7 Cybersecurity Threats to Look Out For

It’s not an exaggeration to say that new cyber threats are popping up every day. There’s no end to the ingenuity of the criminal mind. However, most digital attacks continue to revolve around the same basic strategies. They are just tweaked a little bit to keep up with the times.

Let’s explore the basic features of each threat and some of the best ways to prepare yourself for them. With the sheer number of cyberattacks happening daily, it’s not a matter of if you’re targeted but when.

Phishing Attacks

You can’t talk about cybersecurity threats without mentioning phishing. This psychological tactic has been popular for decades and targets teenagers, retirees, and everyone in between.

Phishing aims to steal sensitive information by tricking the victim through social engineering and emails. Typically, the attacker impersonates someone or something with an existing relationship with their target. This relationship can be negative or positive depending on the criminal’s strategy.

For example, a phishing scammer could claim to represent a popular store. They email the victim a link to a “free gift or service” and tell them that the deal will expire in an extremely short time frame.

This tactic uses both excitement and anxiety to force the victim into clicking the link attached to the email. However, this link downloads malware to the victim’s computer or leads to a fake website that steals information and login credentials. Other common tactics include pressuring the target by impersonating a debt collection agency or medical institution.

The best way to thwart phishing attacks is never to follow email links from unknown sources. It may sound obvious, but sometimes our emotions get the better of us, and we make poor decisions. In these cases, having antimalware software that automatically scans your emails for threats is a useful failsafe.

If the email appears legitimate and important, you should reinitiate the conversation on your terms. This means finding the email sender’s contact information and calling them yourself. If you need help figuring out who the owner of the email is, you can try out RecordsFinder’s email lookup tool. This ensures that you speak to the entity through official channels and not a con artist.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

DDoS attacks originate from a curious 13-year-old kid way back in 1974. David Dennis wrote a program that shut down 31 computers in the computer lab across the street by overloading them with simple commands.

Despite half a century passing, the basic idea of DDoS attacks hasn’t changed very much. The attacker floods a functioning network with an overwhelming amount of traffic. This overloads the website and forces it to turn away legitimate users. Often, the traffic comes from multiple sources, making it difficult to track or respond to.

Defending against DDoS attacks is mostly about recognizing abnormal traffic and responding quickly. Learn what your regular traffic looks like and configure the network around that. This means accepting a reasonable amount of traffic and turning away clearly suspicious traffic spikes. This may turn away a few legitimate users, but it will prevent the worst-case scenario of crippling your site altogether.

Cybersecurity Threats


Ransomware attacks have caused substantial financial losses and disruptions for organizations across the globe. The infamous “WannaCry” attack held everything from hospitals to tech giants at metaphorical gunpoint in 2017.

A typical ransomware attack injects malicious software into a device’s files, rendering them inaccessible. Any attempt to break into the device or remove the ransomware leads to the deletion of everything on the server. The complete deletion of company files would have devastating results on any organization.

The attacker essentially holds the target’s intellectual property hostage unless a certain amount is paid out. The WannaCry attack spread to over 230,000 computers in 150 countries in just one day. It’s estimated that losses exceeded $4 billion.

There isn’t a single solution to preventing a ransomware attack. A good starting point is to ensure that a hacker can’t ransom the only copy of your data. Creating an isolated data backup ensures you don’t risk losing everything for not complying.

However, you must adopt a multi-pronged approach to protect yourself against cyberattacks, including employee education, antimalware software, and a zero-trust infrastructure.

Supply Chain Attacks

Organizations are becoming increasingly reliant on third-party services for their operations. While this is convenient, it also creates a less cohesive supply chain for criminals to target.

Supply chain attacks involve infiltrating an organization through supplier or partner vulnerabilities. This attack can have far-reaching consequences and implicates multiple entities even if they have iron-clad defenses.

Organizations should conduct thorough security assessments of their vendors and partners to mitigate supply chain risks. This includes evaluating their cybersecurity practices, assessing the integrity of their products or services, and ensuring they adhere to industry-standard security protocols.

Implementing more restrictive access controls within the organization is crucial. Users should only have access to the data required for their jobs and nothing more. This is known as the principle of least privilege, and it helps confine the attacker to a less dangerous section of the network.

Insider Threats

Insider threats pose a significant risk to any organization. These threats may come from disgruntled employees, inattention to detail, or even outside bribes. Essentially, an insider threat is any attack that originates from somebody who already has access to the system.

Preventing insider threats is particularly challenging because it deals with the workplace environment and the security infrastructure. It is essential to create policies that protect employees and provide an outlet to voice their opinions. This helps reduce the risk of their resentment leading to damaging actions.

Similarly to defending against supply chain attacks, integrating the principle of least privilege goes a long way in protecting against insider threats. An employee can’t share information they don’t have access to.

Malware Attack

Malware, short for malicious software, encompasses various destructive programs designed to infiltrate and spread across computer systems. Some common examples of malware include spyware, rootkits, adware, and the ever-dreaded trojan virus.

Malware can be categorized into two distinct types despite covering hundreds of programs. The first is destructive malware, which aims to destroy the system it infiltrates. It accomplishes this by permanently deleting critical assets and data or impacting the organization’s access.

The second type of malware is significantly more common. It hides in the background of a device and gradually steals information. For example, malware can steal data in the following ways:

  • Recording keystrokes to deduce login credentials
  • Copying and sending files back to the hacker
  • Following your browsing activity and recording your habits

To defend against malware attacks, organizations should deploy reputable antivirus and antimalware solutions. It’s not enough to avoid sketchy downloads because there are “fileless malware” versions that attach to legitimate programs to infect your device.

Cloud Computing

While cloud computing benefits from easy scalability and access, it also introduces new cybersecurity challenges. Since you’re not the managing party of the cloud service, you’re sharing responsibility for the data with a third party.

Cloud providers typically secure the underlying infrastructure, but users are responsible for securing their data within the cloud. Encryption plays a crucial role in protecting data in transit and at rest. Robust access controls ensure that only authorized personnel can access sensitive information stored in the cloud.

Regularly auditing and monitoring cloud configurations lets you identify potential security threats early on. Employee education on secure cloud practices such as password etiquette and multi-factor authentication will also enhance overall security.

Be Careful of Cybersecurity Threats

Cybersecurity is a dynamic field that requires continuous vigilance and proactive measures. Addressing the specific challenges posed by the unique attack strategies necessitates a multifaceted approach. Remember that you’re not defending against a single type of attack, but ALL of these attacks.

It’s best to combine technological solutions with user education and organizational policies to have the greatest impact on risk exposure. These are just a few possible threats you’ll face today, but who knows what tomorrow has in store?

Staying informed about emerging threats is a shared responsibility, and RecordsFinder is constantly updating our library with the best ways to remain safe online. We hope to create a convenient place to learn about emerging threats and give you the tools to protect data in the future.