As you all are aware working from home concept is now being adopted to almost every field due to the coronavirus pandemic. Also, it has created some major or minor concerns on data security depending on the security level you use to protect data. This situation has opened a gateway to some mission-critical cyber-attacks. Simply cyber attack is an action that targets computer systems, infrastructures, and computer networks to steal, alter, or destroy data or information of another.
Even if you are a techie person or not when it comes to data people and businesses have a major requirement to ensure privacy as much as possible. First, we will be discussing some examples of such cyber-attacks and then followed by appropriate safety measures.
TYPES OF CYBER ATTACKS
Here is a list of most common cyber attacks we come across in our day to day work.
This simply refers to some harmful software, such as viruses and ransomware which can take control of your system. It can be seen as a Word doc or PDF file which will include a hidden malware installer within it. You never know how deep it goes unless you have taken the prevention measurements.
Email is the widely used method of communication in organizations irrespective of their scale. An attacker may simply send you an email which states that you have won a cash prize or else stating that this is an important file from your boss which will redirect you to a fraudulent website that captures credentials or else which will download some files containing harmful software.
* SQL Injection Attacks:
The word itself gives you an idea of what the above-mentioned attack is. As you all are aware that SQL is a programming language which is majorly used to communicate with databases. Banks and financial institutes store highly sensitive data like credit card numbers, user names, and passwords, etc. within these SQL databases. The most common method to initiate such attacks is by finding some vulnerable user inputs within a web page or web application such as user input directly in a SQL query.
* Denial-of-Service (DOS):
A website can be unreachable in many ways, such as high network traffic, low-bandwidth, internal configuration error of a site, etc. DOS attacks are done by flooding a high load of traffic into the website which denies access to a specific website for all the users appearing from different IP addresses which makes the network administrator difficult to mitigate the attacker within few attempts.
* Man In The Middle (MITM) Attack:
MITM is similar to eavesdropping in between a person and his/her data such as login credentials, credit card numbers, etc. In order to steal personal information. A simple example of such an attack is making malicious WIFI hotspots available to the public. Once the visitor connected to the hotspot, any data exchanged within the hotspot will be visible to the attacker.
* Credential Reuse:
At a certain point managing, multiple accounts and passwords become a burden to an employee of an organization and he/she tends to use the same credentials for all the systems. This is an action that has a high risk, if an attacker by any chance obtains your credential, the first move will be reusing the same credentials for other systems as well.
CYBER ATTACK PREVENTION METHODS
I hope you have got a rough idea of what cyber-attack is and how it can be initiated using simple examples. After analyzing those types of attacks the ultimate damage is the “loss of data”. The following are some important procedures you can follow to avoid such attacks.
* Using a firewall to secure your internet connection:
In your windows PC, you can use a Windows firewall which is a default option that allows you to control your network at a basic level. For example, specific programs can be blocked, and once an attempt is taken place to access the user can be notified.
* Install and regularly update the antivirus software which is recommended by your organization:
Make sure to have antivirus software installed with a genuine license so that you can receive patches and updates regularly which will be helpful to stand against the latest virus attacks. This consists of a cost based on the antivirus application you use but at the end of the day once the damage is done for your data it cannot be reverted.
* Whenever reaching a website check for SSL certificate availability:
Most of the secured credit card transactions, logins, and data transfers are done through a web browser. SSL certificate allows secure connections from a web server to a browser, hence make sure to check SSL certificate availability whenever you enter a website.
* Regularly change password:
If you are a user who is dealing with very few numbers of systems it is a best practice to change passwords regularly to avoid password attacks. Also, make sure to use unique passwords to all the systems you use to avoid credential reuse. Anyway, when it comes to a huge number of systems it is a bit complicated to maintain a unique password for all the systems. In such a situation we can start using a password management application such as Privileged Access Management (PAM), KeePass, etc.
Such applications contain a central dashboard where you can update usernames and passwords for the systems you use once in a while.
* Download and Install latest patches in your Operating System:
Most of the people consider installing patches as a burden since it consumes a considerable amount of data. The reality is some of those patches contain fixes for vulnerabilities. Whenever a new type of attack is spread among the devices these Operating System patches are released periodically to help protect your device with maximum safety.
* Use a secure WIFI protocol for you home router:
The main gateway to all the cyber attacks is your home router. That is the only device that allows you to go through all these threats. So make sure to use a secure WIFI protocol such as WPA2, WPA3 if available which will not allow the attackers to compromise your local area network.
* Open emails only from trustworthy sources:
The most common way of attacking your system is simply using an email. Beware of the emails you receive and open only if it’s the sender is confirmed.
The above solutions will provide an opportunity to stay away from almost every cyberattack received for a home user and depending on the sensitivity of data you use can reduce a considerable amount of risk for the business organizations as well. Make it a best practice to follow the above guidelines and start protecting your data today.
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Cover photo- Scams | Work From Home Jobs