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Security Risks and Tips To Protect Yourself From Cyber Attacks

Protect Yourself From Cyber Attacks

It’s no secret that threats related to cybercrime have been continuously increasing in the past few years and the World Economic Forum report suggested that cybercrime damages will reach a staggering $6 trillion in 2021.

The thing is, protecting ourselves and our businesses from cyber attacks can be easier said than done.

Not only there are a lot of attack vectors that can be potential threats, but all these attack vectors are also continuously evolving, so a defensive measure that works today might not be effective at all tomorrow.

Here, we will discuss some of the most common cybersecurity risks to pay attention to, and how to protect yourself from these threats.

Different Elements of Cybersecurity

As discussed, there are various potential attack vectors that can be a threat to our cybersecurity. This is why cybersecurity is commonly divided into several different elements:

  1. Network security: protecting the network from various attack vectors and intrusions.
  2. Endpoint security: the process of protecting remote access to the network. In this age of cloud, remote access is an essential part of any business’s network, but can also be potential vulnerabilities.
  3. Application security: with how many businesses now adopting applications (both web and mobile applications) for their online operations, ensuring the security and integrity of these apps is crucial.
  4. Data security: protecting both the company’s valuable data and customer’s sensitive information collected by the company.
  5. Cloud security: protecting data and apps stored in the cloud.
  6. Infrastructure security: protecting physical assets and databases.
  7. Mobile security: employees’ mobile devices can be potential vulnerabilities for attackers to gain access to the whole network, so implementing proper cybersecurity measures on each of these devices is crucial.

There are various different types of threats that can target one of if not more of the cybersecurity elements mentioned above. Below, we will discuss some of these security risks.

Different Types of Cybersecurity Risks

While there are a lot of different types of cybersecurity risks and threats that can impact your devices, networks, and systems, we can generally divide them into just three big categories: cyberattacks on confidentiality, cyberattacks on integrity, and cyberattacks on availability.

#1. Confidentiality Security Risks

This type of cybersecurity attack is designed to harvest confidential assets (mainly sensitive data). For example, the attack’s objective can be to steal banking or credit card information.

The attackers can then use this banking information to make illegal purchases or to sell this sensitive information on the dark web for other hackers to purchase.

#2. Integrity Security Risks 

These attacks are designed to compromise the integrity of digital assets.

For example, by modifying a website or other digital assets to ruin the company’s reputation, or by releasing (leaking) sensitive information to ruin the company’s competitive advantage.

For instance, the attacker may leak a confidential blueprint to the company’s competitor.

#3. Availability Security Risks 

The objective of these attacks is to disrupt the availability of services and products. A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, for example, will prevent users from accessing the website/platform.

Another type of this attack is Denial of Inventory (DoI) in eCommerce sites where attackers put a massive amount of products on the shopping cart, denying legitimate shoppers from purchasing them.

The cybercriminal might also take the product/service as a hostage and demand a ransom to be paid.

How To Protect Yourself from Cyber Attacks

While unique attack vectors might demand unique approaches, below are some important tips you can use right away to protect your system and network from various cybersecurity threats:

#1. Use Strong and Unique Passwords

Human errors remain the top cause for data breaches and other successful cybercrimes, and one of the most common negligence performed by many people is the failure of using complex passwords.

As a general rule of thumb, your password must be at least 10 characters long, non-sequential, and uses a combination of uppercase, lowercase, symbols, and numbers.

Also, make sure to always use a unique password for each account. A very common mistake made by many people is to use the same passwords for all their accounts, which can render them vulnerable to credential stuffing attacks.

Nowadays, we can use various available password manager tools to help generate and ‘remember’ complex and unique passwords for each of our accounts, so there’s simply no reason not to always use strong and unique passwords.

#2. Invest In a Proper Bot Management Solution

Since most cybersecurity attack vectors are made possible with the use of malicious bots, we can effectively protect ourselves from cyber attacks by properly detecting and managing these bots.

At the first glance, simply blocking all bot activities might seem like the most effective and cost-efficient method in managing these bots. Yet, in reality, indiscriminately blocking all bots can be counterproductive due to three reasons:

  1. Aside from the bad bots operated by hackers and cybercriminals, there are good bots that can be beneficial for your network. We wouldn’t want to block, for example, Googlebot which will effectively prevent our site from being indexed by Google.
  2. Malicious bots are getting better at impersonating humanlike behaviors like visiting other pages before executing their objectives while also using various technologies to mask their identity like rotating between a lot of different IP addresses. Differentiating these bots from legitimate human users can be a major challenge.
  3. Blocking won’t be effective in stopping persistent attackers from targeting your network. They will simply modify their bots to bypass your detection methods and return stronger than ever. In fact, they may use the information you provide (i.e. error messages when blocking the client) to modify their bots.

Due to the sophistication of today’s shopping bots, a bot management solution that is capable of behavioral-based detection is recommended.

DataDome, for example, is a reliable bot management solution that uses AI-based behavioral detection to effectively differentiate between good bots and bad bots and strategically mitigate the activities of malicious bots in autopilot without needing any human intervention.

#3. Educate Yourself and Your Team to Avoid Phishing and Social Engineering Attacks

Phishing remains a very common way for hackers to harvest sensitive information as well as to cause malware infection in devices and networks.

The thing is, while there are technologies like email gateway and spam filters designed to stop phishing and spam in general, the key in combating phishing remains to educate and train yourself to recognize the signs of phishing attempts and avoiding them.

As we know, in a phishing attack the attacker attempts to impersonate a legitimate organization (i.e. Microsoft or Apple) or someone you know (your boss or HR manager) to trick you into divulging sensitive information and/or clicking a malicious link or attachment, and here are some important best practices to avoid these phishing schemes:

  • Check for grammar and spelling errors, if the email really come from legitimate companies, they shouldn’t have obvious grammar errors or poor sentence structures
  • Check for the sender’s address. They may look like a legitimate address from a certain company but typically the sender must modify something (i.e. Yaho0 instead of Yahoo).
  • In general, don’t open any email from people you don’t know, and especially don’t click on any links and download any attachments
  • Malicious links can come from actual friends who have been infected by malware. So, check all links and attachments carefully.

#4. Backup Your Data Regularly

Make sure you always have a backup of data essential for your operations, so in the event of a data breach, you can still run your website and business.

We’d recommend using the 3-2-1 backup method:

  • You should have 3 copies of your data.1 main data and 2 copies
  • Use 2 different media. For example 2 copies of data on your hard disk, and another copy in the cloud or on a USB flash drive
  • Keep 1 copy off-site. Cloud storage is the common solution for this purpose

Make sure to back up your data regularly, and check regularly whether you can properly restore data from this backup.

As with most things on this list, backing up your data today is much more affordable and accessible than ever, so there’s simply no reason not to.

#5. Monitor Your Devices and Systems

Keep a record of all devices your business use, including devices your employees bring (BYOD; Bring Your Own Device) if possible.

Make sure all software and OS are up-to-date. Turn on automatic updates when appropriate, and in general, you should update everything as soon as the updates are available, especially if the update contains security fixes/patches.

Also, educate your employees about:

  • Where and how they store their devices
  • If they are connecting to public Wi-Fi, at least use VPN and in general, they should avoid making any sensitive transactions.
  • Be extra careful when using portable hard drivers and USB flash drives as they can be easily infected by malware

Make a habit of regularly checking and removing any device or software you no longer use. When older devices are not updated regularly, they can contain security vulnerabilities and can be a gateway for hackers to attack your network.

Again, remember that data breaches are a very common cause of successful cybersecurity attacks, so remove access from people who don’t work for you anymore if they change roles that no longer need the same authorization.

Unauthorized access by past employees is another very common cause for data breaches.


The most difficult challenge in cybersecurity is the fact that these security threats are also ever-evolving. It’s no longer sufficient to barricade the company’s physical and digital assets with enough security measures, as the threats evolve more quickly than these measures can keep up with.

So, a more proactive and adaptive approach to cybersecurity is now a necessity. This is where an adaptive, behavioral-detection solution like DataDome is now essential in protecting yourself from the ever-evolving cyber attacks.

For More How To Updates and Information about Tips To Protect Yourself From Cyber Attacks, Visit Etech Spider.

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