The Top 20 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities

Did you know that many companies do not take their cyber security vulnerabilities seriously? In fact, the failure to avoid, manage or react to a cyberattack causes 60 % of compromised leads to a lot of company closures.

As we enter a new era, businesses must be mindful of the shifting nature of cyber threats. Are you interested in finding out more about cyber security and its threats? Are you aware of any cyber security vulnerabilities? Learn about the top 20 weaknesses in cyber security.

This article takes a look at the most urgent cyber risks for the year 2021. If you prepare yourself it will help you for what you need to do in order to avoid long-term harm from an unanticipated cyber strike in the near future.

What Is a Cyber Attack?

You can classify cyber threats into many different categories. However, in general, a cyber threat is any scenario in which there is a risk of, or proof of, illegal computer access, access to a network, or system.

Cyber threats are very common, and they are launched for the following reasons:

  • Data theft
  • Paying ransom monies
  • Disrupt, or disable infrastructure

The problem with cyber security vulnerabilities is that you cannot immediately know where it comes from. It can come from within an organization itself, or from a remote location, or from unknown parties.

Finding the source of a cyber attack is just half the fight; you'll also need to put in place future preventive measures as well as damage control management.

Top 20 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities

Online security is about being alert to potential security requirements and implementing appropriate remedies in the event of a cyberattack. By avoiding typical cyber risks, you may often avoid suffering a significant loss.

1. Cloud Breaches and Working Remotely

As more people work from home and companies go to the cloud, cybercriminals have a new target. No company is too little or too big to be hacked. They'll get in if they can.

Researchers have found that almost 100% of businesses had at least one data breach in the last 18 months, and 43% had 10 or more. One of the most often cited causes of these vulnerabilities is the following:

  • Configuration management
  • Rights management
  • Monitoring procedures

This, therefore, indicates that you could avoid the vast majority of these breaches.

As more companies go to the cloud, these breaches will increase if you do not implement strong security measures. 

2. Phishing Due to Covid

Although phishing is an established danger, COVID-19 has made it more customized and effective. Scammers have had an easier time since restrictions have caused many people to stay home and live online.

There are many suspicious emails offering testing equipment or face shields. Consequently, although all of the usual phishing schemes are still active, users must be extra cautious when receiving emails promising vaccinations, COVID testing, or masks, among other things.

3. Open Databases

More companies are moving their data to Cloud storage in recent years. This is to save on server space, time, and of course money. 

However, cloud storage does not always guarantee security. Using public cloud storage or those that don't support multi-factor authentication may expose your company to security breaches, frauds, and other threats.

4. Financial Targeted Cyber-Attacks

Financially targeted cyberattacks increased by 238 percent in 2020 as a result of the increased remote working thru the cloud. It is a straightforward target for hackers since it is likely to provide a high-value collection of data.

Now is the moment to invest in appropriate security measures to safeguard your financial data, your clients, and your personal data as a user.

5. Zero-Day Exploitation

A hacker's phrase for a software flaw. Once identified, an exploit is typically developed to get access to a system. These exploits work because the vendor or author doesn't know about the vulnerability yet and fixes it with a patch.

So, update your software whenever the vendor asks you to.

6. Higher Ransomware Attacks

It's estimated that this cyber vulnerability will cost the global economy billions of dollars each year. 

A ransomware attack restricts access to data or system usage by ‘hostage-taking your company's data. They demand a fee, typically in cryptocurrency, which they collect covertly, and then release the data.

The data is often encoded by hackers and decrypted after payment of the ransom. However, not all who pay the ‘ransom' receive their data back. 

7. IoT or The Internet of Things

Our dependence on linked gadgets and the internet puts us open to hostile cyber-attacks. Businesses link gadgets to gather data, manage infrastructure, enhance customer service, and simplify corporate operations. Yet, unauthorized management of these devices may create chaos, overburden networks, lock down equipment, or expose data to the public.

Every day, there are more ‘smart' gadgets introduced to the IoT. And, with the hurry to connect, security vulnerabilities are frequently ignored. Some of these IoT devices don't come with security software pre-installed, making them even more susceptible.

These assaults are growing increasingly common as everyone works from home using equipment that is not safe, up-to-date, or patched by their company's IT department. Many hackers attempt to acquire control of devices, including keyless entry systems. They may then operate botnets that transmit malware to other machines, causing havoc, or steal data. Using unprotected internet connections makes it easier for hackers to access specific devices.

8. Medical Personal Data Breaches

A particular danger, yet one that can affect all companies. Today, virtually all health files are online. This makes them susceptible to data breaches, which may be extremely lucrative to hackers since they hold our most sensitive personal information.

Smart medical equipment may also be susceptible to contemporary medical technologies. A cyber-attack may cause connected heart monitors, syringe drivers, and other medical equipment to malfunction, potentially resulting in death or data loss.

Healthcare providers must thus lead in cyber security and technology.

9. Spyware Threat

This malicious software is installed on your computer to covertly record and share data. Passwords and logins, banking details, and other sensitive data may be included. This virus was popularized via P2P file sharing and is frequently linked to free internet software downloads.

10. Cyber-Physical Specific Attacks

Our infrastructure is getting more linked and computerized as technology advances. From stoplights to nuclear power reactors, large, critical infrastructure is increasingly online and therefore more vulnerable. Cyber-physical assaults combine a cyber threat with a physical target.

11. An APT or Advanced Persistent Threat

During an APT, a hacker ‘burrows' into the network, remaining unnoticed. Software upgrades or reboots do not disrupt the network connection.

An economic or personal danger may also be a government or political risk.

12. DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service

DDoS attacks slow down networks by flooding them with data, connections, and faulty files. This paralyzes it and causes delays and failures.

DDoS assaults may be political or vengeful. Many companies that have been hit by DDoS attacks suspect it was a rival.

13. MITM or Man in the Middle Attack

During this assault, communication between two parties is really routed via a third party. This means they are transferring and manipulating communication.

The MITM is getting one person to log into their account on the ‘wrong' page. Personal information may be altered and decrypted by physical proximity or malware, which can read emails or create unprotected Wi-Fi, among other methods.

14. Trojan Viruses

A Trojan assault misrepresents the user about the software's purpose. The virus may be downloaded to your computer by opening an email or clicking on a social network link.

It may enable an agent to access the system and files on your computer.  Infecting vulnerable software may execute an exploit. It can access how your computer runs, boots, and operates.

It may also be a Banker, DDoS, Dropper, etc. Trojans can't reproduce or attack other files, but they can contain malware that can.

15. Vulnerability Through Surf-By Downloads

This virus is inadvertently downloaded into a computer or system by visiting a website or clicking a hyperlink. The download URL is not an apparent fraud, therefore no phishing is required.

16. Crypto-mining Vulnerability

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, mining is an easy method to earn money. But crypto mining requires a lot of computer processing power. To mine crypto, you must decode a 64-digit hash, which takes a lot of computer power.

Standard PC setups aren't adequate to do this task. Cyber attackers are now crypto-jacking corporate CPUs to mine cryptocurrencies.

17. 5G Progressive Technology

5G is one hundred times quicker than 4G and is already extensively available throughout the world. But, like any other technology, it raises cyber security issues.

Given that not all locations have robust 5G connections, devices will cycle between 4G and 3G, exposing them to all known vulnerabilities.

The IoT and all the gadgets connected to it vastly increases the attack area, so many vulnerabilities may be exploited. Consider the dangers of 5G in traffic management, delivery drones, and self-driving vehicles.

One of the greatest dangers is botnet scanning or denial of service, which slows down and reboots IoT devices. This affects legitimate applications. Botnets are evolving, getting more complex, and getting more automated.

18. Third-Party Threats

If your company employs contractors and suppliers, this may provide an additional layer of risk. That is because they may have access to your data without your knowledge or permission. That poses a danger not just to your data, but also to your property rights.

It is estimated that third parties are responsible for about 60% of all data breaches.

19. Deep-fake Threats

This internet trend uses altered videos produced by machine learning to spread false news. The danger to a company is that it gets tougher and harder to discern the truth in any scenario. This new degree of authenticity causes us to doubt our own views, endangering our reputations as well as our data and security.

20. Natural Disaster Also Cause Cyber Threats

A natural catastrophe may threaten not just your structure but also your data. A simple power outage may cause serious data loss if not handled properly.

Your servers may be destroyed by a fire or a flood. Your data may be permanently lost. Backing up your data is the greatest method to avoid long-term issues, since it makes contingency planning, clean up, and recovery much easier.

It's More Than Just Tech It's Also Finger Problems!

Whilst there are significant technical issues in place and required to manage cyber threats, one thing that is all too often overlooked is employee awareness.

90% of all cyber-attacks are triggered by human intervention, sometimes in error and sometimes deliberately. Putting employees awareness and education processes are vital. Guarding against hacking is a continuously moving target. This requires technologists to keep employees in companies up to date and aware.

Not If But When

An unfortunate turn of words, the reality is just about every one of us will have at least one cyber incident in our lives. It may just be as simple as a virus infection that is easily cleaned. It could be a complex, orchestrated ransom attack.

Either way, one of the most important processes to have in place is an Incident Plan. This plan will detail what to do, who must do it, the timing, and very importantly the required communication, in the event of a cyber breach. 

There are various compliance regulations that dictate what you need to communicate to staff, customers, and other stakeholders. It is vital that you understand the required compliance and you implement it immediately to ensure your business's safety.

Need assistance with cyber security vulnerabilities? Contact us now and we will point you in the right direction. We will help you find a local reseller or distributor, or in getting technical support?