In modern times, as humankind advances every day in the field of technology, our privacy and security become more and more vulnerable. The majority of us spend a substantial amount of our time on the internet, communicating with others or sharing pictures or videos which in other terms, are also known as private data. As we make ourselves more available on the internet, it creates certain and trails and paths which could potentially aid hackers to have access to your smart devices and exploit your privacy and information. Such paths are known as the Attack vector
What is an attack vector?
An attack vector is a pathway or access loophole to your computer or smart device which allows hackers to gain access to your data and install malicious codes in your device which permits them to have remote access to your device and all the data present in it, thus compromising your privacy.
How do cyber attackers exploit attack vectors?
Attack vectors are created due to various software issues such as: ‘bugs’ in operating systems, security loopholes and even some of your actions on the internet. Hackers tend to keep a close eye on their targets to, investigate if they entertain any unknown attack vectors. They do this by conducting simultaneous remote security scanning on the target’s devices. In some cases, hackers also use deception to trick their preys into deactivating their security firewall or antivirus software on their devices. This facilitates the hackers to have numerous attack vectors to penetrate the target’s device.
What is the difference between attack vector and attack surface?
An attack vector is a pathway or the method by which a hacker can gain access inside the device and steal confidential/private data or exploits the target’s device by installing a virus or malicious code. On the contrary, the attack surfaces are the locus or devices which are getting attacked.
10 of the most common attack vectors
Some of the most common attack vectors include
- Weak passwords or damaged bio-metric protection
- Attacks through a virus that creates their attack vectors
- Wrong or damaged encryption of data on your device(s)
- Visiting questionable sites or dark web
- Software vulnerabilities in the operating system
- Alienated or indignant employees who may have access to the corporate’s security systems
- Usage of Wrongly optimized and low-end devices
- Using a cracked version of applications or torrenting
- Installing jailbreaks/roots on your mobile devices
- Ddos attacks: such attacks tend to overflow the target’s email box with spam and inappropriate emails, which leads their devices to be unusable and also causes network glitches which could affect the target’s productivity at work or daily life.
How to protect devices against common vector attacks
- Implement strong antivirus software on your devices that restrict hackers from attacking using viruses or malicious codes
- Corporates can implement mobile device management (through enterprise mobility management) to protect employee devices and confidential data
- Implement strong passwords and regularly update your biometric passcodes
- Corporates could employ their BYOD policy at work which could protect the employees from leaking any data on an unknown network
- Proper device usage training must be given to all employees so that they do not render in questionable sites or get tricked into disabling their security protection