How would you react if someone hacked into your computer or smartphone? Would you panic? Or would you calmly take control of the situation? Hacking has become a major concern for businesses and consumers alike. Hackers are constantly looking for ways to break into computers, websites, apps, plugins, and clouds to steal valuable information. And they’re becoming more sophisticated every day.
Hackers often target websites and apps that store sensitive data, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other personal information. They also look for weak passwords, outdated software, and unpatched vulnerabilities.
The best way to combat hackers is to ensure that all systems are up-to-date, use strong passwords, keep software updated, watch out for phishing emails or text messages, avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails, and invest in Helpy.io private cloud CLI to manage your servers. Besides this, the most effective method of combating hacking is to familiarize yourself with the most common types of cyberattacks.
The Rise of Cyberattacks
In 2016, there were over 2 million attacks against U.S. companies alone — a 20% increase from 2015. The number of breaches increased by 16% in 2016 too. That means nearly 3 out of 4 organizations experienced a breach in 2016. This shows just how vulnerable our current infrastructure is.
And this trend kept growing! According to a report released by the FBI in 2020, there were more than 791,790 suspected internet crimes. This was an increase of more than 300,000 cases compared to the cybercrime reports of 2019.
In the wake of 2021, reports indicated that there was a 600% increase in cybercrime, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The main type of cybercrime reported during the 2021 window were phishing emails with malicious actors posing as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and WHO representatives to phish data from unsuspecting individuals.
With the increase in cybercrime, data breach costs have skyrocketed to $4.24 million from $3.86 million in 2021. In the wake of 2022, a cyberattack targeting several Ukrainian government websites, including the Defense Council and the Cabinet Ministers, was reported. A message appeared on the website with the phrase ‘’be afraid and expect the worst.”
More than 1 billion people have access to the internet today, and these users expect constant upgrades and improvements in technology. Unfortunately, cybersecurity isn’t keeping pace. It’s an issue that needs immediate attention.
In 2020, the world recorded a steady increase in cybercrime and cyberattack claims. CrowdStrike’s 2020 Threat Hunting Report shows that most attacks were executed during the first quarter of the year. The same report shows that the CrowdStrike threat hunting team took action and blocked about 41,000 potential cyberattacks from January to June 2020. This represented a 154% increase in cyberattacks. In the remaining part of the year, they blocked roughly 35,000.
This increase in cyberattacks has mainly been attributed to the following factors:
- The dawn of the Covid-19 pandemic and the stay at home order which increased the time people spent online
- The increase in connected devices and Internet of Things (IoT) technology
- The shift to the cloud means that most personal data has been stored in the cloud insecurely
- The move to 5 GB technology fuelled the connected devices
- The rise of hackers “as a service’’ has made hacking tools and malware attacks available to technical experts
What Are the Most Common Cyberattacks?
Phishing is one of the most common forms of attack. It happens when someone emails you pretending to be your bank or another company. The email might ask for your personal information like login details or credit card numbers.
Malware is software designed to damage computers without the owner knowing about it. There are tons of different types of malware out there, including viruses, trojans, keyloggers, and worms. Viruses spread by themselves, and they usually come bundled up inside another program.
A virus is basically malicious code that replicates itself and infects other files on your computer. Once infected, it’ll use your hard drive space and slow down your computer. You may not even know it has been created until you notice something strange happening on your PC.
Ransomware is a form of malware that locks access to your data so that you have to pay a ransom to regain access to it. It’s very similar to a scam because people often think that if they pay the money, their problems will go away. But it doesn't work like that. In fact, once you've paid, you won't be able to access anything again unless you pay them all over again.
Worms are self-replicating pieces of code that copy themselves around your computer. They don't do any real harm, but they can cause problems if you don't stop them. A worm spreads quickly and can make your whole network vulnerable.
During a man-in-the-middle attack, hackers trick both parties into thinking that they are talking directly to each other, when really they are talking to someone else. For example, if you were trying to log into Facebook using your mobile phone, a hacker would intercept the connection between you and your Facebook company profile and pretend to be Facebook instead.
He'd then see everything you typed and send it back to Facebook. One great way of preventing this kind of cyberattack is the use of secure and advanced data security and privacy software to safeguard your company assets by locking all the conversation between your customers and your agents. This is a great way of ensuring optimal data protection and productivity.
Cross-Site Scripting (XSS)
This is when attackers inject malicious scripts into websites. These scripts can steal cookies, passwords, and other sensitive information. Hackers can create XSS exploits in two main ways:
When you input data into a database, you should always check that the data you want to insert matches the format expected by the database. If you don't, the data can end up being interpreted incorrectly, causing errors. SQL injections occur when you fail to validate data before it's inserted into the database.
Denial-of-Service Attacks (DoS)
DoS attacks are used to prevent legitimate users from accessing certain services or resources. An attacker might flood a website with requests, making it impossible for legitimate users to connect. Or an attacker could try to overload servers with too many connections, preventing others from connecting at all.
A password attack occurs when an unauthorized person tries to guess your username and/or password. You may need to change your password frequently as a result. Immediately after correctly guessing your password, they can engage in all forms of command activities, which can also lead to loss of money and sensitive information.
These types of attacks are usually launched on systems that store usernames and passwords. The attacker sends out thousands of login attempts with different combinations of usernames and passwords until they find the right combination. Once they do, they’ll gain access to the system.
A drive-by download, better known as a drive-by attack, is a more advanced form of a cyberattack that takes advantage of the vulnerabilities in the websites, plugins, and applications to launch attacks.
Cryptojacking is another advanced type of cyberattack that uses a company's website or information to mine cryptocurrency. It is also called cryptocurrency mining malware. This includes the use of malware installed via phishing, infected websites, or other cyber-attack methods. However, these kinds of attacks have waned since 2018 because of the increased attention from the law enforcers.
This form of advanced cyberattack is any form of cyberattack that targets IoT devices or networks. Immediately after the attack has been executed, the criminals can take control of the device, join other devices, and steal data.
How Companies Can Protect Against Cyberattacks
The first thing that you need to understand about cybersecurity is that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for protecting your data. There are many types of solutions available, but they all have their pros and cons. For example, antivirus software is great at detecting malware, but it also has its downsides. It slows down your computer, consumes resources, and may even cause problems if you use it incorrectly. The strongest cybersecurity will be the one that works for your specific cybersecurity needs.
The second thing you need to know about cybersecurity is that it isn’t just something that affects computers. In fact, it can affect almost anything connected to the internet or networked device.
The third thing that you need to remember about cybersecurity is that it’s not just about technology. You also need to think about the people that use the technology.
Finally, the fourth thing that you need to realize about is that cybersecurity teach as well as hacking are constantly evolving. New threats emerge every day, and old ones become obsolete. As such, it is important that you learn about the latest developments in the field. Only by protecting your most valuable assets, your company's data, you can make sure you are staying ahead of the curve. Keep in mind that losing your data means that you will lose your customers, reputation and the money you have earned through years!