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September 20, 2019

Modern-day Cybersecurity Threats and How to Protect Your Site from Them



The growth and innovation that’s been happening in the internet realm has been phenomenal.

Not only has it become easier for people to do their financial transactions, transmit information, or communicate, but it's even easier to run a business as well — all because of the internet.

The sad part, however, is just as online technologies have progressed, so have cyber threats.

Hackers can even exploit the day-to-day technologies that you're using to carry out cybercrimes. They target unknowing companies and take advantage of any loophole in their cyber defense networks.

If you’re running confidential company transactions or store sensitive data online, you must constantly be on the lookout for cyberthreats both old and new.

That said, here are modern-day cybersecurity threats you should know, as well as measures you can take to protect your site from them.

Let’s get started.

Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the cybersecurity challenges that plague company owners and executives today.

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks and encrypts your site or data, preventing you from accessing it until you’ve paid the ransom set by the cyber criminal.

The hacker holds your files hostage within a given paying period. If you don't pay the ransom on time, you might never be able to access your data.

Ransomware is usually transmitted when you go to a malicious website or through phishing emails.

To protect your site from ransomware, here are some tips:

  • Update your operating systems and security software with the latest patches.
  • Avoid clicking links in spam and suspicious emails.
  • Regularly enforce data backup offline and on a separate device.



Phishing

Phishing is one of the most common social engineering schemes that trick you into disclosing sensitive data.

An example is when hackers send legitimate-looking emails asking recipients to provide personal information, click an external link, or download a file attached.

For instance, because it contains a business logo, the email sounds and appears official, and people falsely think it’s from a real company.

It’s worth noting that phishing is one of the first attempts a hacker does to breach your site. If you’re monitoring your cyber kill chain, you can identify phishing to occur at an early stage.

In case you’re not familiar with the concept, a cyber kill chain is a model that outlines the steps a hacker takes on to implement a cybersecurity breach.

The advantage of being aware of the entire cyber kill chain is that you can find specific ways in advance to prevent cybercrimes from happening at which stage.

For phishing, one of the ideal protective measures is a penetration (or pen) test.

A pen test simulates a hacker’s attack to reveal cyberdefense loopholes that you can fix.

To implement pen tests safely at the first stage of your cyber kill chain, you can tap trusted third-party service providers to help you.

As experts, they can best explain to you the results and the right defense measures or improvements you should take on after the test.

Malware

Malware is also known as malicious software. It can carry viruses like Trojan horses, Worm, and other components harmful to your networks and computers.

Malware can enter your site and computers in many forms, like chatbots, any infected external links or downloaded files, and others.

If your website is keeping volumes of confidential data, by all means, protect them from malware.

You can do that by installing anti-malware software and frequently updating your firewalls.

Updated software helps close the gaps that cybercriminals can use to hack your computers and inject malware.

You can even use AI anti-virus and anti-malware software by trustworthy providers.

AI has been popular to boost ecommerce customer engagement and efficiency. But using AI to improve your cybersecurity is also one of today's AI trends.

Its machine learning, behavior modeling algorithms, and other skills help you detect and supervise new or even mutated malware.

This trait makes AI anti-virus software a useful tool to combat cyberthreats.

Formjacking

Formjacking happens when cyber hijackers insert a piece of code onto an ecommerce website to steal users’ personal information such as credit card numbers.

The danger in formjacking is that it is well-hidden. You can continue your transaction unaware until you discover extra credit charges or your credit card info up on an infected website.

To protect your data from being formjacked, you can take these defense measures:

  • Use Script Blockers when transacting on ecommerce websites.
  • Install and frequently update comprehensive security programs or software.
  • Scan your website and app plug-ins and updates using third-party security service providers.
  • Employ subresource resource integrity (SRI (News - Alert)) tags to ensure that third-party websites the ecommerce store communicates to are also clear of malicious code.
  • Downsize your integration efforts to reduce the risks of cyber threats compromising your ecommerce website that are delivered through your apps, plugins, and other software.

Password-based intrusions

Hackers can also intrude your sites by cracking your passwords.

They may use different kinds of techniques and equipment to guess them correctly.

They can use bots or keyword-guessing software that can run millions of guessing attempts in only a few seconds.

If you’re using WordPress for your site, for example, you must strengthen your admin password to improve your WordPress site functionality.

You can create strong passwords by making them long and unique.

Ideally, your passwords should contain around 14 different kinds of characters. Combine lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers, and special characters or symbols.

They should also mean something personal to you. Your password can be your favorite author or the name of your first pet.

Here’s an example. Instead of using “harmonytheunicorn,” you can use “HaRmony%332tHe*46&uniCorN71^9.”

An extra tip for you: avoid merely replacing letters with numbers.

While doing this makes your password easier to remember, hackers and their software have already noted this technique, making it quicker for them to crack your password.

Malvertising

Malvertising is short for malicious advertising. It is advertising used for malicious intents like phishing or injecting malware into your site.

Malvertising often comes in the form of pop-ups. They entice you to click it to view pornographic content, celebrity scandals, or join contests for prizes that are too good to be true.

Remember the general rule: if the prize sounds too good to be true, it most probably is.

To avoid being a victim of malvertising, refrain from clicking suspicious-looking ads. To be on the safe side, only click ads that are directly related to the content you're reading.

Let's say you're reading about digital marketing from a known company website. If a pop-up on its upcoming seminar appears with the site's logo, you will know the ad is from that site and, hence, legit.

If it’s completely unrelated and resembles malvertising content described earlier, click away.

You can also install pop-up or adblockers to protect your site from malvertising.

Protect your site now.

Cybersecurity threats continue to loom various sectors and companies, including yours.

If you have not yet applied these cybersecurity measures, you might have a hard time protecting your site from them when they happen to you — and they can happen.

Don't wait for a cyberthreat to come to fruition before you take action. Protect your site now.

Was this guide helpful? Hit the share button and spread this knowledge with your colleagues. Cheers!



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