountants and accountancy firms. What’s worse is that these financial and accountancy firms underestimate the risk of cyberattacks which makes them a soft target for cybercriminals. Hackers use different tactics from phishing to identity theft and everything in between to get access to accountant systems so they can steal all the critical financial data and use it to fulfill their malicious designs.

6.      Ransomware Attacks

Hackers motivated by the prospect of large financial rewards often launch ransomware attacks. Due to this, most small- and mid-size businesses think that cybercriminals will focus their ransomware attacks on larger enterprises. That is not true, however, as no organization is safe from a ransomware attack. During such an attack, hackers will quietly move through an infected network, targeting your files and folders, making them inaccessible. Once cybercriminals have locked down your data, they ask for a ransom. If you pay the ransom, you will get your data back, though this is not always the case.

Here is how you can mitigate ransomware attacks.

  • Make regular backups of your critical data;
  • Never share your personal information on a phone, e-mail, or text message;
  • Use antivirus software and firewall;
  • Monitor network traffic in real time; and
  • Keep your software and apps up to date.

7.      Social Engineering Attacks

Employees are still the weakest link in your cybersecurity puzzle. Lack of cybersecurity awareness make things worse. Hackers know that and launch social engineering attacks to trick users into sharing their sensitive information such as their network ID, password, or even their organization’s financial information. They do this by pretending to be someone important in their company, like the CFO or CEO. Businesses need to invest in cybersecurity awareness and training programs to make their employees more aware about such attacks.

Which do you think is the most common and dangerous cyberattack? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

alt link text Irfan Ahmed is a digital marketing strategist at Branex. He has 11-plus years of experience in the IT industry and is a guest blogger on various websites. He has proven skills and has worked with many brands to create value for them. Follow him on Twitter & LinkedIn.