What are cybersecurity threats?Published August 12, 2019 • 2 min read
What are cybersecurity threats?
A cybersecurity threat is any malicious attack by an individual or organization to gain access to another individual’s or organization’s network to corrupt data or steal confidential information. Sometimes, the attacks destroy computer systems.
No company is immune from cyber attacks and the resulting data breaches. As cyber threats become increasingly sophisticated, businesses must ensure they implement the security necessary to safeguard their data and their networks.
However, before they can do that, organizations need to understand the types of threats they’ll be facing almost daily, including:
- Trojan: A type of malicious software (malware) or code that acts as a legitimate application or file to trick a user into loading and executing the malware on his device. A Trojan’s goal is to damage or steal an organization’s data or otherwise inflict some harmful action on its network.
- Virus: A malicious program aimed at infecting a company’s systems, destroying data and bringing its network to a standstill. A virus attaches itself to a program, file, or document and lies dormant until some event triggers the device to execute its code.
- Phishing attacks: A type of social engineering that attempts to trick users into bypassing normal cybersecurity practices and giving up sensitive data, such as user names and passwords, bank account information, Social Security numbers, and credit card data. Typically, hackers send out phishing scam emails that appear to come from trusted senders, such as PayPal, eBay, financial institutions, as well as friends and co-workers. The cybercriminals try to get users to click on links in the emails that will redirect them to fraudulent websites that ask for personal information or install malware on their devices. Opening attachments sent with phishing emails can also install malware on users’ devices, or allow the hackers to control their devices remotely.
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS): A DDoS attack aims to take down a company’s website by overwhelming its servers with requests. In this attack, requests come from hundreds or thousands of IP addresses that have probably also been compromised and tricked into continuously requesting a company’s website. A DDoS attack overloads an organization’s servers, slows them down significantly or temporarily takes them offline. This prevents customers from accessing the website and completing orders.