7 Cybersecurity Attacks That Can Hurt Your Business and Customers
From virtual banking breaches to semi-open attacks, the last couple of years has been rough on IT security.
Remember the NotPetya malware attack?
Wired magazine described it as the “The Most Devastating Cyberattack in History.” Within hours of its first appearance, the malware wormed its way beyond a small Ukrainian software business to countless devices around the world. It paralyzed global shipping corps like FedEx, TNT Express, and Maersk for several weeks and caused more than $10 billion USD, overall.
Data breaches like this show the harsh reality of the world we live in. Seemingly, no one is immune.
In 2019 alone, cybersecurity attacks accounted for $2 trillion USD in losses—and sadly, the year is not over yet.
By now, the list of data breach victims is filled with major corporations, government agencies, social media sites, restaurant chains, and every other industry you can think of.
But, how did we get to this point of compromise and uncertainty?
The latest 2019 Cyber Threatscape Report points out the primary drivers that influence the cybersecurity threat landscape.
- Cybercriminals leverage new technologies and miscommunication that often emerges from compromised geopolitics.
- Criminal networks are constantly evolving, such as moving toward close-knit syndicates and using legitimate documents to identify victims before they attack.
- Hybrid motives (combining malware characteristics, like self-replication) are worsening the aftermath of cyberattacks, especially for time-critical businesses.
- Improved cybersecurity hygiene is pushing hackers to find new ways to attack businesses, such as targeting their supply chains.
Now that we’ve peeked into the minds of cybercriminals, let’s assess their biggest cybersecurity attacks, to date.
Worst Data Breaches in History
Mind blown, yet?
Wait until you see the most common types of cyberattacks that harm customers and enterprises alike.
7 Cybersecurity attacks that can harm your business
- Ransomware attack
Ransomware has been around since the late 80s and is a billion dollar cybercrime industry. It works by holding a victim’s sensitive data for ransom after blocking them from access.
What’s worse, is that according to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report, a ransomware attack is expected to occur every 11 seconds by 2021.
How to prevent ransomware:
- Never open untrusted email attachments or click on unverified links.
- Use mail server content scanning and filtering regularly.
2. Malware attack
Malware is an umbrella term for malicious programs like worms, computer viruses, Trojan horses, and spyware that steal, encrypt, delete, alter, and hijack user information.
- Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.
- Watch out for social engineering scams.
3. Phishing attack
Did you know that up to 32% of data breaches occur from phishing?
Phishing is a common form of social engineering and works like this: A hacker tricks users into downloading an infected attachment or clicking a malicious link through SMS or email.
- Don’t click login links; manually type in the main site’s url, instead.
- Double-check the email source and report bad emails.
- Hover over links to inspect them; don’t just click them.
4. SQL injection
Using malicious codes, SQL injection attacks servers that store critical data for websites. It’s especially harmful to servers that store personally identifiable information (PII) such as credit card numbers, usernames, and passwords.
- Validate all SQL data inputs against a whitelist.
- Use only stored procedures and prepared statements.
5. DDOS attack
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack occurs when cybercriminals flood a website with more traffic than it can handle from different IP addresses around the world. Hackers use it as a distraction to break into the organization’s data while it focuses on restoring its website.
- Recognize your typical inbound traffic profile so you can detect irregular traffic.
- Use complex passwords, anti-phishing methods, and secure firewalls.
6. Password attack
Despite being well-known, people still fall prey to the oldest cyberattack—ye olde password attack. The reason it’s still so popular is due to its simplicity. Using standard hacking techniques, hackers attain weak passwords that unlock valuable online accounts.
- Educate users on good password hygiene.
- Implement brute force lockout policies.
- Prohibit the use of easy passwords.
7. MITM attack
A man-in-the-middle attack occurs when a hacker intercepts communications between two legitimate hosts. Think of it as the cyber equivalent of eavesdropping on a private conversation. But in this case, the hacker can plant new requests that appear to originate from a legitimate source.
- Use SSL certificates (HTTPS) on your website.
- Setup a VPN as an additional shield over Wi-Fi.
Now you know the 7 most common cybersecurity threats. Here’s how they harm businesses.
A Cyberattack’s Impact on Business
Often, cyberattack damage is three-fold and can include:
- Financial damage
- Reputational damage
- Legal damage
Financial and reputational costs
Data breaches result in substantial financial loss and may include:
- Theft of financial info (e.g., credit card details, usernames, passwords).
- Theft of sensitive corporate information or money.
- Loss of customer trust, sales, and advocacy.
- Loss of shareholder, investor, and client faith.
- Reduction in revenue and profit.
- High costs of system, network, and device repair.
To protect their citizens’ personal data, many countries have established rules for HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA compliance. If your organization’s data is compromised and you don’t follow these regulations, you’ll face serious fines and sanctions.
Can enterprises regain trust after a data breach?
Yes! companies can win back customer trust even after a data breach has occurred.
There may not be one way to win all customers, but consumers are willing to forgive businesses that are responsive and transparent.
Here’s what you can do if your customer data is ever compromised:
- Start by being transparent about what happened.
- Communicate what you’re doing about the breach.
- Educate customers on the next steps to protect their data.
- Remind customers of your privacy policies.
This, of course, is all about the aftermath of a breach.
So, how can organizations prevent cybersecurity attacks from happening in the first place? Follow these 10 steps to prevent cyber threats.
- Keep a clear understanding of the amount of data you have and what it is used for.
- Limit administrative capabilities and train employees to recognize phishing attacks.
- Encrypt your business data, so it’s useless if it falls into the wrong hands.
- Conduct employee background checks to know exactly who’s working for you.
- Pass all your emails through a secure gateway to reduce mistakes.
- Update security software patches regularly.
- Use multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized access to your network.
- Use strong passwords or eliminate passwords through passwordless login.
- Keep abreast of emerging risks and ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.
- Invest in cybersecurity insurance because no one is immune from cyberattacks.
No matter what state your security program is in now, these steps will help you build a stronger defence and mitigate damage.
How can LoginRadius protect enterprises from cyberattacks?
When it comes to bringing your business online, there are a lot of factors to consider. For instance, securing records and managing customer profiles require a lot of attention. That’s why having a strong customer identity and access management (CIAM) solution in place is half the battle.
LoginRadius ensures a secure and seamless customer experience and offers identity-centric security features including customer registration, user account management, single sign-on (SSO), access management, multi-factor authentication (MFA), data access governance, compliance-ready features, and directory services.
All of these features work together to help you mitigate cybersecurity attacks on your business.
While it seems like a scary world out there, you can protect your enterprise from cybersecurity threats with the right tools. CIAM software provides these tools via centralized monitoring and advanced security features, so you can get back to growing your business.