A phishing attack occurs when a bad actor impersonates a legitimate person or organization – typically via email – and asks the recipient to take an action that would give the phisher access to critical data or systems.
Phishers often target people with authority to approve the transfer of funds or guardians of sensitive information like HR managers.
To avoid this attack vector, educate your employees on the signs of a phishing attack. Tell them to be on the lookout for unfamiliar email aliases, grammar or spelling errors, logos that look suspicious, and calls to action that encourage password resets. Warn them against opening these messages or clicking on links. Phishing protection software can also prevent suspicious emails reaching an employee’s inbox.
3. Denial-of-service attack
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack occurs when a bad actor bombards a website with a slew of traffic requests at once. If successful, the site or server will crash for a period of time, limiting information availability.
DDoS attacks grab headlines because they are often performed to disrupt government, technology, or consumer services on a large scale.
Mitigation measures include the use of DDoS prevention services provided by hosting companies, such as AWS Shield, that automatically safeguard applications against this attack vector.
Software misconfigurations, like incorrectly configured firewalls, are commonplace and are an easy entry point for attackers. In fact, more than 78% of organizations are exposed to ransomware risk due to misconfigured systems.
Prevention strategies include continuously monitoring your organization’s security performance on-premises and in the cloud for misconfigurations. Don’t forget your vendors. Third-party monitoring can reveal these vulnerabilities in the networks of your digital supply chain.
5. Malicious insiders
Insiders continue to be a leading attack vector. Forrester predicts that 33% of cybersecurity incidents in 2021 will involve insider threats. This attack vector is particularly dangerous because employees can breach or destroy sensitive information such as intellectual property, customer and employee data, and financial assets.
To avoid these attacks, implement multi-factor authentication, limit and monitor access privileges, and monitor user behavior on the network.
6. Stolen credentials
The use of stolen credentials – as seen in the recent Nobelium hack – is a common attack vector due to the sheer number of stolen passwords available on the dark web. These credentials can be used to distribute phishing emails or access corporate systems.
Basic steps your organization can take include preventing password sharing and reuse, multi-factor authentication, and continuously monitoring for exposed credentials.