In 2020, businesses lost nearly $18,000 every minute due to phishing scams. Cyberattacks can result in downtime, data breaches, and revenue losses. As threats increase, companies have to take a proactive, preventative approach to protect their data and livelihoods.
What Are the Most Common Cyber-Attacks?
A cyber attack is an attempt by a hacker to gain unauthorized access to a computer or computer network to cause damage, steal data or control a computer system. The method of achieving unauthorized network access is called an attack vector.
Common attack vectors include malware, viruses, email attachments, web pages, pop-ups, and others.
Malware infects a machine by tricking users into clicking or installing a program from the Internet. Malware can perform several tasks, including spying on users to obtain credentials or data or disrupt operations. When the user clicks or installs the program, the malicious code can self-replicate in different parts of the system, install applications that capture keystrokes or commandeer system resources, block access to files, or bombard a browser with ads. It can render a device inoperable.
Ransomware is a variant of malware that infects a computer specifically to restrict users’ access to a system until a ransom is paid to unlock it. Typically the user receives a pop-up stating that systems are locked or files encrypted that won’t be released unless a ransom is paid.
Like malware, ransomware is often spread through phishing emails that contain malicious attachments or drive-by downloading. Drive-by downloading happens when a user visits an infected website and installs and downloads malware without their knowledge.
Phishing attacks arrive in the form of an email that appears legitimate, luring victims into revealing passwords, credit card details, banking details, etc. The term phishing is derived from fishing because it baits users into providing critical information by masquerading as something they want or need.
A phishing message may appear to come from a trusted entity, like your bank. The email could inform you that you need to update your credit card details to keep shopping online and supply a link or form to fill in.
MITM attacks occur when attackers intercept communication between parties to alter the conversation and steal information. It’s a form of eavesdropping attack. For example, you may receive an email from your boss asking you to email through a database of client banking details or confidential information. It appears legitimate, but an attacker has interrupted your conversation to gain access to personal information.
Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS)
A DDoS attack floods a targeted server with traffic to bring it down or disrupt the business. DDoS attacks use a network of computers and devices that are infected with malware called a botnet. The individual devices are called zombies or bots. Once a hacker has created a botnet, they direct an attack by sending requests via each bot in the network to the victim’s IP address. This causes the server or network to become overwhelmed, resulting in a denial of service to regular traffic. Think of it as being a virtual traffic jam!
An SQL injection attacks SQL databases to read, modify or delete data. The attacker interferes with queries that applications make to their database. This allows attackers to view data they don’t usually have access to, including customer data like credit card numbers. They can modify or delete data, resulting in changes in the application content or behavior.
An SQL injection can give attackers long-term access to the company’s systems or perform DDoS attacks. This can lead to fines and reputational damage.
How Common are Cyber-Attacks?
According to the FBI, cyberattacks have gone up 300% since the start of the pandemic. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies were disrupted, and their employees started working from home, leaving them vulnerable.
A recent study from the University of Maryland found that hackers attack every 39 seconds. As cybercriminals are targeting SMBs, chances are you may very well face a cyberattack at some point.
Is It Possible to Predict Cyber-Attacks Before They Happen?
Cybersecurity experts have always maintained that prevention is better than cure. Unfortunately, it still takes the average organization months to detect an actual attack. But data breaches aren’t inevitable, nor do they have to be devastating if they do occur.
Using AI to Reduce Detection Times
Machine-learning-powered solutions can cut down the time it takes to detect attacks, while predictive analytics can help organizations determine the probability of attacks before they occur. This will enable companies to set up robust defenses long before attacks reach their perimeters.
Why It’s So Difficult to Predict Attacks
Threat intelligence can forecast potential attacks but can’t offer guarantees. Current cybersecurity issues are exasperated by the fact that the volume of online assets is growing exponentially.
Companies are often mired in legacy systems that require updating and attention, generating numerous alerts that can be hard to respond to by overwrought in-house IT teams. Others simply don’t have the IT resources to respond or protect against threats. In addition, hackers are growing in sophistication.
Predictive analytics can help deal with challenges, but as companies scale, they also need resources that can respond to threats and protect the valuable data stored by the organization. Analytics has to be coupled with machine learning solutions and human intelligence to offer a best-of-breed defense against cyber attacks.
How AI and Wisdom of the Crowd Can Help Avoid the Next Cyber Attack
Traditionally, cyberattacks were averted by studying common attacks and extracting data into signatures. Signatures can be compared to digital fingerprints. Antivirus software, as an example, detects known signatures and blocks them automatically.
Unfortunately, cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated, with attackers using point-and-click exploit kits to create new and unique signatures for each attack. Because the threats aren’t recognizable, most traditional systems can’t detect them.
Artificial Intelligence is transforming modern physical and virtual Security Operation Centers (SOC) to better respond to threats and attacks. New cloud-based self-learning technology can detect anomalies and identify threats without specific knowledge of the exact signature.
Cybersecurity companies are working together to share threat intelligence and information to enhance their data and defense capabilities. Information shared by the collective cybersecurity community enhances predictive and response capabilities.
AI technology will scan the system and guide the IT team to take action, such as blocking emails or IPs. If an attack does occur, AI will alert the company immediately so that an investigation can be done and damage contained.
CYREBRO AI-Powered SOC in the Cloud
CYREBRO’s SOC technology can identify threats through behavior-based AI monitoring. The system can identify any deviations in normal behaviors and alert the team to anomalies across the endpoint, network, and individual users. You can automate many routines, manual tasks such as log analysis and traffic monitoring. Automation will reduce IT involvement and free up your team to focus on more pressing tasks.
Your team can use this information to locate and address the system to contain the damage and prevent hackers from entering networks and other endpoints.
CYREBRO’s SOC solution can collect a vast amount of data and perform proactive threat hunting. For SMBs that currently do not have a robust SIEM or SOC solution, CYREBRO becomes a turnkey solution, providing SIEM licensing and set-up,, 24/7 strategic monitoring, advanced forensics, and incident response.
For companies with a SIEM in place, CYREBRO becomes a complementary force that optimizes your existing configuration and infrastructure to build the most comprehensive defense against cyber threats.
Because it is cloud-based, CYREBRO is accessible even for SMBs that cannot afford to staff or house an entire in-house SOC. You can fill your skills gap, reduce false positives, save time and money, and prevent and contain attacks before or when they occur.
Ready to ramp your cybersecurity operations capabilities?, talk to a CYREBRO expert today.