6 Most Common Cybersecurity Threats to Know in 2024

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly common as the digital world continues to develop. Most people are online multiple times a day, on their computer, their phone, their tablet. Every time a person goes online, they are at risk of a cyberattack, and these cyberattacks can be detrimental to both a person and a company.

It’s essential to protect this data against hackers and their attacks, but these attacks come from all different places, and they take different shapes. Here are some of the most common cybersecurity threats to know in 2024.

What’s a Cyberattack? 

When an unauthorized third party gains access to a system or network, it is termed a cyber attack. The individual who carries out a cyber attack is referred to as a hacker or attacker.

The compromising of personal data can ruin a person’s credit, destroy their credibility, and create a mess, which oftentimes can take forever to clean up or might be irreparable. This damage caused to the company’s data can ruin their reputation, send them bankrupt, and get the company charged with a crime or civil suit. 

That’s why it’s essential to protect this data against hackers and their attacks, but these attacks come from all different places, and they cause all sorts of damage. 

While there are different types of cyber threats, here are six most common cybersecurity attacks you need to know to protect your data. 

6 Common Types of Cyberattacks

1. Phishing attacks

One form of attack that you need to be aware of is phishing. Phishing happens when a hacker tricks someone into opening an email or text message. The victim is usually sent a link to open. Clicking the link causes the system to freeze, revealing sensitive information. Malware can also be installed at this time. It’s often used in an attempt to steal credit card numbers or login information. 

Phishing can be used to attack government or corporate networks. Employees are compromised so the hacker can gain access to the system. It can also be used to steal information from small to mid-sized businesses, as often their security isn’t as tight. Using an MSP can mitigate this risk for smaller businesses. 

As an example, think of an email you’ve received that looks like it's from your bank, saying there's suspicious activity on your account and asking you to verify your information. The email includes a link to a fake website that’s similar to your bank's site. When you enter your personal details, the attackers steal your information, making you a victim of phishing.

2. Malware attack

Another very common attack is malware. Malware is a code written to compromise a system without user consent. Different types of malware, including ransomware, control, command, and spyware are often used in cyberattacks. It spreads across vulnerable networks, causing changes and damage, and it can remain undetected if the system is not monitored. Malware can easily destroy an infected network.

Let’s say you download an application that seems legitimate, but little do you know that it secretly installs malware on your smartphone. This malware steals your data and sends it to hackers.  

3. Man-in-the-Middle attacks

Breaches like these allow an attacker to listen to communications between two parties. Attackers listen to conversations between two entities having a legitimate conversation. By intercepting the public key message transmission, changing out the requested key with the hackers key, and retransmitting the message, the attacker can steal information they should not have access to. The legit parties communicating have no idea the attacker has modified the key and ultimately controls the whole communication. 

A common example of this attack can be when you connect to a public Wi-Fi network at a coffee shop. An attacker on the same network intercepts your connection by positioning themselves between you and the websites you visit. When you log in to your email or bank account, the attacker sees your login credentials and can then access your accounts.

4. SQL injection

SQL injection employs malicious code that ultimately manipulates backend databases, giving access to sensitive company data, customer details, and user lists. SQL injection attacks can delete entire tables, view user lists, and even give the attacker access to administrative databases. 

This can have a devastating effect on small to mid-sized businesses and quickly cause distrust from your customers. These attacks often target websites but can hit SQL databases as well. Monitoring your networks consistently can help protect against these attacks.

An interesting case to look at is from 2008, in the Heartland Payment Systems attack, hackers exploited vulnerabilities in the company's web applications that were not properly validating user input. They used SQL injection techniques to insert malicious SQL commands into the input fields of the web forms.

By injecting SQL commands, the attackers were able to manipulate the database and retrieve sensitive information, such as credit card numbers, stored within it.

5. Distributed denial-of-service attack

These attacks' purpose is to shut down your network, causing it to be inaccessible to your customers and employees. It overwhelms the network with traffic and floods it with information, causing it to crash. 

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks target web servers of high-profile companies like media, e-commerce, and banking. These attacks in and of themselves don’t result in the loss of information, but they can be used to distract from other attacks, as they take time and money to investigate. 

In an attack like this, hackers fill the specific website's server with so much useless data that it gets overwhelmed and isn’t able to respond to legitimate requests, eventually causing the website to shut down.

6. Password Attack

Password attacks attempt to obtain a user’s password. They often use computer algorithms to continuously try to guess the password. The computer will just keep trying different combinations until it figures it out. Once it does, the hacker has access to all of your data. The best defense for this attack is frequently changing your passwords and having perimeters for employees to use when setting their passwords. 

Many businesses are moving to the cloud to help prevent attacks, as the cloud offers better security to a company.  Managed service providers can monitor security 24/7 and help companies protect their data and ensure the company’s survivability. 

A common example of a password attack is, where an attacker uses automated software to try millions of possible password combinations until they find the correct one. Hackers try every possible combination until they guess your password and gain unauthorized access to your account.

How to Protect Yourself Against Hackers? 

Having a strong plan to keep your digital life is important nowadays. For businesses, this means making sure all their online data is protected. When your data is secure, it's less likely that you’ll get hacked.

Easy steps to take include using strong, unique passwords for your accounts and avoiding using the same password for multiple accounts. Have a password manager to generate and store your passwords safely. 

If possible, enable two-factor authentication, adding an extra layer of security. Keep your software updated. Hackers often exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software to gain access to systems. 

Be careful with emails and links. Don’t click on suspicious links or download attachments from any unknown email. Phishing emails are a common tactic used by hackers. 

Regularly backup important data you might have to an external hard drive or cloud storage service. In case of a security breach, having your backups can help you recover your data.

Lastly, use secure connections. When accessing the internet, use secure Wi-Fi connections and consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for security. 

Unsure where to start? We got you. 

How ThinkSecureNet Can Help You 

A great way to avoid getting hacked is to use our endpoint security, ensuring all your network endpoints whether it be desktops, laptops, and mobile devices are safe. We protect your devices from any potential cyber attacks by providing VPN solutions, top-tier firewalls, and deduction systems. 

We are aware that the business world is becoming increasingly mobile, which is why securing your organization’s mobile devices is more crucial than ever. We provide Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to give your company’s mobile devices security and efficient management. 

Looking for cloud-based solutions? We got you covered. Our cloud security can provide protection through data encryption and strict access controls to detect any threats. 

Whether it be phishing protection, malware detection, data loss prevention and email encryption, we secure your email communication and minimize spam and junk emails. 

We identify vulnerabilities to enhance your security. Our assessments help businesses locate potential threats in the system and add layers of protection, making your data safe and secure. 

If you’d like to see how ThinkSecureNet can help you defend against cyber threats, schedule a demo. Get secure with us today.

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