Emerging Cyber Threats
Emerging Cyber Threats
Cyber threats are never static – millions emerge every year. Most threats follow the standard structures described above. However, they are becoming more and more efficient.
An example is a new generation of “zero-day” threats that can surprise defenses because they don’t carry detectable digital signatures.
Another worrisome trend is the constant “improvement” of what experts call “Advanced Persistent Threats” (APTs). Business Insider describes APTs as, “It’s the best way to determine the hackers who burrow into networks and maintain ‘persistence’ — a connection that can’t be stopped easily by software updates or rebooting a computer.”
The notorious Sony Pictures hack is an example of an APT, where a nation-state actor sneaked inside the company’s network for months, evading detection while exfiltrating massive amounts of data.
Sources of Cybersecurity Threats
Cyber threats come from different places, people, and contexts. Malicious actors include:
● Individuals that build attack vectors using their own software tools
● Criminal organizations that run like corporations, with large numbers of employees developing attack vectors and executing attacks
● Industrial spies
● Organized crime groups
● Unhappy insiders
● Business competitors
Nation-states are the sources of most serious attacks. There are several different nation-state cyber threats; some are necessary espionage— trying to learn another country’s national secrets, while others are aimed at disruption.
An example, Chris Painter of the U.S. Department of State stated in a Brookings Institution article that China and North Korea “have often exercised their cyber power to accomplish their strategic goals around the globe.”
He remarked, though, “Their motivations and objectives differ: While North Korea primarily aims to improve capabilities for revenue generation and destructive capabilities for possible conflicts outside North Korea, China mainly uses its cyber means for espionage and intellectual resource theft. “Naming and shaming” has been a useful tool against China because of its government’s interests on the potential blowback on its soft power.”
These are the so-called “cyber weapons” that could be applied to shut off electricity in opposition territory during a war. For some countries, the borders between criminal organizations and national intelligence are dimmed, with the criminals doing the real work of cyber espionage.
Most cyber threats are sold and bought on the “dark web,” a disorderly but extensive criminal segment of the Internet. In this online marketplace, aspiring hackers can buy malware, ransomware, credentials for breached systems, and more. The dark web works as a multiplier for threats, with one hacker repeatedly selling his/her creation.
Best Practices for Cyber Defense and Protection
It’s natural to get frustrated over the cruelty of the threat environment. Nevertheless, it is possible to safeguard your business from cyber threats. Consumers can also protect themselves.
Cyber Defense for Businesses
Enterprise best practices for protection from cyber defense include necessary but critical countermeasures like patching systems. When a tech vendor spots (or is informed of) a security defect in their product, they typically write codes that patches or fixes the problem.
For example, suppose Microsoft spots that a hacker can obtain root access to Windows Server via a code exploit. In that case, the company will publish a patch and disseminate it to all owners of Windows Server licenses. Other big companies like this do this at least once a month. Many attacks would falter if IT departments implemented all security patches on a timely basis.
Many new technologies and services reach the market, making it simpler to mount a strong defense against cyber threats. These include:
Outsourced security services
● Systems that allow collaboration among security team members
● Regular attack simulation tools
● Point resolutions for anti-phishing and secure browsing
Cyber Defense for Individuals
For individuals, the most suitable practices are straightforward. In most situations, the good news is that some notable big security organizations can stand between the consumer and the hacker, for example, the SecOps team at Verizon or AT&T.
There are still preventive measures you should take to help secure your information’s safety:
1. Password hygiene.
Big security organizations cannot guard consumers against phishing or hackers who can predict passwords like “1234.” Everyday thinking and password hygiene can go a long way in defending consumers from cyber threats.
2. Anti-virus software.
Consent to anti-virus software, also guard your system updated with scheduled and automated scans.
3. Discretion against phishing attacks.
Be cautious about opening file attachments. Spear-phishing and pishing emails appear real but aren’t. If you pay close considerations, for instance, if you get an email saying “past due invoice” with an attachment(PDF), do not open it until you are 100% sure you know who sent it. If you double-check, you’ll seemingly see it comes from an odd email.
It can be a scary moment for businesses and consumers who are concerned about cyber threats. The threats unquestionably exist, and they’re getting increasingly powerful and frequent. The attackers are diverse, with many worrisome imbalances amid attackers and their targets.
BUT DON’T BE AFRAID
Even if a powerful nation-state targets a company, it is still possible to guard critical digital assets. It takes planning and engagement of resources, but a reliable security operations team or a proactive individual can stay on top of the most severe cyber threats.