Apart election of Donald Trump as the US President, Rohingyas crisis and #MeToo movement, another significant event that shook the world in 2017 was a cyber attack. From WannaCry to Equifax, cyber attacks disrupted the global economy and businesses like never before.
Cyber attacks are the harsh reality of digital technology adoption. If you are running a business or aspiring a career as a technologist or digital marketing, it is imperative that you understand cybersecurity attacks and their implications. While a cyber security course would be a good start to get insight into cyberattacks, here is your quick guide to it.
Definition of a Cyber Attack
A cyber attack is a virtual assault launched by hackers with an intention to seek monetary ransom or confidential information. They may attack your computers, networks or electronic systems and render them useless temporarily or permanently. They compromise the data despite security measures and may not back out until their demands are met.
Types of Cyber Attacks
Hackers are a smart lot. They know that if they keep on launching the same type of attack, its solution is likely to be discovered soon. So, they carry a battery of attacks in their arsenal. Here are some of the most common types of cyberattacks:
- Malware: Also known as malicious software, ransomware and viruses, it takes control of computers and networks. The malware gets installed when the user opens a seemingly harmless (but infected) attachment or clicks a link to download a file. Once the malware attack happens, it seals the data and encrypts them, denying access to the users.
- Phishing: Since hackers know that you would open an email mail sent by someone you trust, they will use it to their advantage. They will send an email to you which may appear genuine and with an urgent message such as a fraudulent transaction detected in your account. You will be prompted to open the email and take the action it urges. You wouldn’t even know that you have become a victim of phishing attack!
- Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks: Such attacks are made with an aim to create traffic overload on the website, causing it to shutdown.
While there is no way to stop cyber attacks, the least you can do is to make your computer and networks secure by adopting a robust IT and cybersecurity strategy. It requires coordination of information, technology and experts to keep cyberattacks at bay. A cybersecurity course should be on your top agenda to deal with cyber attacks.