Businesses of any size rely on their connection to the internet for e-commerce, information, and marketing. Many use local area networks to allow their computers and other devices to communicate, and this connectivity creates vulnerability to hacking and other malicious acts.
Network Elites, the top IT consultants in Houston, TX, wants our community to recognize the most common types of network attacks they might encounter.
5 Types Of Network Attacks
By understanding how they work, you can create a more secure computer network for your company and train your employees to use the system safely. Close cooperation between you, your employees, and your IT company will strengthen your network security.
Structured Query Lecture (SQL) is a programming language that allows users to work with databases. When someone enters data into a form on the internet, a piece of SQL code might retrieve information from the database or make changes. Weaknesses in SQL are the basis for SQL injection, one of the most common types of network attacks.
SQL injection inserts instructions into the program using the text entry field. For instance, if the text entry field asks for a name, they might enter “John Smith’); SELECT….” SQL treats the part of the code after the semicolon as instructions and will follow it unless the code sanitizes the entry.
IT professionals counter SQL injection by sanitizing the input and removing the malicious instructions before SQL can run them. The code behind database security can be complex, but the benefit of a robust database security policy is a more smoothly-running website that you and your customers can trust.
Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks
A denial of service attack can slow down or cripple a website by bombarding the site with frivolous requests. In a distributed denial of service attack, the attacker uses many computers to send requests simultaneously, making it more difficult for the network to block or ignore requests.
The requests that come into the network are difficult to distinguish from legitimate requests, but networks can protect themselves by:
- Purchasing more bandwidth than they need.
- Looking out for small-scale DoS attacks that malicious actors use to probe your defenses.
- Redirecting or discarding requests when they exceed the volume that the network can handle.
- Blocking requests from IP addresses that show unusual activity.
- Using a specialized device to mitigate the effects of DoS traffic.
It is essential to have a clear contingency plan that considers the costs and benefits of restricting incoming web traffic in some situations, as some countermeasures against denial-of-service attacks will cause you to miss some legitimate web traffic.
Social Engineering Attacks
Unlike other types of network attacks, social engineering attacks target people with legitimate access to the network. A robust defense against cyber attacks needs to include the human element. People you entrust with access to your network can unwittingly or intentionally give attackers access to your network. Develop a network usage policy to protect it from:
- Disgruntled employees
- Blackmail or coercion
- Weak passwords
- Employees failing to protect passwords
There is no one solution to social engineering attacks, but several best practices can promote a culture of security, including:
- Invalidating the credentials of former employees.
- Imposing restrictions on the choice of passwords.
- Using two-factor authentication (2FA) for network access.
Teach employees not to open unknown files, particularly attachments to unsolicited e-mails or texts. Keep all business computers up to date with system updates and the latest antivirus protection. A culture of cybersecurity awareness protects your network from many types of malware attacks.
Man-In-The-Middle Network Attacks
A man-in-the-middle attack intercepts web traffic to and from a network server. To understand man-in-the-middle attacks, consider a physical version. If a thief gets a key to your post office box, they can read your mail and replace letters that people send you with forgeries they write themselves.
The most effective response to man-in-the-middle attacks is the authentication of data. Incoming data has to have a valid certificate. If an unscrupulous person intercepts the message and tries to send it using their computer, the certificate won’t be valid, and your network can close the session.
The goal of many types of network attacks is to install malicious software (or malware) on your computers. Once the malware installs and runs on your computer, your data, including passwords, credit card numbers, and financial information, is compromised. Attacks that could lead to malware installation include:
- Keystroke loggers intercept information that users type on a computer.
- Browser hijackers redirect the browser to fraudulent sites or open pop-up ads.
- Trojan horse programs disguise malicious code as legitimate programs such as software updates.
Malware is often difficult and expensive to remove once it spreads through your network. A proactive approach to avoiding malware is the best way to prevent malware problems in the future.
The Dangers Of Weak Network Security
Some small business owners build an e-commerce website without appreciating the many types of network attacks that their business might face. They face many challenges, such as:
- Lost productivity due to computers infected with malware and viruses.
- Loss of data from system crashes and ransomware attacks.
- Damage to their reputation when data breaches affect their customers’ privacy.
- A company culture that fails to incentivize the best business practices.
Defend The Integrity Of Your Network With Us
If you are building a new network or upgrading your current network, be sure that your security system is strong enough and resilient enough to handle many different types of attacks. Be proactive in protecting your business from cyber-attacks. Trust Network Elites to create a comprehensive defense strategy that protects your company against the latest types of network attacks.
Don’t let the fear of malicious activities keep you from using the power of the internet to grow your business. To speak with a consultant about network security, call (214) 247-6962 today or chat with us on our website. We have customized, cutting-edge solutions that provide your business with the online security and resilience you need to thrive in an interconnected world.