5 Common Cyber Threats That Could Compromise Your Information Security

Cybercriminals constantly evolve their tactics and find new ways to breach your information. Awareness of the most common threats that could compromise your firm’s security is essential.

A ransomware attack encrypts a user’s data and locks them out until they pay a fee to third parties to decrypt the data. This can cost firms money, downtime, and legal fees.

Phishing Attacks

With more people connecting to the internet for work, school, and play, an enormous amount of information is vulnerable to cybercriminals. Phishing attacks are among the common threats in information security, where hackers can gain access to passwords, credit card numbers, personal information, and more.

Attackers can use email, social media, or text messages to pose as a trusted source, like a credit card company or bank, to trick victims into divulging information. They may also send malware, such as ransomware or rootkits, to users’ computers via phishing emails that contain malicious links.

A recent study by messaging security providers found that phishing attacks are increasing. Many of these attacks impersonate business executives or official vendors, making them more convincing to at-home workers. In addition to email, attackers can conduct a phishing attack by text message (also known as smishing) or even over the phone. Attackers often target the fear or greed of their targets to get them to click on the wrong links or download malware. This can lead to data breaches, financial loss, and national security issues. The most successful phishing attacks exploit vulnerabilities like buffer overflow, cross-domain, or “zero-day” software vulnerabilities.


Malvertising is the practice of inserting malicious code into legitimate online advertisements. It is one of the most popular methods cybercriminals use to spread malware to unsuspecting users.

A cybercriminal breaches a third-party server and adds corrupted code to a display advertisement. When a website visitor clicks on the ad, it will download malware to the device.

The malware can range from viruses to worms to Trojans. These attacks can steal personal information, hijack computers, and cause other damage to the victim’s devices.

Malvertising can be very difficult to detect and stop, but there are some practical strategies you can use. The most obvious step is to install an ad blocker on your browser. This will stop ads from being displayed on your webpage and prevent you from accidentally clicking on malware-infected ads. However, it will not prevent all types of malvertising, such as drive-by downloads that do not require a user to click to infect devices. This is why you should constantly update your software to ensure you have the latest patches.

Man-in-the-Middle Attacks

Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MITM) take advantage of system vulnerabilities. By putting themselves between an online service and the user – such as a spoofed website or phony WiFi network – cybercriminals can intercept and decrypt data and even impersonate one of the parties to steal sensitive information like login credentials, account details, and credit card numbers.

These malicious software programs – which include viruses, worms, trojans, and spyware – are among the most common cyberattacks on organizations. They can wreak havoc on businesses by capturing sensitive information, manipulating systems, or launching denial-of-service attacks.

Viruses, for example, can encrypt files and demand that users pay a ransom to regain access. Ransomware is the most destructive form of malware. Other malicious code is used to gain privileged access to networks and servers, such as bots that perform network tasks without the owner’s consent. This gives cybercriminals a pathway into a company’s network and can steal data, disrupt production environments or even shut down its entire IT infrastructure. This attack harms businesses requiring login authentication or storing financial information and can cause operation slowdowns or damage brand trust.


Botnets are a network of computers infected with malware and used to carry out large-scale cyber attacks. These attacks include ad fraud, click fraud, data theft, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Additionally, bots are increasingly used to mine cryptocurrencies and boost views of ads and videos.

Cybercriminals surreptitiously install malware to create a botnet on computer systems and other devices that connect to the internet. Once a device is infected, it becomes part of the attacker’s army of “zombie” computers known as a botnet and is controlled by a single attacker. This attacking party is also refers to as a “bot herder.”

Hackers recruit devices for their botnet armies through tactics like phishing, software and website vulnerabilities, and trojan horses. These infected machines can be desktops, laptops, tablets, or even IoT devices such as smart home devices. Once recruited, the bots wait for instructions from a central command center to perform a specific criminal action. This enables a single attacker to execute an attack that would be impossible without their botnet.

Drive-By Downloads

Viruses, Trojan horses, keyloggers, and ransomware are among the most common malware types hackers use to infiltrate computer systems. These programs can capture and record keystrokes, steal confidential data, block access to network components, and more.

In a drive-by download, hackers secretly download malicious software to a user’s device without the victim clicking on anything. These attacks typically take advantage of known security flaws in web browsers, operating systems, and other software applications.

Once the malware is in place, hackers can control the device from afar. They can also install other malware elements, such as a man-in-the-middle attack or a botnet, which allows them to steal data from the device.

Users can protect themselves against drive-by downloads by installing security updates promptly. They can also reduce the risk of infection by avoiding sketchy websites, staying away from piracy and mature content sites, and using a trusted ad-blocking program. They should also pay close attention to online ads and delete apps and programs that last updated a while ago. Additionally, a strong firewall can help prevent drive-by downloads by filtering out suspicious URLs and identifying unauthorized software downloads.

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