Cybersecurity is one of the top concerns of modern businesses in the wake of increasing attacks from hackers and scammers. Well-established multi-million-dollar businesses are often the target of sophisticated attacks. However, any online business is vulnerable.
Threats come in various forms, from phishing emails to backdoors in web applications and supply chain attacks. Understanding the different threats and their solutions can be the difference between avoiding attacks and paying the ultimate price.
Here’s an overview of three common vulnerabilities that cyberattack perpetrators target and what you can do to mitigate the threat:
1. Email-Based Threats
Casinos, eCommerce stores, payment services, trading and exchange platforms, design websites, and many other online services involve signing up with an email. As such, hackers target emails the most. Access to your inbox can result in catastrophic losses if the address is tied to any services that involve finances, subscriptions, and shopping.
Email-based threats occur in two primary forms: phishing attacks and business email compromise. Phishing emails involve deceptive emails that trick you into revealing sensitive information or exploring malicious links. Some hackers pose as your employer or service provider to prompt you to input critical information.
For instance, hackers may send phishing emails posing as trusted online casinos for real money. The emails may have fake bonuses/promotions and a prompt for users to enter their password or disclose sensitive information. If you click on the link and enter your credentials, the hacker may use them to access your real casino account.
Business email attacks involve compromising legitimate business email accounts to conduct fraudulent activities. For instance, hackers may perform unauthorized fund transfers or exploit sensitive customer information. The best way to deal with email-based threats is to secure email communications with services like Skiff or Outlook. Here are other measures:
- Do not click on links from senders you don’t trust
- Activate two-factor authorization to prevent logins from unknown devices
- Use complex passwords and change them often
- Use multiple emails for different tasks and keep
2. Web Application Threats
Any application that runs on the internet can be called a web application. Examples include browsers, content management systems, themes, image creation tools, plugins and extensions, grammar checkers, antivirus software, and email services. People rely on web applications to complete various tasks, but not all apps are secure.
In fact, web applications are among the primary targets of hackers. Vulnerabilities in web applications range from SQL injection to cross-site request forgery, cross-site scripting, security misconfigurations, and insecure direct object references. Hackers can exploit these areas to gain unauthorized access, compromise data or execute malicious code.
For instance, hackers can inject malicious SQL code into the input fields available in web applications to gain unauthorized access and manipulate databases. Malicious scripts can retrieve sensitive data, including session cookies. Hackers can also trick users into submitting login credentials or other sensitive information in apps where the user is already authenticated.
Web applications that permit file uploads can leave you vulnerable to file upload vulnerabilities if the other users are not validated and secured. The entire server can be compromised, leading to automatic malware executions. Other threats include insecure session management, denial of service, and API issues. Here’s how to deal with web application threats:
- Review each web application before using it
- Stick to legitimate web applications recommended by other users
- Allow automatic updates to get the latest security patches from the developer
- Avoid freebies when there are premium versions of the app
3. Endpoint Security Threats
Inadequate endpoint security can leave you vulnerable to attacks. Endpoints like computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets/iPads are common cyber-attack targets. They offer entry points for accessing data, applications, and other resources, making them a target for data thieves and malicious actors seeking unauthorized access.
Endpoints can also be exploited for malware execution, especially when users have outdated antivirus software that can’t detect the latest threats. An infection can compromise data integrity and spread to other linked devices. Inadequate endpoint security can also stem from a lack of device and data encryption.
If a device is lost or stolen, malicious actors in possession of the device can access unencrypted data and use it to form an attack. Endpoint vulnerability can also occur due to insufficient patch management. Software and operating systems used by endpoint devices should be kept up to date with the latest security patches to combat emerging threats.
Weak authentication measures like guessable passwords and the lack of multi-factor authentication (MFA) leave endpoint devices vulnerable to unauthorized access to sensitive data. Malicious actors can breach endpoint devices in various ways, including stealing or hacking through public Wi-Fi networks. Here are some ways to counter endpoint threats:
- Update antivirus software and other systems regularly
- Patch software with the latest security features
- Establish strong authentication practices
- Encrypt devices and data with private keys
Hackers and malicious actors can explore many other vulnerabilities to access sensitive information. Unsecured IoT devices and supply chain hardware and software can all expose you to malware and cyber-attacks.
You should screen everything before use and establish a detection system to prevent hackers from exploiting existing vulnerabilities. Such proactive measures also need backup plans for quick mitigation and recovery in case of exposure.