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Cybersecurity - Most common Attacks/hacks and Tips on Preventing Them  

A cyber-attack is any type of offensive action that targets computer information systems, infrastructures, networks or personal devices, using various methods to steal, alter or destroy data or systems. The best way to protect yourself is to make sure familiar and understand the different kinds of cyber-attacks. Here is an overview of some of the most common types of attacks seen today. 

1. Malware

Malware refers to malicious software such as viruses, ransomware, spyware and/or works. It executes unauthorized actions on the victim's system. It can do all types of actions, such as taking control of your machine, monitoring your actions and keystrokes, to sending all sort of data from your computer to the attacker's home base. So how can you prevent a malware attack?

  1. Security Awareness Training

    1. Do not download and run unknown software

    2. Do not insert random media such as flash drive, device, cables, etc. into your computer or network

  2. Ensure your network is secure

    1. Setup a firewall

    2. Install anti-virus

    3. Use a reputable A/V software

2. Password Cracking Attacks

Passwords are the most common used mechanism to authenticate users.  Users often follow patterns when told that their passwords need to obtain a capital letter and/or a special character. The result is that it is easier for hackers and machines to guess your password. Hackers use software that can test thousands of potential passwords. Two common password attacks are brute-force and dictionary attack. Brute-force attack means using a random approach by trying different passwords and hoping one works. In a dictionary attack, a list of common words and phrases are used to attempt to gain access to a user’s computer and network. Here are a couple of tips to protect yourself against these attacks.

  1. Keep passwords long and strong

    1. Minimum of 10 symbols including numbers, both uppercase and lowercase, and special symbols

    2. Use passphrases consisting of a minimum of 15 characters using letters and numbers

  2. Refresh passwords

    1. Change your passwords every 90 days

    2. Implement an account lockout policy

3. Denial of Service Attacks

 A Denial-of-service (DoS) attack aims to obstruct a network or resource by flooding a target with artificial traffic, which restricts user access to the respective service being attacked.  It overwhelms a system’s resources so that it cannot respond to service requests. These attacks focus on disrupting or preventing legitimate users from accessing websites, applications, or other resources. E-commerce websites are the most likely targets of denial-of-service attacks.

Besides keeping your anti-virus software and security patches up to date, you should also be monitoring your traffic reports. A sudden increase in traffic or other strange traffic patterns could be an early sign of this type of attack.

Cybercrime isn’t going anywhere. There are plenty of more cyber attacks out there. By educating yourself and securing your personal data, devices and network, you are taking the first steps towards protecting your information and network. 


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