Tech innovation remains one of the greatest achievements of man to date. If you look around, almost everything is tech based, and it would be an entirely different world without technology. While this achievement continues to influence the way people live and conduct themselves, another challenge is threatening to wipe out the benefits of technology and that is - cyber-crime.

This is where tech savvy individuals try to manipulate technology to suit their selfish purposes. This is a very dangerous activity because it leads to data breaches, loss of money, denial of access to your own data and loss of valuable information among other negative effects.

The damage caused by cyber-crime is expected to hit $6 trillion by the year 2021 since it is one of the fastest growing forms of crime today globally. Those who suffer the most are businesses and institutions because they are the ones that are usually targeted by cyber criminals.

Common types of cyber attacks

When it comes to cybercrime, no operating system, application or hardware is immune. However, the security vulnerability is high among the applications followed by the operating systems and to smaller extent - the hardware. This is attributed to the increased development and use of applications compared to the others.

Cyber-attacks come in the form of malware which is malicious software that gets into your computer when you open an attachment or click on a link to download a file that contains such software. Another way is through phishing or pretending to be someone or something else to trick you into responding to something like an email that you wouldn’t do in normal circumstances.

Others include Denial of Service (DOS), SSL attacks, brute force attacks, DNS attacks, port scans and backdoor attacks among many others.

Cyber security vulnerabilities

  • Security misconfiguration
  • Misconfigured web servers and applications are the common ways of vulnerabilities that give entry to cyber-attacks. This is usually through the use of outdated software, using debugging modules, using default accounts, passwords and keys and running unnecessary programs on your system. All these actions can be very catastrophic because cyber criminals will easily take charge of your system.
  • Poor authentication and session management
  • Lack of proper authentication measures will expose the users’ passwords, session IDs, and even accounts. Cyber criminals will then use that information to impersonate other users or steal sensitive information that users have access to.
  • Encryption flaws
  • Lack of encryption of sensitive data, weak algorithm usage and poor key generation and management can be a paradise for cyber attackers as all this will expose your sensitive data whether it is at rest, in transit or backup. This can also happen to the user browsing data, and so you should encrypt your sensitive data with strong encryption algorithms to minimize the chances of attacker’s success.
  • Buffer overflows
  • Buffer overflow vulnerability occurs when your application puts more data in the buffer than it can handle. This will mean writing outside the buffer space where attackers will easily overwrite the content and cause program crashes, data corruption or execution of malicious code.
  • Injection flaws
  • This happens when an application sends untrusted data to the interpreter. When attackers carry out an injection attack, they can get access to sensitive data which might further lead to data loss or denial of service.

According to one of the cyber security firm Michigan based experts, cyber criminals always target systems that happen to have a particular tech flaw because it is easy for them to break in.

These are things that may be hard to detect on your own, and this is why businesses are investing in cyber security providers to shield their businesses from cyber-attacks.
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