Recently, the term “cyber threat” has become more relevant because of the danger it poses to most industries, however, most people don’t know much about cyber threats at all. Let’s go a bit further into the background of cybersecurity and cyber attacks.
What is a cyber threat?
A cyber threat is an act intended to steal data or cause some sort of digital harm. The term is exclusively used to describe information security matters nowadays.
A cyber attack is set up against digital devices using cyberspace. Cyberspace is a virtual space that is becoming a metaphor to help us understand the digital weaponry that intends to harm us. The intent of the attacker, as well as the potential impact, depends upon the severity of the attack. These attacks can be quite serious, potentially threatening lives.
What is the need to protect from cyber threats?
Cyber threats are a very serious issue these days. They can cause electrical blackouts, breaches of national security secrets, theft of valuable, sensitive data like medical records. They can damage phone and computer networks or paralyze systems to steal the data. These threats are getting more serious. The definition of cybersecurity states that cybersecurity risks are present in every organization and aren’t always under IT’s direct control. Organizational leaders are making technology-related choices every day. So we can say that the data security solutions are also increasing with the increased cyber risk.
Types of cybersecurity threats
Cybersecurity threats are mainly divided into three broad categories based on the gain that can be achieved by the attackers:
- Financial gain
- Underground activities (including the theft of patents or state espionage)
Virtually every cyber threat falls into one of these three modes.
6 common cyber threats
Malware: Software that performs a malicious task on a target device or network comes under the category of malware. Some typical examples are corrupting data or taking over a system.
Phishing: This type of attack involves tricking the email recipient into disclosing confidential information or downloading malware by clicking on a hyperlink in the message.
Data Breaches: A data breach is a theft of data by a malicious actor. Motives for data breaches include crime, defamation, and espionage.
Trojans: Trojan is a type of malware that enters a target system looking like one of them.
Ransomware: This involves encrypting data on the target system and demanding ransom in exchange for letting users have access to the data again. A recent example of this is locking down the entire city of Atlanta’s municipal government data in 2018.
Denial of Service attack or Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS): Where an attacker takes over many(perhaps thousands) of devices and uses them to invoke the functions of a target system.
Cyber defense for an individual
The cyber defense best practices are simple for individuals. In most cases the battle is between the consumer and the hacker. Some of the important safety measures that can be taken are password hygiene and anti-virus software.
Cyber defense for businesses
As shown in previous paragraphs, cyber threats are one of the greatest dangers to any organization or business. Organizations are taking serious actions to make themselves safe and secure. One step they are taking is hiring highly skilled cybersecurity professionals as shown by recent surveys.
So, if you want to start your career in this field, you should really consider adding a cybersecurity certification to your resume. There are various cybersecurity certs available in the market, including CISSP, CySA+, CCSP, and more. You can checkout their domain and eligibility criteria and select the cybersecurity certification that is best suited for you!