The Twelve Most Common Cyber Threats – IT Security Threats At A Glance

The Twelve Most Common Cyber Threats - IT Security Threats At A Glance

Cybercriminals want to make money. And so, companies and their IT infrastructure are increasingly becoming the focus of attackers. Every IT security employee has to deal with phishing attacks, ransomware & Co. every day. Here we explain how to ward off annoying cyberattacks successfully.

The biggest IT security threats at a glance:


Social engineering poses a significant threat to companies. The sending of phishing emails with malicious links or attachments is particularly popular. This is a very targeted way for hackers to access corporate networks, typically by stealing credentials or distributing malware. Phishing is responsible for more than half of all compromised corporate networks.


Ransomware proliferation has skyrocketed in recent years for one simple reason: because it works. Attackers use this type of malware to encrypt sensitive data and only unlock it after victims pay a ransom. However, paying a ransom is no guarantee that the data will be released. In some cases, ransomware is used only to destroy data wantonly for sabotage purposes. As a rule, ransomware attacks are associated with high costs for the victims.

Illegal Crypto Mining

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are trending, and cybercriminals are taking advantage of this. In addition to malware that steals cryptocurrencies, mining scripts like Coin hive, which hide on infected websites, are particularly popular with hackers. They mine for cryptocurrencies, stealing computing power and electricity from victims. Those affected usually do not realize that they have been the victim of an attack. Incidentally, mining scripts are only executed when the concerned website is open in the browser.

Other Malware

While ransomware and crypto-malware are popular among attackers, let’s not forget about traditional malware. This is usually used to steal data. Password-spying, banking, remote access toolkits, and backdoors remain major IT threats.

Point Of Sale Attacks

Malware targeting point-of-sale (POS) systems are declining thanks to the shift from magnetic stripe readers to CHIP-based terminals. However, new malware variants such as Pink Kite and Treasure-Hunter continue to circulate and are challenging to track down. POS malware often resides in hacked terminals for months before finally being discovered.

DDoS Attacks

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been around for decades. Nevertheless, this type of attack is increasing in intensity and effect. This is partly due to the massive number of compromised IoT devices. Sometimes, cybercriminals use DDoS attacks to distract from other network attacks.

Social Media

Social media sites are often underestimated or overlooked as a threat. They are an ideal place for scammers. Because users tend to misbehave in this seemingly friendly and trustworthy environment, cybercriminals can use this to site malware or collect information about employees that they can later use for targeted phishing attacks.

Mobile Devices

More and more employees are accessing the corporate network with their mobile devices. However, this mobility also entails many digital risks, as IT departments often lose track or control with many accesses. The use of mobile devices is a significant IT risk, which can lead to malware infiltration, and thus, effective attacks on the corporate network can lead.

Web Applications

There are more than a billion websites worldwide – and therefore, many points of attack for malicious hackers. Last year, a Trustwave test showed that every website has at least one security vulnerability (11 security vulnerabilities on average).

Security Vulnerabilities And Incorrect Configurations

A single vulnerability or misconfiguration can be enough to give attackers access to IT systems. Cybercriminals, on the other hand, can make many mistakes. They scour networks and web applications until they find an exploitable vulnerability.

Internet Of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things is a relatively young technology often underestimated as a digital risk. This may be because it lacks the traditional look and feel of vulnerable endpoints, such as a keyboard or monitor. Any new endpoint or device connected to the network – from routers to refrigerators – can be used by cybercriminals as a starting point for an attack.

Supply Chain – Incalculable Third-Party Risk

Even if your own IT infrastructure is well secured, working with partners can pose serious dangers. Recent studies have shown that most companies do not oblige their partners to the same security standards that apply to their own company. Data breaches that occur at partners can also compromise your own company.

Also Read: Artificial Intelligence In Cybersecurity A Double-Edged Sword

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