Due to increased public awareness about the importance of keeping online transactions and documents secure, cybercriminals have modified their network attack strategies. Technological advances over the past several years have enabled these cybercriminals to develop more innovative, as well as stealthy, ways to attack computer networks.
As a business owner, it is important that you are familiar with the many ways that your business network could be attacked and potentially compromised. This knowledge enhances your ability to make decisions about measures to harden your network and make it immune to compromise. Discussed below are 15 ways that cybercriminals could try to attack your network, and how to best protect your business against them.
1) Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
With man-in-the-middle attacks, the hacker tries to hijack the traffic between two network devices. This hacker typically does this by substituting one of the devices' IP addresses with a fake one which enables the messages being transmitted to be intercepted and retrieved.
Rootkits are stealthy programs designed to gain administrative rights and access to a network device. Once installed, hackers have full and unrestricted access to the device and can, therefore, execute any action such as spying on users or stealing confidential information without any hindrance.
This is the most well-known network attack technique whereby the hacker sends the users an email with an infected link. Clicking on the link within the email then releases a virus or malware that infects the device and spreads through the network until it is contained.
Spear-phishing is similar to traditional phishing, but it's more targeted. While phishing involves sending malicious links through email, spear-phishing targets specific individuals or companies and can be sent via email or social media.
With this attack, hackers co-opt hundreds or thousands of devices, using them to send messages to a network server. Eventually, a threshold is reached whereby the server becomes overwhelmed and is unable to process all the inbound traffic. This results in the crashing of the network server and the website, therefore, becoming unavailable.
6) SQL Injection Attack
Most website back-end databases are manipulated using Structured Query Language (SQL) applications. With an SQL injection attack, hackers look for and exploit vulnerabilities in these SQL applications such that they are able to tinker with, and potentially cause damage, to the back-end databases and adversely impact the relevant websites.
7) Password Attacks
Password attacks entail hackers using different methods in an attempt to crack the passwords of users in a network. Hackers try to crack passwords using brute force, by trying commonly used passwords, or by installing a program on the device that logs all the user's keystrokes. Many corporations regularly reset their passwords in the effort to protect their businesses from password attacks; however, this is an outdated security method that can actually hurt organizations.
8) Computer Viruses
Computer viruses are software designed to rapidly spread among devices within a network. Depending on its purpose, ransomware can infect, edit, or delete files. Hackers also use computer viruses to send spam messages.
Ransomware is malicious software installed by hackers that takes over a network device or even an entire network and encrypts all the files. Once encrypted, users are unable to access the network data until the ransom is paid. Failure to pay the ransom can result in the deletion of the encrypted files.
Spyware is software that hackers install on user devices that enable them to view all the online activities of the user. Hackers can use spyware to log a user’s keystrokes and thereby obtain private information such as account credentials and credit card information, among others.
Like spyware, adware is a form of malware and is a software program that runs on a user's device. It's typically installed without the user's knowledge or embeds itself into other legitimate software. Adware will display unwanted advertising, will target one individual at a time and continuously runs once downloaded.
13) Drive-by Attacks
Drive-by attacks involve the spreading of malware. These attacks thrive on vulnerable web pages, as hackers will plant dangerous script into HTTP or PHP codes. Malvertising and adware can become drive-by attacks, since both involve malware and have potential to spread.
Deepfakes are fabricated videos and audio that are produced by artificial intelligence (AI). A newer way for hackers to attack, they are created by taking a video or piece of audio to replicate the subject with words and movements that are fake but appear to be real. They were originally meant to mock or poke fun at public figures like politicians and celebrities, however there is a growing concern that this is another way to perform cybercrimes and damage corporations.
As soon as videos are clicked on, company networks are infected with malware and other possible viruses. Deepfakes can also affect organizations through phone calls and video conferences. In doing so, hackers can impersonate company authority by mimicking their voices and movements. hackers to strike,
15) Trojan Horse
A Trojan horse is a malicious software program installed on a device that appears to be useful. Due to their innocent look, users are fooled into clicking on the program and downloading to their device. Once the program is downloaded, it can then execute a variety of functions such as stealing information, monitoring keystrokes, or corrupting data in the database.
The network attack strategies listed above are by no means in any way exhaustive. Cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways to penetrate computer networks and remain undetected. To ensure that your network remains constantly protected from cyber attacks, it is essential to engage the services of cybersecurity specialists.
There are numerous ways that cyberattacks can affect your business. Fortunately, there are also numerous ways you can protect your corporation from them. Keep your software and devices up-to-date, instill email security throughout your corporation, implement cybersecurity training and ensure ultimate business protection with cloud solutions like Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), powered by Veeam Cloud Disaster Recovery and Security as a Service (SECaaS).
At NewCloud Networks, we specialize in hardening small and medium-sized business networks, making them impenetrable to any kind of cyberattack. With our Security as a Service (SECaaS) offering, we ensure that your network is constantly monitored and updated to guard against novel cyber attack strategies. Contact us today for more information about our services.
This content has been modified for timeliness and accuracy. Original blog written by Jill Sullivan. Modified by May Elliott.