Understanding the motives and modes of operation of cybercriminals is paramount to maintaining the security of your business and your personal information. More often than not, the motivation behind cyber-attacks is financial. Hackers and data thieves use a myriad of different tactics to steal information, which they then either use to steal money from companies and citizens, or they sell the information on online black markets, where valuable data goes to the highest bidder. However, individuals and businesses can protect their data and sensitive information by ensuring that their network security policies and software are both up-to-date. Cisco engineer Paolo Passeri discusses these attacks in an analysis he published in 2016, which states that around eighty percent of breaches are financially motivated, with surveillance breaches being the second most common. According to the same report, forty percent of the victims of the attacks are comprised of industrial businesses and manufacturing companies. Some of the more common tactics that hackers use to steal your information include:

  • Account hijacking, where a hacker breaks into and takes control of a cloud-based service.
  • SQLi attacks, which is when a cyber-criminal delivers malicious codes to take over a network database.
  • Distributed denial of Service Attacks (DDos), in which an automated program directs so many pirated computers to request a website that no one can reach the page.
  • Malvertising, which looks like an advertisement and delivers malicious code to its viewers.

In order to stop an intruder that utilizes a constantly evolving set of tools, you must implement a “continuum” of security, one that is consistently up-to-date with the latest upgrades in protective software.
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