Top 6 Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities

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The number of cybersecurity threats is continuously expanding and growing, negatively impacting more and more companies in its wake. In the past couple of years, cybercrime has raked up a bill in excess of $1 trillion.

During the early periods of COVID there was a rapid increase in cyber-attacks, as many employees were forced to work from home, this led to many companies having to put in place the necessary infrastructure to make this possible.

Many companies all over the world have learned a very valuable lesson about keeping their infrastructure secure, both from large scale data breaches and internal security incidents, by implementing the appropriate measures.

As a lot of individuals and companies choose to learn about the various trends surrounding cybersecurity threats, including the most effective ways of preventing them, it’s very important to keep in mind that, cybersecurity threats can be the outcome of both internal vulnerabilities and external criminal elements.

1. Third-Party Exposure

An organisation can be exposed to various levels of risk, due to differing relationships, even when using the same vendor. Retailers like to use third parties for certain services, like payment processing. Even when the company in question doesn’t handle any of the stored information, like credit card details, social security numbers, it’ still possible for the third party to put them at risk, due to a multitude of things, such as hackers stealing sensitive data and malicious files infiltrating network systems.

2. Fileless Malware

Fileless malware, which isn’t a commonly used term, comes from the fact that the file itself doesn’t exist on the hard drive. A computer hacker will use such attacks when filling RAM. Because these kinds of malicious files don’t leave behind any breadcrumbs on the hard drive, it can be very difficult for a security specialist to pin down the exact threat.

A fileless malware threat is only apparent once the computer hacker instructs the virus to initiate. These kinds of malware attacks are used primarily for attacks on banks, by inserting them directly into ATM machines. The hacker will then take over the cash machine. Payload delivery is another way these kinds of attacks are used. With a fileless virus, it’s possible for the hacker to install such files onto a machine without the owner being aware.

3. Zero-Day Threats

No application you use is not without its flaws. Every app you decide to install on your system has at least one security flaw, also known as security vulnerability, that hackers can exploit to take advantage of you. These kinds of attacks are referred to as zero-day threats, essentially, it’s when a security vulnerability is discovered by the hacker, then exploited before the developer of the app has time to fix it.

These zero-day attacks occur when the computer hacker gets things started by using the vulnerability of an app to insert a virus or setup a ransomware attack. These attacks can be hidden behind anything, all it takes is for an employee to run a specific program or open a certain file.

4. Form Jacking

Form jacking is one of many cybersecurity threats out there, used by computer hackers to inject malicious code (typically JavaScript) into a webpage form, usually a payment related form page. So when a visitor to the site puts in their payment details, then clicks on the submit button, the malicious code imbedded into the page collects this sensitive data, in addition to other information, such as customers name, phone, address, age etc. This information is then sent to a different location, setup by the hacker.

Cybercriminals will usually target checkout pages for eCommerce sites, so that they can steal confidential financial information, such as credit card details. The objective is to steal as much valuable information as possible that is submitted over the form. Current statistics has shown a slow increase in the number of form jacking attacks. With an average of 5,000 websites per month, being compromised by form jacking malicious code.

5. Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT or Internet of Things is all about connecting different devices all over the globe, via the internet. With the kind of devices that can be connected over IoT, sensors are able to collect, analyse, communicate and act on any data, offering creative new ways for media, technology, and telecommunication companies to create more value, whether that’s through creating new revenue streams and new companies or delivering more effective and efficient experiences for the end user.

Because of the added level of convenience, a lot of businesses and individuals have opted to take full advantage of IoT, but it’s the things that make them convenient, that’s responsible for its vulnerabilities. Hackers will oftentimes exploit internet connectivity, by using it as an access point to steal confidential data. As more and more companies are now reliant on IoT devices, a lot of experts believe that this will become the biggest online threat, in the next couple of years.

Latest business reports predict that the IoT (Internet of Things) market will grow to a whopping $1.1 trillion by 2026. 

6. Banking Malware

Banking malware works as the name states. To capture financial data, from customers, which is then sent back to the hacker, and used to steal the victim’s money.

Because end users are now able to conduct their banking services over their smartphones, many banking malware are designed to target specifically the mobile user. Computer hackers will often times disguise these banking malware files as a game or battery program, in order to lure the user into downloading it to their Android based phone.

These types of malicious files operate in the background, stealing important data when least aware. Emotet is one of many banking malware variants, and is seen today, as amongst the biggest threats to the market. These virus types can be designed to alter their appearance, in order to avoid detecting, so that they can propagate themselves all over a system or network.

These virus will spread from one system to another, via a forceful password. Banking malware is specifically designed to steal banking credentials, financial data, and bitcoin wallets.

AUTHOR INFO

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website https://www.compuchenna.co.uk.

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