The Increase in Cyber Hacking

Every time you engage in internet activity, no matter the device, your status, your geographic location, or your web activity, you become susceptible to certain cyber risks as a result of cyber criminals, also known as hackers. Once a hacker gains unauthorized access to your computer, also known as hacking, they can change, steal, or destroy information without your consent.

According to reports, cyber attacks have become more prevalent in recent years as warfare has moved from traditional modes to online, putting many unsuspecting individuals, governments, and large companies at risk. 

In fact, attorneys at The Department of Justice Office of The United States warns that cybercrime is one of the greatest threats facing our nation, with detrimental consequences to our national security, public safety, and economic prosperity.

There are various types of cyber attacks, and in some cases, cyber criminals have even been known to share codes and collaborate for a successful attack. Some of the most common attacks known in 2016 include:

Malware Attacks

Malware attacks account for approximately 19% of all cyber attacks. These attacks come in various forms and effects, including spyware, ransomware, worms, and viruses.

A malware attack occurs when you visit a website that is operating a malicious code and generally occurs within a matter of seconds. Quite often, they work through legitimate sites that have been reprogrammed to redirect you to another site that contains malware. Once your browser has been redirected to the infected site, it searches your operating system for a security weakness where it can attack. Once a weakness has been identified, infection begins. At this point, the malware can access your email, bank accounts, customer information, or even hold your files hostage.

Though no computer user is fully safe from a malware attack, there are various ways to protect against it, including avoid opening unrecognized or suspicious links and emails. Also, you should also educate yourself and your staff to become more discerning with network activity. Also, if you suspect you have opened an infected email or suspicious link, report it to the proper authorities as soon as possible.

DoS and DDoS Attacks

A Denial of Service, or DoS, attack occurs when a cyber criminal crashes a server by overloading it with numerous requests. On the other hand, a DDos, or Distributed Denial of Service attack, which is similar to a Denial of Service attack, is performed using a larger network, or botnet. Both DoS and DDoS account for approximately 9% of all cyber attacks.

To protect against DoS and DDoS attacks, it is important to be aware of flow oddities. Besides, you could also filter traffic by protocol and region to help prevent attacks. This would also be a good time to establish firm DDoS mitigation and update your cyber liability plan with your client.

Web Application Attacks

Web application attacks, which includes cross-site scripting and SQL infection, account for approximately 24% of all cyber attacks. Cross-site scripting occurs when an attacker uses an application weakness to insert information and scripts onto the pages of an unsuspecting person's website.

An SQL, or SQLi, attack occurs when a cyber criminal inserts a malicious SQL statement into a form on the intended site, which allows the attacker to gain access to customer information, credit card data, and other information stored in the company's database.

To prevent Cross-site scripting and SQL attacks, it is important to employ an app developer who knows how to secure and maintain their code. You should also have them add a web application firewall and a captcha to help deter attackers.

Application-Specific Attacks

Application-specific attacks, which accounts for approximately 19% of all cyber attacks, target specific applications depending on the returns of packet sniffing.

Packet sniffing captures all of the data packets flowing through an application, which can be used by attackers to gain data about a possible target, including their usual network traffic, the type of operating system they use, and other applications and programs in use. The attacker will then use this data to distribute custom attacks to specific weaknesses in a specific application.

Reconnaissance Attacks

A Reconnaissance attack can be either active or passive, and they account for nearly 9% of all cyber attacks. During an active reconnaissance attack, the attacker engages with the target's system, while a passive attack involves an attacker searching for private information without involving the target's system. Neither form of reconnaissance attacks is used to take advantage of a target but rather to gather data for a larger attack. A strong firewall and IPS can help deter these types of attacks.

What is Being Done About Cyber Attacks

According to a report by SecurityScorecard, Federal Agencies have big enough budgets and teams of security personnel to deal with cyber security; however, it is typically a slow process because it requires balance. The report explains that the government realizes that a heavy amount of protective laws will slow the productivity of online activities as well as the use of information and communication technologies, which is to blame for the lag in dealing with cyber threats.

In the meantime, they warn that it is important to large corporations and other organizations to report incidents as soon as they occur, to enable the proper agencies to address the number of threats posed by cyber criminals today. Also, there are forums available for industry and government to interact and share information and ideas to further help defend against cyber attacks.

How Cyber Liability Insurance Can Help

These are just a few of the cyber attacks awaiting unsuspecting users as they utilize the web, which is especially risky for businesses that rely on the internet for customer communication and transactions. And though there is no full-proof way to protect against these attacks, there are ways you can help lessen the impact of such attacks by ensuring you have the proper security measures in place.

In addition to having the proper network security, you could also invest in cyber liability insurance to help protect against financial losses that incur as a result of a security breach. Cyber liability insurance covers an organization's liability for a data breach in which a customer's personal information has been stolen or exposed to cyber criminals as a result of the unauthorized entry into your organization's network, and can help give you a peace of mind knowing you are protected. Cyber liability insurance is available in many forms and can be tailored to fit your specific business needs.

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