When carrying out their malicious activities, cybercriminals may have a variety of goals in mind, such as stealing corporate data, gaining financial gain, causing damage to the software development company’s reputation, and so on. Hackers use various cyberattacks to achieve their objectives, making it more difficult for businesses to prioritize cybersecurity risks.
FortySeven software professionals defined six common types of cyberattacks that every custom software agency should be aware of after studying related research and drawing on our experience in security testing and penetration testing aimed at assisting software development companies in increasing their protection level against cybercriminal activities. FortySeven IT experts classified the attacks based on how they were carried out and named the targets.
Types of Cyber Attacks
#1 Malware distribution
Malware (‘malicious software’) refers to various types of software that can be downloaded from untrustworthy internet sources or malicious email messages and run or installed by careless users.
Cybercriminals who distribute various types of malware aim to slow down your computer systems, steal corporate information, encrypt corporate data, and demand a ransom for development companies to regain access to the data. Another goal of malware distribution is to monitor software development company employees’ internet activities without their knowledge (spyware). The malware was used in 56% of all attack cases in 2018, according to Positive Research 2019.
Malware, which is designed to harm networks, computer systems, tablets, and mobile devices, can be distributed in the form of:
- Trojan horses
- Computer viruses
- Ransomware, and so on.
According to Positive Research, social engineering attacks account for 31% of all cyberattacks. They cover cybercriminals’ activities conducted through human communication. Attackers target corporate users through email services or malicious websites, convincing them to click on malicious links or open malicious email attachments.
Hackers utilize social engineering to gain access to mobile app development company’s computer systems, corporate bank accounts, etc. Social engineering attacks could take several different forms like:
- Spear phishing
#3 Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks
Hackers conduct this type of attack by interfering with the communication between a user and a web application. Cybercriminals listen to network traffic transmitted and attempt to capture confidential information such as user login credentials or bank account details while ‘sitting’ between the user and a web application that the user trusts. Cybercriminals frequently target websites and email services. Because many email services do not use email encryption by default, the latter is easy to hack.
According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2018, they were involved in 35% of the exploitations. MitM attacks can include:
- WiFi eavesdropping
- Session hijacking
- HTTPS spoofing
- Domain Name System (DNS) spoofing, and so on.
#4 Web application attacks
According to the results of security testing performed for Positive Technologies’ research in 2019, 32% of the tested web applications have an extremely low-security level.
Cybercriminals try to exploit client-side and server-side vulnerabilities in web applications to gain access to corporate resources and steal information about the users and clients of the custom software development firm.
Cybercriminals may cause corporate servers and networks to fail by inserting malicious client-side scripts into website login forms and sending many new requests to targeted servers, causing them to overload and fail. The most common web application attacks are:
- Cross-site scripting (XSS)
- SQL injections
- Denial of service (DoS) and distributed denial of service (DDoS), etc.
#5 Password Attacks
This cybersecurity attack entails hacking users’ passwords by attempting various character combinations and employing special scanning software development listening to network traffic. It records network traffic packets containing password combinations. Cybercriminals target individual passwords in their attacks, such as the passwords of a custom software development company employee. Password attacks are motivated by the possibility of gaining access to confidential data such as bank account details or credit card information and then using these details for financial gain. Because 65 percent of custom software development companies worldwide report that their employees do not change their passwords, these attacks are on the rise.
The most common methods you can utilize when conducting password attacks are:
- Brute Force attacks
- Password sniffing
- Keylogger attacks, etc.
#6 Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
APTs are a combination of cyberattack methods, such as social engineering techniques, malware distribution, etc. APTs are carried out by skilled cybercriminals and can result in corporate data leaks, intellectual property theft, financial difficulties, and other problems.
Attackers typically target financial, manufacturing, and other organizations that process and store sensitive data. APTs typically proceed as follows:
- Accessing a corporate network via a malicious file, email spam, or application vulnerabilities (social engineering attacks).
- Distributing malware across the network to create backdoors that allow users to move freely within the network while regularly rewriting malware code to remain undetected (malware distribution).
- Attempting to gain administrative privileges by hacking corporate users’ passwords (password attacks).
- Moving around the network and attempting to access its more certain parts with administrative rights “at hand.”
- Surfing within the network until the cybercriminals’ specific goals are met or gathering the necessary information and exiting the network.
How Do Companies Protect Against the Most Common Cyber Threats?
Businesses should implement a combination of security solutions to protect the most damaging and frequently encountered types of cyberthreats. Social engineering attacks and malware distribution are aided by properly configured firewall protection and antivirus custom software. Strong password policies reduce the need to deal with password attacks. You can use security information and event management (SIEM) solutions to detect potential indicators of web application attacks or MitM attacks. To reduce the likelihood of dealing with the consequences of APTs, a combination of all of the security measures mentioned above, supplemented with data loss prevention (DLP) custom software, should be implemented. For better cyber security, you can contact Hanna Shnaider, who is a seasoned expert on issues pertaining to cyber attacks.
While hackers develop new sophisticated methods for carrying out cybercriminal activities, businesses should regularly check and improve their corporate security level and ensure that all necessary security policies and solutions are in place. You can contact any custom software developer from FortySeven for assistance.