Philip Jenkins of Morocco is an experienced international relations specialist and cybersecurity expert. In the following article Philip Jenkins discusses the common cyber-threats individuals and businesses should be keenly aware of to prevent a stolen identity or data breech.
Cybersecurity is big business — both for companies providing software and criminals looking to breach it. In line with this, keeping on top of the seemingly endless cybersecurity arms race can often seem like a challenge. Nonetheless, there are strategies businesses and individuals can implement. In line with this, Philip Jenkins of Morocco reviews the most common cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them.
As a corporation or business, knowing the most common cybersecurity challenges is integral. This simple check can be the difference between the firm running smoothly and getting caught in the middle of a large cyber scam.
One of the biggest cybersecurity threats comes from weak passwords. Philip Jenkins of Morocco explains that if the business’s system users have weak or easy-to-guess passwords, it’s not uncommon for attackers to target these individuals. And, with a hacked password, these cyber criminals can gain access to all the user’s normal functions.
Philip Jenkins of Morocco explains that overcoming weak passwords is, luckily, the easiest challenge to resolve. Passwords such as password1 or 12345 should be discouraged among staff. Moreover, teams should be encouraged to use codes that don’t simply relate to their hobbies or obvious life events or business products.
Philip Jenkins explains that this simple change could drastically strengthen security overall. However, make sure individual users change passwords too.
Unfortunately, in rare cases, it’s possible for a hacker to infiltrate a business directly. This can allow them to hack the system directly – providing the details to other hackers in a wider group. As such, thorough vetting and analysis of every worker should always be completed. Where possible, this should also be done on an ongoing basis.
As the name suggests, phishing scams typically rely on users’ curiosity to reel them in. Usually, phishing emails will include links to malicious websites, which may then request the user to input details such as logins and passwords – best to avoid these circumstances at all costs according to Philip Jenkins of Morocco.
Man in the Middle Attacks
“Man in the Middle” attacks occur when a hijacker intercepts typical network traffic. Often, this occurs via unsecured WiFi networks or VPNs. Once the hacker has intercepted the network, they typically then begin to decrypt any SSL in place in the background. In turn, this allows them unrecognized access to the system.
The biggest challenge with Man in the Middle attacks is detecting them once they happen. Usually, by the time the issue is noticed, the damage may already be done, and the hacker will have fully integrated the existing systems.
SQL injections stand for Structured Query Language. These attacks happen when a website’s SQL queries are manipulated by a hacker. Philip Jenkins of Morocco says that this process is achieved by “injecting” malicious code. Doing so then allows the attacker to remotely edit many aspects of the system, sometimes including full administrative access.
Another common challenge many businesses face is ransomware. This form of cyber attack happens when a hacker manages to install malicious software on the network. Thereafter, they hold the system to ransom, preventing access to potentially crucial files. This may also involve the hijacker potentially leaking data as part of their efforts to demand a ransom payment.
Regular backups are crucial for businesses to prevent ransomware from stopping regular trading activities. With a backup of data, the firm can continue operating – although there is still the risk of breaches.
Drive-by downloads occur when a website’s operating systems are compromised or outdated, allowing security breaches to occur. Unlike most other attacks, drive-by attacks don’t need users to necessarily download malicious software. Instead, they can occur on any outdated systems.
Denial of Service
Finally, Philip Jenkins explains that a Denial-of-Service attack is a relatively simple form of cyber attack. These occur when hackers render the website inaccessible by sending substantially more traffic or data packets than the server can handle. This challenge usually results in the website crashing due to the quick succession of each request.
Fortunately, a Denial of Service attack isn’t usually major in terms of data breaches. However, the downtime can be incredibly damaging to a business’s cash flow and reputation until the server restarts.
In many cases, cybersecurity can be overlooked, with firms often investing in other features over this. However, since the average cost of data breaches is around $4.35 million, the significance of this investment cannot be overstated.
Fortunately, being aware of the most frequent threats can help ensure that firms know where – and how – to focus their security efforts. In turn, this may help companies reduce the risks of suffering a breach (or otherwise minimize the losses associated with this).