More than half of 2019 has gone by, so now we can begin to see what the biggest cyber security threats of 2019 are. Some of these threats target machine learning, artificial intelligence, and IoT devices, while others are older cyber threats that have never gone away.
Here are the cyber attacks and threats that you should be aware of as we finish 2019.
2019’s Biggest Cyber Threats
Social engineering attacks are designed to make users compromise their own information security. Phishing emails are the most common form of social engineering, and they try to lure users into giving up credit card numbers, user logins and passwords, and other sensitive data. Often a phishing email may look like it’s from an executive at your company, a business that is trying to collect a payment from you, or even a coworker making an emergency request for money. They usually use fake URLs and document attachments such as PDFs to launch attacks on your network or computer security.
How can you combat phishing attacks? They target your employees, so you should invest in security training that will help them learn how to recognize phishing emails and other social engineering attacks. You should also let them know that if an email seems suspicious to them—especially if they don’t know the sender—they should not open it or click on any links or attachments within it. Raising your employees’ awareness of social engineering tactics will help increase their individual security and your network’s security.
Ransomware attacks have become particularly notorious in recent years. They use a specific type of malware that encrypts a business’s data or locks up their network and holds it for ransom. This type of attack has been on the rise recently because hackers can demand the ransom in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which allows for anonymous ransom payments. Of course, if you pay the ransom, there is no guarantee that you will get your network, data storage, and other systems back intact—if at all.
You can protect your data and your network from ransomware by providing your employees with social engineering training, as ransomware often pops up in phishing emails. You should also increase your data security by using remote cloud-based data backups that can help you recover and reformat your lost data.
Finally, you should install an automated professional monitoring system that will scan email attachments for malware and computer viruses. With these risk management processes in place, you can reduce the risk that ransomware poses to your network.
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks overwhelm your network with requests for data, bombarding it until service becomes extremely slow and your network becomes inoperable. This type of attack is usually a front for much more malicious data breaches. While you’re fending off the never-ending DDoS requests, they’re digging into your data storage and other facets of your system.
One of the best ways to protect your network against DDoS attacks is to partner with cyber security professionals who can put network and data protection measures in place to decrease DDoS security risks. A cyber security company can work with you to implement web application firewalls (WAFs) that will give you more control over your web traffic and allow you to recognize malicious attacks when they appear.
CTMS is a technology management provider based in Akron, Ohio. For years, our team has offered a variety of technical solutions for our partners in a wide range of industries. Our primary services are IT security, data backup, disaster recovery, and cloud computing, among a host of other IT consulting solutions.