The reliance upon computer systems and technology has done us a lot of good – from saving time to saving office space. However, the one not-so-silver lining of computerization is the daunting, perpetual, and ever-increasing extent of cybersecurity threats.
With the newer, more complex exploits, coupled with some of the more classical threat tactics, IT security consulting firms are going to have their hands full in the coming years. This article discusses the four main cybersecurity threats that all organizations and network security consulting firms should be prepared for.
Let us begin with one of the oldest tricks in the book. A kind of social engineering ambush, phishing involves sending out apparently trusted emails, or even websites or texts to unsuspecting victims.
However, these seemingly genuine sources are quite the opposite and operate with the intent of obtaining sensitive personal information of their recipients. This personal information could include work login credentials, credit card information, bank account information, and passwords to other online accounts.
What makes phishing so hazardous and popular among cyber-criminals is the technique’s ease and effectiveness. Without spending much time or effort, attackers can trick any worker into surrendering their access credentials, which makes disrupting your computer system a walk in the park.
Since phishing, if successful, can cause a tremendous amount of damage very quickly, it is best to consult premium network security consulting services to find out ways to prevent a phishing attack in the first place.
2) Bogus Websites
Bogus websites or ‘pharming’ works by redirecting website traffic to another, fake website run by the attacker. The intent, just like with phishing, is usually to collect sensitive user data. However, pharming is also executed to install malware or bugs on the victims’ computer systems. An attacker will probably create a website that looks identical to that of a digital banking or e-commerce service to entice the victim to give up credentials, such as credit card details.
Pharming assaults work in two ways – the attacker either compromises your machine and alters the local host file or redirects website traffic by either poisoning the DNS or exploiting its server vulnerabilities. The latter of these two methods is more prevalent among cyber-criminals since it is far more difficult for victims to defend than the former.
3) Fake Advertisements
Fake advertisements are fake in the sense that they mislead or ‘bait’ consumers. This misleading impression could be created by the business’ advertising, price, promotion, statement, quotation, or any other representation.
Even if the above happens without intent on the advertiser’s part, it is still considered to be illegal. It is important to note that fake or misleading advertisement is different from ‘puffery,’ which is a massively exaggerated claim about a service or product and is next to impossible to be considered valid. An example of puffery would be a footwear business claiming to produce the ‘best footwear across the globe.’
False advertising is done in a number of ways, the most common of which include ‘hiding’ some information in fine print, executing false comparative advertising, bait advertising, or making unsubstantiated claims, such as those of manufacturing ‘green’ or ‘environmentally-friendly’ products.
An example of fake advertisement would be a jewelry store promoting a ‘previously’ $300 watch as ‘now’ being available for a ‘promotional price’ of $200 – when in reality, the store never priced the watch at $300 in the first place.
4) Phony Phone Calls and Texts
‘Smishing’ is the more modern counterpart of the good-old ‘phishing.’ The advent – and subsequent rise – of smartphones was accompanied by an equal decline in the popularity of emails. The increase of communication through text, Facebook, and WhatsApp messages has given cyber-criminals a much broader playing field with the possibility of unparalleled high rewards.
After accessing dark-web databases to access phone numbers, attackers use various messaging platforms to send numerous types of scam offers and links. The most common type of texts involve links that automatically download malware, designed to acquire all kinds of personal and other data illegally.
Compared to your PC, your smartphone contains a far more significant amount of sensitive personal information, such as your contact list or banking credentials; it can even allow hackers to track your every move and location.
In the world of automated text messages, unaware victims find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between a legit text and a phony one. Sometimes, all you need to do to put yourself in harm’s way is to send a simple reply to a fake message that seems no different than a genuine one.
A second tactic – a vintage page out of the phishing manual – is to make calls to potential victims while acting as representatives of established and legitimate institutions. During tax season, for instance, scammers will pose as tax authorities and ‘inform’ the user about a pending tax refund, which cannot go through until the user provides some extra information. By obtaining such financial information, these scammers then try to steal users’ money.
Protect Yourself Against Cybersecurity Fraud
The list of cybersecurity threats discussed above is by no means exhaustive. Other forms of attack include asynchronous procedure calls, ransomware attacks, IoT attacks, and whatnot. Unfortunately, with the ever-increasing influence of technology on almost every one of our life’s areas, the potential – and available means – for cyber-crime are unprecedented.
However, this does not mean that you can do nothing about these attacks except hope and pray that the attackers spare your organization. There are several ways you can secure your business against cyber threats.
Mult-T-Tech provides the best and most comprehensive IT support that Las Vegas has to offer. Our services include providing top-tier protection against cyber-crimes and computer fraud.
If you want to know more about how using Mult-T-Tech Security Services will help prevent and train your staff on how to avoid security problems, feel free to contact us today for a detailed consultation.