Cybersecurity or cyber threat is an intentional act designed to steal data, damage data or disrupt daily digital life. Cyber threats can range anywhere from data breaches or viruses to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks and other kinds of attacks.
Cyber threats can refer to cyberattacks that have caused widespread disruption, damage or destruction. They can also be classed as those that allow hackers unauthorised access to information technology assets, the infiltration of a computer network, stealing intellectual property, or managing to get hold of any other form of sensitive data.
Let’s take a closer look at how to protect yourself from a cyber threat.
Where does a cyber threat come from?
Cyber threats can come from many different sources or threat actors. Let’s see which are the most likely:
Nation-state cyberattacks are malicious acts that originate from a particular country to further that country’s interests. They can range anywhere from website defacement, propaganda, espionage, disruption of crucial infrastructure or even loss of life. Organisations around the world must pay special attention to nation-state attacks, and that includes those that don’t believe they will ever become a target.
Terrorist groups are now using cyberattacks to damage their target as opposed to bombs or shootings. They are less prepared than nation-states but still have a lot of money behind them which can cause widespread damage. Cybercrime is now fast becoming an easy way for terrorist groups to fund other malicious activity.
Spies and organised crime
Organised crime organisations or corporate spies are able to infiltrate organisations to conduct large-scale monetary theft or industrial espionage to steal trade secrets. These groups or individuals are most interested in profit-based activities.
Hacktivist activities are based on political issues and ideals. Most groups are only interested in spreading propaganda supporting their aim and mission instead of stealing data and demanding a ransom. Although they don’t tend to steal data, there have been instances recorded where networks have been damaged within companies they have targeted.
Cyberattacks can often be carried out by disgruntled insiders. This can be due to anger at the company, bribery, extortion, or for monetary benefits. Your business should be able to track employee activity at all times. If not, this is a large security hole. Ensure that you can keep track of employee activity on your network.
Hackers could take advantage of a zero-day exploit to access company data. Malicious actors can break into a network or system if your attack surface is left wide open. Ensure that your organisation installs sophisticated cybersecurity measures to thwart cyber threats.
Natural disasters can prove a huge threat to an organisation. As an example, your server room becomes flooded, and the servers are destroyed. Would you be able to stay in business? Backups and cloud servers can prove useful as organisational backup tools.
Authorised users can also prove problematic. They can forget or incorrectly configure S3 security, which could cause a potential data leak. That’s why it’s important to ensure that cybersecurity teams have checked each individual employee’s security access and levels so that there’s no room for error.
Cyber threat types
Cyber threats can come in many different shapes and sizes. Here are the most common:
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks
Advanced Persistent Threats
Intellectual Property Theft
Theft of Money
Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) Attack
Data Centre Disrupted by Natural Disaster
Identifying a cyber threat
Cyber threat intelligence is one of the most important steps towards pinpointing cyber threats via a so-called intelligence cycle. An intelligence cycle focuses on six distinct phases: direction, collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and feedback. Not only will it allow an organisation to identify cybersecurity gaps and possible attack vectors, but it will also allow for more robust cybersecurity measures. Read our guide on how to deal with common attack vectors, to start reducing your attack surface and the number of possible cyber threats.
Protect yourself against cyber threats
Understanding your attack surface and how to manage it is the first step toward improving the security of your organisation and protecting yourself against cyber threats. An attack surface is a window a malicious actor can use to gain access to your organisation and its sensitive data. By using a cybersecurity firm like RiskXchange, you can plug the gaps and bolster cybersecurity measures at the same time.
RiskXchange delivers innovative data-driven insights to prevent breaches without affecting network performance. We also provide solutions to problems that are easily understood and that do the job in the best, fastest and most affordable way at scale.
Get in touch with RiskXchange to find out how tyou can protect yourself from cyber threats.