9 Network Attacks Hackers use to Attack your Business

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There are more ways than ever before for hackers to infiltrate your network and cause significant damage to your business.
Whether it’s through data theft, delivering viruses or bringing down your company’s entire network, in an increasingly connected world you need to make sure that your business is protected against all possible network attacks – but what these threats, and how can they affect you?

Unstructured versus structured

All of the attack types we will look at in this article can be categorised as either unstructured or structured. Which they fall into depends on the skillset of the attacker(s).

Unstructured attacks are made by unskilled hackers who may be using tools that are available on the internet, The attackers might not be fully aware of what they’re doing, however that does not mean that these attacks shouldn’t be taken seriously, as they can still expose important information.

Structured attacks are those conducted by hackers with a more advanced knowledge of how to expose vulnerabilities in your network, and they can even create their own, custom hacking tools.

Types of attack

So what are the different kinds of attack your network could fall victim to?

 

Social engineering

Commonly referred to us ‘phishing’, this kind of attack is the most basic, but as a result one of the most common.

An attacker will seek to gain important information about their victim via fake phone calls or fraudulent emails, such as bank account details or passwords. At its most advanced, some hackers will duplicate entire websites in a bid to convince users they are safe to input their data.

 

Eavesdropping

This is another very common form of attack, where hackers will ‘listen’ to network traffic in order to acquire critical information.

Information is most vulnerable to eavesdropping when it is sent unencrypted (which most traffic is), which is why it is so essential to implement an effective encryption algorithm on all of your digital communications.

 

Password attacks

 

As you’d expect, these attacks involve accessing networks by cracking passwords.

 

A password could have been acquired via phishing, although some of these attacks will use patterns to try and guess them over the course of multiple attempts.

 

Compromised-key attack

 

A less common attack due to the skill required, a compromised-key attack requires the hacker to obtain the private key of a sender. Once the attacker has the key, they can use it to decipher secured network traffic.

 

Man-in-the-middle attack

This type of attack involves the attacker intercepting and modifying information between two users, or ‘nodes’.

 

DoS and DDoS attacks

Denial of Service and Distributed Denial of Service attacks use increased network traffic to disrupt services and/or applications.

For example, a company’s server may be flooded with data until it can no longer cope with the volume, rendering the server unreachable.

DDoS attacks are more damaging than DoS attacks as they originate from more than one source.

 

Application-layer attacks

Rather than attacking the network itself, these attacks involve targeting applications that run on servers or workstations.

They can be effective as certain applications may not be as secure as your actual network, while there are lots of them, which is why they are a common threat for businesses.

 

IP address spoofing

By impersonating legitimate IP addresses, attackers can modify packets of data to make them appear as regular traffic.

 

Exploit attacks

This is another form of attack that requires strong computing skills. The hacker will seek to exploit software bugs or misconfigurations, and as such it requires the attacker to have a strong understanding of that particular software.

To make sure you’re doing all you can to protect against these attacks it is essential that you invest in a first class virus protection and firewall software suite.

To find out more about how ITC Secure Networking can protect your business from hackers, give us a call on 020 7517 3900.

Author: chloe

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