Uncovering the Truth: Cyber Attack Preparedness
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Cyber security refers to the techniques and methods organizations employ to safeguard sensitive data. It’s an ever-evolving field that encompasses numerous specializations.
If you’re interviewing for a cybersecurity position, be sure to prepare by reviewing security concepts, staying current on current threats, and practicing technical answers.
Table Of Contents
A firewall is a computer security measure designed to shield your device and the data on it from malicious software attacks. It monitors incoming and outgoing network traffic, filtering it according to predetermined rules.
A firewall can be composed of either software or hardware. Software firewalls are programs installed on all Mac and Windows computers, while hardware firewalls are devices placed between your device and the gateway.
Firewalls filter incoming and outgoing network traffic according to the rules that you or your network administrator set up. These rules keep any unwanted, unknown, or suspicious traffic out and only allow communications that have been deemed safe.
There are various types of firewalls that protect networks from threats, such as packet filtering, circuit level, and proxy service. Each type uses a distinct approach for data analysis.
Packet Filtering: This basic form of firewall checks data packets for IP addresses, ports, and other information against a list of allowed and blocked traffic. If the packet matches any parameters outlined by the filter, it is rejected and discarded.
Circuit Level Firewall: This type of firewall operates at the session layer of the TCP model, where applications need to exchange information with one another. During this handshake, information in data packets can alert the firewall to malware threats and other potential risks.
Proxy Service: This more sophisticated firewall utilizes application-specific policies to guarantee only valid data resides at the application level. This could include data from FTP, HTTP, DNS, and other commands as well.
The firewall is an essential element of your security strategy, helping to shield against cyberattacks that could breach your computer or impact personal data. It works as a 24/7 filter, scanning data for anything suspicious and blocking it from entering.
A VPN, or virtual private network, creates a secure and encrypted connection between your computer and a remote server. This makes it more difficult for anyone to monitor your online activity or steal your data.
A VPN works by routing your device’s internet connection through a remote server, encrypting all data, and hiding your IP address (the string of numbers assigned to you by your internet service provider). The encryption process is quick, and your VPN will do this multiple times as you use the internet.
Your VPN client and server generate and exchange a unique key, which they use to encrypt the data sent over the VPN tunnel. This key is stored securely within the virtual private network (VPN).
Encrypting your data helps protect it from hackers, cybercriminals, companies, and even your own internet service provider. Furthermore, this prevents ecommerce fraud, where website owners collect personal information and alter product prices based on that knowledge.
You can also use a VPN to circumvent content restrictions on websites like Hulu and Netflix that block content from certain countries. The VPN connects you to a server located in the desired country, allowing you to view the material without legal issues.
VPNs are not perfect tools, however, and you may face limitations with them. For instance, if your VPN is compromised, you still need to take extra security precautions in order to keep your information safe. You might also require using more advanced tools like Tor – an open-source program that enables anonymous web browsing.
Password managers are software programs that store and manage your login details for online services like web applications, online shops, or social media accounts. These tools have become increasingly popular due to their increased security measures as well as ease of life by taking the stress off your shoulders.
Many people have multiple accounts for various websites, making it difficult to remember all of them. Password managers can help solve this issue by automatically creating secure random passwords and remembering them so you don’t have to.
Furthermore, more secure password managers can generate stronger, more complex passwords for you – making them less vulnerable to cracking by hackers or data breaches. When selecting a password manager, make sure it not only has ease of use but also an impressive track record when it comes to keeping your data secure.
Some of the best password managers provide single sign-on, which enables you to log into websites or applications with just one username and password. This makes managing all your accounts across multiple devices much simpler.
Password managers can also sync to your mobile device, giving you convenient access to your credentials on the go. Most programs use biometric technologies like facial recognition or fingerprint recognition so you can access your password vault from any device – be it an iPhone, Windows computer, Android smartphone, or iPad tablet.
Most password managers employ a zero-knowledge architecture, meaning only you have access to your account, and data is secured with strong end-to-end encryption. This is essential as it ensures that if your password manager is breached, hackers cannot access any of your accounts or data without knowing your master password.
Phishing attacks are cyber security scams where malicious actors send fake emails that appear to come from legitimate sources, with the purpose of getting recipients to reveal sensitive information or install malware on their devices.
Phishing attacks come in various forms, depending on the target and what the cybercriminal wants to achieve. They could use fake invoices or requests for login details or other identifying information from the recipient.
Phishing attacks are the most frequent type of cybercrime, often targeting companies or their customers via email (spear phishing). In these attacks, cybercriminals attempt to access personal accounts such as bank or credit card ones by intercepting passwords.
Phishing attacks continue to evolve as hackers attempt to circumvent traditional security measures and human detection, so it’s essential that your organization continuously trains staff on phishing awareness. Teaching staff how to recognize red flags in phishing emails by sending them simulated phishing emails can help prevent successful compromises from taking place.
In addition to phishing training, organizations can take other steps to protect against attacks. One option is switching to a special DNS service that filters out known phishing domains and prevents these scams from reaching users.
Cybercriminals often attempt to circumvent security by altering a company’s logo in an effort to fool detection tools. By changing the HTML attributes of the organization’s logo, cybercriminals can alter its color to blue or add an image as part of their attack.
Another phishing strategy is the evil twin Wi-Fi attack, which involves creating a Wi-Fi access point that looks legitimate but gives hackers the same level of control over the victim’s device as legitimate Wi-Fi does. This highly advanced technique can allow attackers to steal user IDs and passwords as well as gain unauthorized access to the victim’s device.
Ransomware attacks are a type of cybercrime in which files are encoded, and victims cannot access them unless they pay the attackers. These incidents pose a major threat to businesses, organizations, and people around the world and have become more frequent since 2021.
Cybercriminals often launch these attacks by invading a victim’s computer or network and encrypting their data with asymmetric encryption algorithms. They then offer to exchange a decryption key for payment in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin.
The victim is then presented with a text file containing encrypted data and the amount they must pay in order to unlock it. Unfortunately, hackers often use this technique as an easy way to obtain large sums of money from their victims.
Ransomware often encrypts files, such as personal documents and photos, and then demands payment in cryptocurrency to recover them. This makes it difficult for victims to trace the source of payment, helping cybercriminals remain anonymous.
Some ransomware encrypts more than just a single file; it may encrypt the entire system. This means if your computer is connected to other networked devices, those devices could also be infected.
To avoid becoming infected with ransomware, always ensure your device is up to date with the latest software security patches and install anti-malware programs that can detect and eliminate infections.
Finally, never pay ransoms and always have your data backed up. In case you ever need to retrieve your files, there are plenty of online tools that can assist in their restoration.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.