5 Common Types of Security Breaches and How to Prevent Them?
As the world is becoming more and more digitalized with further developments in informational technologies, so is cybercrime becoming more sophisticated. Data stored by companies is often a valuable commodity. It’s also a common target of cyber attacks. These types of harmful incidents are referred to as security breaches.
Since such cyber attacks nowadays happen regularly and on a mass scale, paying attention to data security within your organization and its IT structures can help you ensure the safety of your data (and your business). If you want to get serious about your data protection, it’s important to get accustomed to the five most common security breaches.
Most Common Security Breaches
Ransomware – this is a new and popular type of security breach that mostly affects a business that needs to be able to retrieve sensitive data on time, such as law firms or hospitals. Ransomware is mostly spread through emails falsely signed by a well-known organization, often as a proposition of business cooperation. Opening a link or an attachment containing the ransomware then encrypts most, or all data, while at the same time providing the victim with a ransom note, supposedly containing information on where to pay the ransom (this is done via cryptocurrency, making this transaction virtually impossible to trace) and instructions on what to do to decrypt your data.
Ransomware remains one of the most popular types of security breaches encountered by different companies and organizations due to its ease of deployment (most of it relies on human error for the cyber attack to be successful) as well as its effectiveness and effectiveness general difficulty in decrypting the data attacked. If you and your organization fail to create adequate backups promptly, chances are retrieving your information without incurring more severe data loss will prove a difficult task.
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2. Password Attack
Password attacks – also referred to as password bombing, this type of cyber attack relies on software that repeatedly tries different, commonly used combinations of passwords and email addresses to access the user’s account. When the hackers get a match of a password and an email address, they can (and often do) repeatedly try the same combination on different websites or services. This is a highly effective method since many people fail to create secure passwords or otherwise regularly change their login credentials, even in various high-ranking organizations. As such, this type of security breach can provide the attackers with lots of valuable information for what is very little effort.
Phishing – much like password attacks, phishing is an attempt to get a hold of the login credentials of its victim. In the case of this type of security breach, the attackers send requests for login information, often masquerading as legitimate service providers. In many cases, phishing is done by either creating a fake login page for a popular website or directly contacting the victim via email or a phone message. This type of cyber attack often involves intricate copies of popular login pages or messages that look almost identical to their original source. Despite its common occurrence, phishing presents a low threat level since this security breach can be easily prevented with basic safety measures.
4. Denial of Service / Distributed Denial of Sevice Attacks
DoS and DDoS Attacks – although not exactly security breaches, DoS/DDoS attacks are often a part of a larger operation and are used to wreak havoc alongside the actual attack. These are also very often used as a form of cyber-protest since this type of cyber attack is easy to carry out and doesn’t cause any significant harm aside from potential financial losses incurred during the service or website downtime. A DoS/DDoS attack is carried out by repeatedly trying to access the website to overload it and cause it to crash. The attackers try to flood the service with repeated access requests, often from multiple different sources. In many cases, the attackers use computers connected to a botnet, so their owners often have no clue that their device might play a part in a security breach.
Malware – This category is an umbrella term encompassing all the possible malware infections that different organizations and companies suspect. This cyber attack is often carried out similarly to ransomware attacks since it requires the user to open an infected file. There is a large number of different viruses which can affect your IT structure. The degree of a security breach and the danger it poses to the affected data and users depends mostly on what kind of malware is utilized within the attack. Some of the most popular malware infections include:
· Trojan horses seemingly act and behave like a normal file while simultaneously hiding their real intents and running different malware processes in the background.
· Various Worms, a type of malware that can further spread itself over a network to infect the connected units.
· Botnet infections, which infect computers and then proceed to use them to carry out various operations, often illegal ones.
· Spyware, a type of malware that records keystrokes and other user input over time and sends the information to the attacker (this often includes several very sensitive data such as bank account details).
How to prevent security breaches?
The five most common security breaches already contain an impressive gallery of threats potentially lurking within the web. And although these can often cause serious damage to your organization and its IT structures, all of them can be prevented with proper security measures. If you want to avoid security breaches within your organization, consider deploying these solutions· (Remember, good practice is one thing, but it’s always a good idea to have a disaster recovery plan if you want to be sure of maintaining business continuity in the event of a disaster).
· Educate yourself and your employees.
Many threats on this list, such as phishing or ransomware, depend on human error and require an employee or a member of your organization to open an infected attachment. These types of errors can easily be avoided by educating members of your organization on cyber security and staying up to date with technological developments in this sector. Holding regular seminars or simply providing your employees with information on new threats and how to mitigate them is one of the best and most important methods of avoiding a security breach within your organization.·
· Change passwords frequently.
To not fall victim to password attacks or other attempts at getting illicit access to your data, it is crucial to regularly change the passwords you use. Maintaining a high level of security regarding your login credentials is important, never use the same combination twice for different services or websites, and remember to change your passwords regularly. For additional security, use encrypted passwords, which can be further stored in a password-protected folder.
· Use multi-factor authentication.
Some online environments, such as the popular Microsoft Office 365, have a feature allowing administrators to enable multi-factor authentication to access the stored data. With this feature enabled, users trying to log in will have to provide additional information, often conveyed via an automated phone call or a text message. With this method, someone trying to get access would also need access to other devices owned by the user, such as their phone, to fully access the breached IT structure, even if they managed to crack the login credentials.
· Perform regular backups.
One of the most important elements of running a successful organization with a functional IT structure is performing regular backups in a timely manner. A well-managed backup policy allows your organization to mitigate the most severe data losses in the case of a security breach. While it is not always necessary to restore an entire backup in a situation of malware infection or a password leak, some ransomware attacks are very difficult to deal with once your data is already encrypted. A good backup policy can save your data and information in such situations, allowing you to maintain data continuity and avoid serious data loss.
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With how big of a role internet and data play in contemporary business, it should not come as a shock that there is a large number of different threats lurking around the web, waiting for suspectable victims. And while a security breach can cause drastic damage to your data and IT structures, avoiding these dangers can be easy if you stick to these basic methods.