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Cyber Security Threats: What are they and how to avoid them?

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1st Oct, 2022
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Cyber Security Threats: What are they and how to avoid them?

As the digital world continues striving towards growth, so are the negative implications of its usage. Tech endeavours have given birth to tools and methods one probably could not have imagined a decade ago for improving user convenience and networking. While the cyberworld has extended global connectivity, black hat hackers are taking advantage of this by taking over foreign user networks and stealing data. 

Cyber security threats are the rising cause of concern created through the increased reliability of the digital ecosystem. While researchers continue to create breakthroughs in the tech world, cybersecurity experts simultaneously work to protect networks and systems. Recently, cyberthreats have exponentially grown with the introduction of technology such as PaaS and SaaS. Cybercriminals now use sophisticated ways of hacking into systems and stealing data, leading to substantial financial losses for organisations. 

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Cyber security threats closely resemble the manipulation and threats faced in real life, so let’s find out how researchers and tech specialists are leveraging the convenience of cyberspace to remove system inconsistencies and create a more robust platform. 

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What are cyber security threats?

Cyber security threats refer to all types of malicious attacks aimed at unauthorised systems and networks with the intention to cause harm. These threats gain unlawful access to foreign systems and use the containing data for malicious purposes or disrupt systems. Hacking systems to remove data, manipulate, steal, and disrupt systems are different ways cybercriminals attack a system using improved tech tools.

The motto behind such cyber security threats ranges from personal grudges to paid attempts by rival organisations, but the destruction caused is often irreparable. Therefore, learning about cyber security threats is the best way to counter and prevent them.

Types of Cyber Security threats

While the methods and means of creating cyber threats keep growing with improved technology, there are a few prevalent types of cyber threats people keep facing. Here are some of the most common ones. 

Malware

Described as the most common type of cyber security threat, malware is malicious software that makes its way through links or emails and disrupts the system’s working. It can either attack the critical components of any system to damage it or steal the containing confidential information.

Phishing

Phishing is a cyber security threat where hackers imitate legitimate sources and send emails with links. The links often lead to installing malware into the system. Such emails can also steal data, including personal information, credit card details, bank account info, etc.

Cryptojacking

One of the newer cyber security threats includes cryptojacking. Cryptojacking is the unauthorised usage of foreign devices to mine cryptocurrency without the device owner knowing. Hackers illegally use foreign devices’ computing power to mine cryptocurrency and reap its benefits. 

DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks or DDoS attacks the systems and networks with mock traffic, preventing legitimate users from accessing the site or fulfilling requests. 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a cyber security issue where a hacker encrypts the host system data or steals it for illegal monetary benefit. Ransomware threats are often run on big corporations and organisations where the entity can go through severe reputational damage with the data leak.

SQL Injection

Hackers upload harmful SQL data scripts in systems and manipulate the containing data with the help of this cyber security threat. If the data script is successfully inscribed, it can add, delete or manipulate data values.  

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OWASP Top Cyber Security Vulnerabilities

The top 10 list provided by Open Web Application Security Project provides a list of the most critical cyber security threats. Here are a few of the most recent OWASP cybersecurity vulnerabilities:

Insecure Design

Insecure design refers to discrepancies in the system design, which enables cyber security issues to seep through the system. These comprise risks generated by faulty architectural design right from the initial design, putting the system at risk for security issues.

Software and Data Integrity Failures

Software and data integrity failures refer to infrastructure that does not protect systems from integrity failures. These can be caused by using software and other features retrieved from untrustworthy sources. It is growing as one of the most common vulnerabilities.

Identification and Authentication Failure

Broken identification and authentication functions are related to the information instilled in the system related to the user’s identity, which is either not implemented correctly by the user or its system and not protected by the system correctly.

Injections

Similar to the SQL injections, injections in OWASP are an attacker’s attempt to send and implement malicious code in the victim’s system to either destroy the containing database or gain access to steal or manipulate it for their malicious intent. 

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How to prevent cyber security threats?

Instead of taking time to repair cyber security issues after they are committed, use preventive measures to keep system and data safe. Here are a few ways to prevent cyber security threats.

  • Educating yourself about cybersecurity issues and threats is the first step toward preventing them. Read about them thoroughly to know the possible concerns your browsing methods can cause and avoid them as much as possible. 
  • Deploying anti-malware and antivirus software can help improve your cyber security firewall and ensure overall security towards a better, safer web browsing experience.
  • Conducting routine penetration tests is a sure shot way to map system and network vulnerabilities. 
  • Only use a trusted data storage service to protect employee and organisation databases. 
  • Use a data encryption platform when uploading online or sharing confidential details through the web. Encryption will prevent information leaks even after intrusion or database theft.

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Making a Career in Cyber Security

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The course extends a wide set of industry-relevant topics ranging from cryptography to network security. Learners with a Bachelor’s degree and prior coding knowledge can opt for this course to initiate their journey in cyber security. Along with a well-curated course structure, upGrad extends a learner-friendly approach to experience an efficient learning environment. Their career assistance, expert faculty, peer-to-peer networking, guidance, and mentorship benefits allow learners a well-rounded experience towards obtaining valuable opportunities. Learn more about the course at upGrad!

As cybersecurity threats loom large in our everyday lives, cybersecurity awareness is crucial for people working in a digitally-driven environment. Taking a professional course can help you master the nitty-grity of the cybersecurity world, further opening up numerous lucrative job opportunities for you!

Profile

Pavan Vadapalli

Blog Author
Director of Engineering @ upGrad. Motivated to leverage technology to solve problems. Seasoned leader for startups and fast moving orgs. Working on solving problems of scale and long term technology strategy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What are the impacts of cyber security threats?

Cyber security vulnerabilities can invite great threats to user systems and network security. These threats can cause immense reputational damage and leak confidential information. From stealing data to making changes in user systems, cyber security threats are turning to sophisticated intrusion methods that bring distress to reputable organisations or any significant individual.

2Can cyber threats be prevented?

Yes! As updated technology is leading black hat hackers to use sophisticated technology to seep through restricted digital platforms, security systems are being trained to turn equally strong against intrusions. Also, users must learn how to prevent threats in the first place by using safer browsing methods, using protected websites, and installing antivirus software on their systems.

3What is cyber warfare?

Cyber Warfare is a state or nation-led attack against competing or rival nations used during wars and in times of conflict to wreck the digital platform of any country. Cyberwarfare includes all types of attacks conducted on the government-led digital platforms by denying its service, stealing confidential data, or manipulating the same to deliver its message. The warfare can be concluded through a system of networks, highly capable of causing a tremor to the nation’s reputation.

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