9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of

March 19, 2024

Cybersecurity threats are at an all time high as we near the end of the first quarter of 2024. While some threats are well-known and widely discussed, others lurk in the shadows, often catching businesses off guard.

Let’s take a look at 9 cybersecurity threats that your business may not be aware of and gain some more knowledge on the subject.

Cybersecurity Threat #1: Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) represents a significant evolution in the cybercriminal landscape, introducing the ability to execute ransomware attacks.

Traditionally, ransomware required a certain level of technical expertise to develop and deploy effectively. However, RaaS platforms have lowered this barrier to entry, enabling even individuals with limited technical skills to launch devastating ransomware campaigns.

At its core, RaaS operates on a similar model to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), where cybercriminals rent or purchase ransomware kits from underground marketplaces or dark web forums.

These kits come equipped with all the necessary tools and infrastructure to create and distribute ransomware payloads, including encryption algorithms, command-and-control servers, and payment processing mechanisms.

By understanding the nature of RaaS and its implications, organisations can better prepare themselves to defend against ransomware attacks and mitigate the risks posed by this pervasive threat.

Cybersecurity Threat #2: Internet of Things (IoT) Vulnerabilities

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

The Internet of Things (IoT) has revolutionised the way we interact with technology, connecting a vast array of devices to the internet and each other.

However, the rapid increase of IoT devices has also introduced new cybersecurity vulnerabilities that pose significant risks to businesses and consumers alike.

Data transmitted between IoT devices and backend servers is often sent in plaintext, making it susceptible to interception and eavesdropping by malicious actors. Without proper encryption protocols in place, sensitive information, such as personal or financial data, is at risk of being compromised during transit.

Data transmitted between IoT devices and backend servers is often sent in plaintext, making it susceptible to interception and eavesdropping by malicious actors. Without proper encryption protocols in place, sensitive information, such as personal or financial data, is at risk of being compromised during transit.

IoT technology, generally, is a positive concept when it comes to technology that aids businesses. Focusing on the damaging aspects of the IoT technology, whilst negative in theory, is necessary for businesses aiming to remain safe from cybersecurity threats long term.

Cybersecurity Threat #3: Credential Stuffing

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Credential stuffing is a prevalent cybersecurity threat that exploits the reuse of usernames and passwords across multiple online accounts. It relies on the assumption that many users use the same credentials across various platforms, making them vulnerable to account takeover attacks.

This attack technique involves automated scripts or tools that systematically input stolen credentials obtained from data breaches into different websites or services to gain unauthorised access.

Credential stuffing attacks leverage stolen credentials obtained from data breaches, phishing campaigns, or underground forums where cybercriminals buy and sell compromised account information.

These credentials often include usernames and passwords associated with popular online services, such as email accounts, social media platforms, e-commerce websites, and financial institutions.

Credential stuffing attacks can have significant consequences for organisations targeted by cybercriminals. Beyond the immediate risk of account takeover and data theft, these attacks can result in financial losses, damage to reputation, and regulatory compliance violations.

Moreover, organisations may incur additional costs associated with incident response, remediation, and customer notification efforts. By understanding the mechanics of credential stuffing attacks and implementing appropriate security measures, organisations can better protect their systems and users from this pervasive cybersecurity threat.

Cybersecurity Threat #4: AI Powered Attacks

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

AI-powered attacks represent a significant evolution in cyber threats, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies to automate and enhance various stages of the attack lifecycle.

These sophisticated techniques enable cybercriminals to develop more stealthy, adaptive, and scalable attacks, posing formidable challenges for traditional cybersecurity defences.

AI algorithms can accelerate the discovery and exploitation of software vulnerabilities by automatically analysing code, identifying potential weaknesses, and generating exploit payloads.

This automated approach enables attackers to scale their operations and target a broader range of systems and applications, including those with previously unknown vulnerabilities.

Cybercriminals are increasingly leveraging AI and machine learning algorithms to develop malware and malicious scripts capable of evading traditional signature-based antivirus and intrusion detection systems.

By dynamically altering code or behaviour to avoid detection, AI-powered malware can remain undetected for longer periods, increasing the likelihood of successful infiltration.

Similarly to IoT technology, artificial intelligence is a form of technology that has incredibly helpful levels of productivity and innovation, however, is one that needs to be moderated and carefully considered in relation to potential cybersecurity threats.

Cybersecurity Threat #5: Social Engineering Tactics

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Social engineering tactics involve manipulating individuals into divulging confidential information, performing actions, or making decisions that benefit the attacker.

Unlike traditional hacking techniques that target technical vulnerabilities, social engineering exploits human psychology and trust to achieve malicious objectives.

Phishing is one of the most common social engineering tactics, involving the use of fraudulent emails, text messages, or instant messages to deceive recipients into disclosing sensitive information, such as login credentials, financial data, or personal details.

Phishing emails are a cybersecurity threat that often masquerade as legitimate communications from trusted organisations, such as banks, social media platforms, or government agencies, and typically contain urgent requests or enticing offers to prompt recipients to click on malicious links or attachments.

Reverse social engineering involves convincing individuals to approach attackers voluntarily, believing that they are seeking assistance or cooperation. Attackers may create fake online personas, websites, or social media profiles posing as security researchers, job recruiters, or industry experts to lure potential victims into initiating contact.

Once victims reach out to the attackers, they may be manipulated into providing sensitive information, downloading malware, or performing other actions that benefit the attacker’s agenda. Reverse social engineering exploits the target’s curiosity, trust, or desire for collaboration to facilitate unauthorised access or information disclosure.

Social engineering tactics are one of the more dangerous cybersecurity threats that can be implemented by malicious individuals. Whilst not as technical as other cybersecurity threats, it targets the human nature of people, exploiting human psychology to get their desired outcomes.

Cybersecurity Threat #6: Mobile Malware

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Mobile malware is a cybersecurity threat that refers to malicious software specifically designed to target mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, running on popular mobile operating systems like Android and iOS.

As mobile devices have become indispensable tools for communication, productivity, and entertainment, they have also become lucrative targets for cybercriminals seeking to exploit vulnerabilities, steal sensitive information, and compromise user privacy.

Similar to the more commonly known, standard malware threats, the types of mobile malware are comparable. Cybersecurity threats such as trojans, ransomware, adware and spyware are able to be implemented to target mobile phones.

The distribution channels of these cybersecurity threats vary depending on the type of malicious intent. Malicious apps are often distributed through third-party app stores or unofficial marketplaces that lack rigorous security controls and app vetting processes.

As well as this, Cybercriminals may create fake websites or malicious advertisements (malvertising) that lure users into downloading malware-infected apps or clicking on malicious links. These websites may exploit vulnerabilities in the device’s web browser or operating system to deliver malware payloads silently.

The impacts of this cybersecurity threat can be widespread. Data theft, privacy violations, financial losses, identity theft and reputational damage are all factors that can be seen as a result of mobile malware.

Cybersecurity Threat #7: Fileless Malware

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Fileless malware represents a sophisticated and elusive category of malicious software that operates without leaving traditional file-based traces on the infected system’s disk.

Unlike traditional malware that relies on executable files or scripts stored on disk, fileless malware leverages existing system tools, memory-resident payloads, and legitimate processes to execute malicious actions directly in memory.

This stealthy approach allows fileless malware to evade detection by traditional antivirus software and forensic analysis tools, making it particularly challenging to detect and mitigate.

Fileless malware operates entirely in memory, leveraging built-in system utilities, scripting languages, or legitimate applications to execute malicious commands and payloads without the need for persistent files on disk.

By avoiding disk-based detection mechanisms, fileless malware can evade traditional antivirus software and intrusion detection systems (IDS).

Fileless malware may exploit vulnerabilities in software or operating systems to gain initial access to the target system. Vulnerabilities in applications, browser plugins, or system components can be exploited to execute arbitrary code in memory, facilitating the deployment of fileless malware payloads.

By understanding the techniques and behaviours associated with fileless malware and implementing robust security measures, businesses can enhance their resilience against this stealthy and evolving threat.

Vigilance, proactive monitoring, and continuous security awareness are essential for detecting and mitigating fileless malware attacks effectively.

Cybersecurity Threat #8: DNS Tunnelling

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

DNS tunnelling is a sophisticated cyber attack technique that exploits the Domain Name System (DNS) protocol to bypass traditional security controls and exfiltrate data from compromised networks covertly.

Unlike conventional data exfiltration methods that rely on direct network connections or file transfers, DNS tunnelling utilises DNS requests and responses to encapsulate and transmit malicious data, making it difficult for security tools to detect and block unauthorised communication.

DNS tunnelling involves encoding data payloads within DNS queries or responses, allowing attackers to transmit information through DNS channels surreptitiously.

Attackers typically encode the desired data in subdomains, DNS labels, or other DNS message fields, exploiting the flexibility and extensibility of the DNS protocol to evade detection by traditional security measures.

DNS tunnelling enables attackers to exfiltrate sensitive data from compromised networks or establish command-and-control channels for remote communication with malware-infected hosts.

Attackers can encode various types of data, including files, commands, and keystrokes, within DNS queries or responses, allowing them to bypass network perimeter defences and evade detection by intrusion detection systems (IDS) and data loss prevention (DLP) solutions.

Cybersecurity Threat #9: Deepfake Technology

9 Cybersecurity Threats your Business may not be aware of - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Deepfake technology, a combination of “deep learning” and “fake,” refers to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, particularly deep learning algorithms, to create highly realistic media, such as images, videos, and audio recordings, that depict events or scenarios that never occurred or manipulate existing content to alter its context or meaning.

Deepfakes have garnered significant attention in recent years due to their potential to deceive, manipulate public opinion, and undermine trust in visual and auditory information.

One of the most common applications of deepfake technology is face swapping, where an individual’s face is digitally replaced with another person’s face in a video or image.

Deep learning algorithms analyse facial features, expressions, and movements to seamlessly blend the target face onto the source face, creating a realistic-looking video that appears to feature the target individual in the original context.

Face swapping techniques have been used for various purposes, including entertainment, satire, and political propaganda.

Deepfake technology raises concerns about its potential misuse and the associated threats to individuals, organisations, and society at large.

Malicious actors may exploit deepfakes to spread disinformation, manipulate public opinion, defame individuals, or impersonate public figures for financial or political gain.

Moreover, deepfakes can undermine trust in digital media, exacerbate social divisions, and erode confidence in democratic institutions by blurring the line between fact and fiction.

If you would like to learn more about our services or our cutting-edge cyber security awareness and training platform, click here. Or feel free to contact Adept IT Solutions on 1300 4 23378 (ADEPT) or email us at info@adept-it.com.au.

Check out our other articles