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Cyber Attack Vectors and How to Prevent Them

Attack vectors are used by hackers to gain unauthorised access to computer systems, causing data breaches or attacks. They allow cybercriminals to gain access to sensitive data, PII (personally identifiable Information), and critical organizational details.
What is a Threat Vector?
An attack or threat vector can be a method or pathway that hackers use to illegally gain access to a computer or network in order to exploit security vulnerabilities. Hackers can use multiple attack vectors to illegally exploit system vulnerabilities, causing data breaches, or stealing sensitive information.
Common Cyber Attack Vectors
Weak Compromised Credentials

Two of the most vulnerable credentials to unauthorized access are passwords and username. Unscrupulous users fall prey to phishing attacks, and reveal their sensitive credentials on unknown or fake websites. Intruders can access user accounts and/or corporate system access, which can then be used to gain additional access within a network.

Phishing is an email, text, or telephone-based attack technique that uses phishing. To lure targets into disclosing sensitive data such as passwords and bank and/or credit card numbers, an intruder pretends to be a trusted institution.
Malicious Insiders

An employee who divulges or takes undue advantage organizational vulnerabilities is called a malicious insider.

Ransomware is a form of cyber extortion in which users are required to pay ransoms of several hundred to a few thousand dollars in Bitcoin to cybercriminals to obtain a decryption keys to their data.

Misconfiguration refers specifically to system configuration errors that could be an easy entry point for intruders looking to exploit system weaknesses.
How and why hackers exploit attack vectors?
Hackers have many ways to gain unauthorized access and steal sensitive data. There are two main types of attack vectors: passive and active attacks.
Active Attacks
Active attack vectors can be used to disrupt or destruct an organization’s system resources and/or operations. This includes malware, email trolling, domain hijacking and ransomware.
Passive Attacks
Passive attack vectors can be used to acquire information about targets through the use of open ports and system weaknesses. They are often difficult for detection because they compromise the confidentiality of sensitive data and do not alter system resources.
Hackers often exploit attack vectors for these reasons:
Cybercriminals can make a lot of money by hacking into computer systems and stealing bank or credit card information.

Cybercriminals have the ability to send phishing email, launch cyberattacks and mine cryptocurrency. Once they infect hundreds of computers with malware, they can also steal data and create a botnet.

Cybercriminals often use attack vectors to gain access to healthcare information, personally identifiable data, biometrics, and other information. Accessing such data can be used to illegally access prescription drugs, commit insurance frauds, and other purposes.

Cybercriminals can be hired by organizations to cause harm to their competitors, increase downtime, leak crucial data, affect sales, and cause customer dissatisfaction.

Cyber-warfare intentions or political ideologies could also motivate attackers.

Prevention Against Common Vector Attacks
Common vector attacks can be reduced by individuals and organizations.
Effective password policies should be developed and evaluated for their strength.

It is forbidden to use the same passwords to access multiple platforms or systems.

For two-factor authentication, use a credible second factor.

Monitor password usage and hygiene to detect high-risk users.

Monitor network and device access to track insider risk.

Encrypt sensitive data at rest, processing, and transit.

Do not rely solely on low-level encryption

Automate configuration processes wherever possible. Track device and application settings to identify misconfigurations and match them with best practices.

Install suitable systems to protect all devices against ransomware

You can detect phishing frauds by directly calling the organization from which you received a call, text message, or mail.

Monitor web browsing behavior and click-through behavior for email.

Trust relationships should be managed properly

Do a cybersecurity risk assessment

Identify indicators of compromise

Stay ahead of cyberattacks with NetCom Learning
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