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Cyber Security Threats: What are they and How to Avoid

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12th Sep, 2022
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Cyber Security Threats: What are they and How to Avoid

As the tech sector keeps evolving rapidly, one leading concern is proceeding at the same pace to sabotage digital domains and based workings – cyber security threats! 

Cyber security threats have started affecting every realm of the digital world with sophisticated breaches, well-equipped to get into the most secure systems. Not only does it pose a threat to the device’s well-being, but confidential data is at the most risk, with financial and reputational assets being prone to breaches at any moment. 

Amidst the plethora of risks, one cannot entirely refrain from using networking services as the digital domain continues being a significant part, but ready security measures can help deal with it!

Knowing cyber security threats, how they work, and what their impact could be can drastically help organizations to work on strengthening their tech resources. The motives of cyber threats and attacks can be varied, and with the proper security measures in place, you can mitigate them all. 

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So let’s find out all about cyber threats, what they are, and how to avoid them.

Understanding Cyber Security Threats

Cyber security threats are malicious attempts aiming to get access to an individual or organization’s digital domain, intending to harm, steal, or destroy the containing assets that may range from sensitive information to intellectual property. Cyber-attacks have evolved with the ever-evolving technology, using the same digital tools to break through different organizations’ computer systems or private networking servers. People often think well-established MNCs and government servers are safe from such intrusion. Still, instances have proved them to have a weak defense against such entities with data breaches and stolen information records.

Today, cyber security threats are not limited to malicious entities merely hacking into servers – they have become much more sophisticated to strike particular aspects without leaving a trace. Therefore, understanding different cyber security threats can help learn more about the domain and choose the right security initiatives to protect classified data.

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Types of Cyber Security Threats

The non-profit web security application organization OWASP or Open Web Application Security Project updates a curated list of the ten most critical security threats analyzed by security experts. Here are a few examples of common cyber security threats along with threats listed in the OWASP’s list of threats:

  • Cryptographic Failure: Cryptographic failures refer to sensitive data exposure such as private information, including address, contact details, credit card details, and more. Cryptographic failures are critical security threats leading further to attract potential cyber-attacks.
  • Phishing: Phishing involves sending fraudulent emails disguised as one from a trusted source to people. These emails trick the receiver into following given instructions in the email to share sensitive information such as credit card details and OTPs, which the malicious entities misuse.
  • Malware: Malware or malicious software is the most common type of cybersecurity threat used by hackers to break into systems and disrupt them. This type of cyber threat uses viruses, trojans, and worms to either break through the system to control and steal sensitive information or disrupt the system entirely. 
  • Injection Flaw: Injection vulnerabilities allow an attacker to inject malicious code into the host system with the help of an application. This cyber threat can compromise the safety of other connected systems as well.
  • Denial of Service: Denial of Service refers to an attack targeted at a user system with large traffic to disrupt normal functionality. Denial of Service attacks the server to create an overload, preventing customers from reaching your website.
  • Ransomware: Ransomware is a type of malware that breaks into a user system and encrypts the containing data in exchange for ransom. The malware often makes its way to the device through suspicious emails with links or attachments. These attachments are downloaded by the user, leading the hackers to control the system.
  • Man in the Middle attack: Man in the Middle attack refers to the inclusion of an unauthorized party within a personal communication channel between two servers. The unauthorized party takes advantage of the intrusion and steals confidential information. DNS spoofing, Email hijacking, or wifi eavesdropping are a few types of Man in the Middle attacks.

Sources of Cyber Security Threats

Cyber security threats against an individual or organization may change with the attacking party and their mottos. Here are a few frequently found sources posing security threats:

  • Hackers: Hackers use cyber threats as an opportunity to make monetary benefits or to redeem personal grudges. 
  • Criminal groups: Criminal groups involved in thefts, extortions, and phishing use cyber threats to redeem sensitive information and further redeem monastery benefits.
  • Terrorist groups: Terrorist groups often break into devices belonging to higher authorities or government employees to steal classified information or simply threaten people to instill fear among them. 
  • Hostile nation-states: Hostile nations looking to spread fear are often the sources of cyber security threats. Their methods often include device hacking or hijacking to spread their message among people through hacked devices.

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Avoiding Cyber Security Threats

2021 proved to be the year experiencing the highest data breach cost in 17 years, rising from USD 3.86 million to USD 4.24 million, narrating how powerful cyber attacks can get with time. 

Cyber security concerns are hard to tackle, so how should one deal with them? Preventing cyber security threats is only possible if you know how to avoid these threats. 

Here are ways you can avoid cyber threats:

  • Develop an eye to identify fraudulent intrusions. Emails, links, attachments, or invites from unknown sources must be repelled as soon as you see them. Train your employers to identify potential threats as well.
  • Work with up-to-date software and applications, so no vulnerable points are left from older versions.
  • Secure systems with passcodes. Safety is not only limited to server limitations. Limit who has physical access to your devices as physical intrusion can also cause possible cyber-attacks or device disruptions.
  • Invest in reliable firewalls with frequent updates. Firewalls go a long way to keep the security barrier upright.
  • Ensure security awareness training for every member of the company. Your staff must understand the organization’s security policies and comply with them every step of their work. 

A career in Cyber Security

Are you someone hoping to make a career in the expansive cyber security field? Then, we have just the right course for you! upGrad’s Advanced Certificate Program in Cyber Security is an excellent place to learn about the cybersecurity industry and its upcoming course of action with evolving technology. Learners hoping to enter the dynamic world of cyber security can start with this 7.5- month long course created by industry professionals and experienced faculty.

With a thriving learner base of 40,000+ spread across 85+ countries, Cyber Security aims to further expand the domain by helping learners improve their skill set and work with relevant subjects to create better security solutions for the world. upGrad’s additional support, experienced faculty, and career guidance encourage students to improve their skills and perform well in the outside world.

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Cyber security threats have become an indispensable part of networking, posing a risk of unlawful activities on your system. But, learning more about new and more sophisticated cyber security threats is helping organizations to identify weak points and set up reliable shields against such attacks. As a result, better and stronger defense lines are being set up. 

As the need for cyber security experts rises, now’s the time to capitalize on the opportunity and grab high-paying security jobs in the industry!


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.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1Are cyber security threats increasing?

Rising digitization has offered many tools of convenience for its users, but at the same time, increased cases of cyber security issues are equally on the rise. The ease of accessibility is not limited to ethical use as unethical hackers continue making malicious use of the technology. Mobile, laptops, or desktops - all devices grant easy internet access, and just as smart devices are becoming more simplified, cybercriminals are taking advantage of the same.

2What are the impacts of cyber security threats?

Cyber threats are critical issues, capable of posing severe threats on data saved on the individual, company, or government servers. A successful cyber vulnerability can cause deep concerns right from revealing sensitive personal information of any individual or government's highly confidential matters. In addition, a cyber threat, seemingly as small as a link to a website, can invite countless troubles to any device.

3Do cloud services pose more cyber security issues?

Yes. While cloud services provide benefits such as advanced tools, flexibility, and scalability, security threats also experience a spike with increased cloud computing. The entire software framework being present on internet servers poses a risk to data storage, with data loss, data breach, and unauthorized access being some of the leading cyber-threat issues faced by cloud users.

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