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7 Common Cybersecurity Attack Vectors and How to Block Them 7 Common Cybersecurity Attack Vectors and How to Block Them
News    09/27/2021

7 Common Cybersecurity Attack Vectors and How to Block Them

Many cybersecurity threats to an organization come from within, like employees and contractors. Let’s look at some of the more common attack vectors and their countermeasures.

As companies struggle in the face of surging cybersecurity attacks, it’s a good idea to learn about attack vectors. In terms of cybersecurity, an attack vector, also known as a threat vector, is a route for a bad actor to attack your network security.

Various entities use attack vectors, including black hat hackers, grey hat hackers, state-sponsored agents, competitors, cyberespionage groups, trolls, and more. Let’s look at some of the more common attack vectors and their countermeasures.

1. Insider Threats

Unfortunately, many cybersecurity threats to an organization come from within, like employees and contractors. The attacks can either be deliberate or accidental. Either way, the best way to nullify insider threats is to enforce a zero-tolerance policy for vulnerabilities. Here are some steps you can take:

  • Set strong non-disclosure agreements.
  • Limit digital access on a need-to-know basis.
  • Limit physical access to sensitive locations on a need-to-know basis.
  • Use monitoring software with employee consent to identify red flags.
  • Avoid photocopying confidential information.
  • Take advantage of top cybersecurity tools.

Also Read: Importance and Usage of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security

2. Partners

It’s challenging to do business with vendors and partners without sharing sensitive information. Unfortunately, third-party security breaches are a significant cybersecurity threat vector nowadays. The financial and legal consequences of such a breach can be significant. It can also negatively impact the carefully cultivated relationships with other vendors and customers.  

To protect yourself from third-party breaches, you must perform thorough background checks before working with other organizations. A cybersecurity team can also help assess a potential partner before you risk your data and reputation.

3. Ransomware

Businesses worldwide have been left shaken by the impacts of ransomware. After breaching a network’s defenses, the malware encrypts data and holds it to ransom. It may flash a message on an infected computer’s screen, asking for bitcoins in exchange for the data. Many organizations find that even after paying the threat actor, their data isn't wholly unlocked or that new computers in the office are encrypted.

To avoid this nightmare scenario, your organization must try the following steps:

  • Train staff to identify social engineering tactics like phishing.
  • Use ransomware remedial tools and anti-malware technology to scan computers.
  • Create regular backups.
  • Isolate backups from main computers.
  • Consult with a cybersecurity agency to learn how to mitigate this threat vector.

4. Phishing and Spear-Phishing

Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent emails that trick users into downloading malicious attachments, opening malicious links, visiting fraudulent websites, or sending sensitive information. Many Trojans that drop ransomware use phishing as a threat vector against companies.

Time is of the essence if a Ransom Trojan has attacked your organization. If you're short on resources, you can find a Trojan remover free of cost that will remove sneaky malware from your system.

Most people can avoid phishing emails with some training. So, when cyber attackers want to attack an individual, a small group of individuals, or a single organization, they may initiate a spear-phishing campaign, instead.

Spear-phishing is a more targeted form of phishing. Hackers may develop a spear-phishing campaign after carefully examining a company’s culture or an employee’s social media to make the attack more irresistible. For example, they may evaluate from social media posts which employees are more likely to respond immediately to an email from their superiors to target them with fraudulent emails from their bosses loaded with ransomware. 

Also Read: Remove and Prevent .Good Ransomware and Decrypt .Good Files

5. Weak Login Credentials

Cybercriminals love to exploit login credentials to breach networks. The most infamous example is when hackers infected Colonial Pipeline with ransomware by using a compromised password as an attack vector. The password was from a legacy Virtual Private Network (VPN) account that should have been closed. Here are some ways to enhance password security:

  • Change passwords regularly to mitigate the risk of stolen passwords.
  • Use long passwords that are at least eight characters long.
  • Use complex passwords with multiple character types.
  • Avoid using recognizable words, digits, and phrases in passwords.
  • Avoid using the same passwords for multiple accounts.

6. Brute Force Attack

With botnet, hackers can try countless usernames and passwords in a process called a brute force attack. Botnets, of course, are made of computers and devices infected with bots. The best way to stop brute force attacks is to use sophisticated passwords. With early threat detection, IP address blocking can hinder brute force attacks.

7. Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS)

Cybercriminals can also use botnets to launch DDoS attacks. With a DDoS attack, a threat actor can overwhelm a website’s traffic and shut it down. To counter a DDoS attack, consider using DDoS monitoring tools, partnering with a DDoS security service, raising your traffic capacity, and blocking suspect IP addresses.

To protect yourself from cybersecurity attack vectors, you need to develop a comprehensive mitigation strategy. Robust security software and training are critical elements of the process. Consult with an anti-malware team today for more answers. 

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