When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, most companies had to embrace remote working models and move more workloads to the cloud. With the increasing number of remote employees, the complexity of corporate networks increased, and security became the biggest concern of businesses.
Since the beginning of the global pandemic, cyber-attacks have increased drastically. Today, all sizes of businesses are targeted for cyber-attacks, and they all can fall victim to a data breach. These incidents often have severe consequences, such as monetary costs and reputational damages.
Modern businesses should acknowledge the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape and take measures accordingly. Additionally, to combat cybercriminals, being well informed about the most common cyber attacks is as important as implementing modern security tools and architectures to prevent data breaches.
Statistics reveal that malware, phishing, ransomware, and social engineering are among the most common cyber attacks in 2022. In these types of attacks, cybercriminals are generally after stealing sensitive data that companies hold. Once they get a hold of sensitive data, they usually blackmail the company or sell this data on the internet. Let’s take a closer look at the most common forms of cyberattacks.
Malware is malicious code written by cybercriminals to perform certain tasks in the target machine’s systems. Today, there are a lot of malware types, and each differentiates from the other according to its goals. For example, once an employee’s device or a corporate network is infected with malware, it can take over or disable the target machine’s systems or malware can be used as a gateway to steal sensitive data. When companies use out-of-date security measures, malware attacks can have more destructive effects on their businesses.
Phishing is among the most used cyber attack types by malicious actors. Phishing attacks usually occur via SMS text messages or emails. In these attacks, cybercriminals create fake websites that pose as legitimate institutions and trick people to reveal their sensitive credentials such as credit card information, user ID, passwords, etc.
Generally, phishing emails and SMS text messages include links that redirect victims to fake websites where they reveal their credentials. Since these websites look like the real ones, victims don’t suspect anything. Lastly, when cybercriminals get a hold of some credentials of your employees, they can use these as a gateway to leak into your networks or sell these credentials on the internet.
Ransomware is one of the most common cyber attack types that are used by cybercriminals. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware damages alone cost the world 20 billion dollars in 2021. By 2031, ransomware is forecasted to attack a business, device, and customer every 2 seconds.
Ransomware is a specific type of malware that aims to infect a target machine’s systems and take over its storage. Once they get a hold of the data storage of the target company, ransomware encrypts all the data.
Afterward, cybercriminals demand ransom for decryption of the data they hold, and if their target refuses to pay the ransom, they blackmail the company for selling data on the internet. In many cases, companies usually pay the ransom, while there is no guarantee that cybercriminals won’t sell the data on the internet even if they get paid.
Social engineering attacks aim to exploit human error to accomplish malicious purposes. Malicious actors acknowledge that bypassing security systems are difficult, challenging, and complex. So, using human error is more of a shortcut for entering corporate networks and target systems.
Social engineering attacks usually trick people into logging in to their credentials under a false sense of security because malicious actors pretend to be authorized people or use fake security portals to get hold of confidential credentials.
As of 2022, cyber-attacks and threat landscapes continue to increase exponentially. Additionally, today’s decentralized working environments increase security risks. As a result, every business can fall victim to data breaches regardless of its size. Malware, Phishing, Ransomware, and Social Engineering are among the most common cyber attacks. Being well informed about these types of attacks can help businesses take suitable security measures to prevent them and mitigate the potential risks.