Think of hackers and other cyber criminals as a hoard of barbarians doing all they can to bypass even the most robust of your network safeguards. The way they do it is by taking advantage of what is known as cyber attack vectors, weaknesses in your cybersecurity infrastructure. As a result of the access they gain, they can insert a payload of malicious code or other malware into your system, compromising data and potentially interfering with your communications with other parties.
Cyber Attack Vector Exploitation Strategies
Just how do hackers use these cyber threat vectors to access your network resources and accomplish their criminal ends?
- They inspect and analyze their potential target for vulnerabilities. To do this, they use phishing, emails, malware and social engineering techniques.
- They select their tools. Once the most porous vulnerability has been pinpointed, the hacker assembles and encodes their weapons.
- The next step is to install the malicious software.
- Finally, they exploit it to achieve their criminal goals.
Although the cyber security attack vectors described above seem straightforward, a hacker can engineer them in numerous and ever-changing ways that can evolve from one day to the next.
Common Cybersecurity Attack Vectors
In order to combat attack vectors, it is important to understand what they are and identify them. The following are the most frequently seen:
- Weaknesses in computers and host devices. These include malware that introduces destructive codes and viruses, keyloggers that record everything that users type and social engineering that robs systems of confidential information via spam and phishing attacks.
- Weaknesses in networks that bad actors use to disable the system or steal data. Attacks in this arena can be either active or passive. Types of active attacks include spoofing, making modifications to code that cause delays, distributed denial of service attacks that flood the network with traffic and disrupt service delivery and false routing messages that keep communications from arriving at the proper destination.
Passive attacks include sniffing that detects but does not change the traffic between two parties, eavesdropping to glean confidential information and unauthorized reading of user data.
Techniques for Neutralizing Attack Vectors
While understanding the nature of these threats is an important first step, now you need to come up with ways to minimize the chances that your computer software and network server will be the next target. While there is no totally effective method to prevent attacks, the following suggestions can make a substantial difference:
- Remain abreast of all software upgrades and patches, removing redundant programs;
- Develop digital security protocols and procedures, sharing them with all team members and end users;
- If you have not done so already, install firewalls. These act as buffers between private and public networks by monitoring and filtering out traffic according to the rules you determine;
- Backup all data regularly;
- Keep your ear to the ground and continue learning about new security trends and malware types. If necessary, enlist the help of threat experts who know the most cutting-edge vector technology and can support your company in case of a breach.
The easiest way for a business or enterprise to fall victim to a hacker’s methods is by failing to be proactive. Cyberattacks target the lowest-hanging fruit through exploitation of critical system lapses. Therefore, the best strategy to remain safe and shield your platform is to have a detailed security plan in place long before a major breach occurs.
It is important to understand that there is no single solution or product that will detect or protect with 100 percent accuracy. Instead you need to develop a team of professional experts and an arsenal of security weapons of all types in order to be successful in your avoidance of cyber attack vectors.