Common Types of Cybersecurity Threats and How to Prevent Them


There are always going to be different types of threats out there for businesses to defend themselves against. There is also always some methodology that helps prevent such attacks from each of these threat types. By being vigilant, you can start identifying these threats and their usual attack routes, while implementing tools and practices that keep such attacks at bay.

Cross-Site Scripting

This kind of attack is an “injection”, meaning that a Cybersecurity injects data into a website or web application that is otherwise well trusted. This kind of attack is built around the type of data being injected: it’s a piece of scripting, a code that changes to meet certain needs in certain users and browsers. It will not appear to the user at all, but instead will function as a stealth attack, stealing cookies or credentials — or even escalating with other attacks like malware or phishing against an unsuspecting, defenseless user who trusted this site. The best way to avoid this is by regularly scanning the sites you visit. By using a program that can check the code of sites before visits, you’ll save yourself a world of trouble later on.


One type of malware that’s giving everyone pause these days is ransomware. This type of intrusive program squeezes into a network and starts encrypting the files and data belonging to a user. Then, once everything is encrypted, the same data and files are held for ransom — as the user is contacted and told to pay if they want to receive the decryption key with which they would access this crucial information once more. Stolen data is often posted online if the ransom remains unpaid, and so this type of malware attack has grown quite frightening to many firms that handle important or sensitive digital assets. Using an endpoint protection system as well as some next-generation firewall programs are great ways to mitigate the possibility of a ransomware attack — but it needs to be able to detect fileless attacks. The results of evaluating SentinelOne vs. Carbon Black in such defense showed that Carbon Black was not prepared to respond to all fileless or advanced attacks, which increasingly include fileless ransomware.


DDoS, or Distributed Denial-of-Service, involves targeting the victim’s site with an onset of overwhelming traffic, be it by pinging relentlessly, sending too many HTTP requests, or any other traffic type that requires a sizable response. Resources for many websites don’t provide protection against this type of “flooding”, and when done maliciously, it crashes your site and opens it up to further exploitation by attackers. The goal to prevent this kind of attack is to understand your site’s limits, and to have contingencies in place for when something does crash.


Phishing is a term that refers to entrapment by attackers that confuses or misleads users into sharing their personal information, such as program credentials, credit card numbers, and PII. Masquerading as a reputable person or entity, the attacker will request such information under all sorts of pretenses. While many joke about old phishing emails, these attempts still come in and are surprisingly successful and sophisticated in their execution. These convincing lies can compromise your finances, your media, or even your own identity online. To avoid this, always screen links before clicking, analyzing whether the URL preview matches what’s described in the messaging —  and always use scrutiny when faced with abbreviated links. Likely email phishing can also be avoided often through email filtering.

Zero-Day Attack

Zero-Day attacks are planned before a software knows its limitations. Attackers grow privy to a specific type of problem within the software, and organize attacks on users of the program before this exploit is discovered and patched up. By configuring your firewalls to allow only the most necessary activity through the defenses, you’re already better prepared for this type of threat.

Drive-by Attack

Yet another injection attack, these are used with insecure websites instead — namely, those that don’t use HTTPS protocol to defend against code injection. When a user visits this insecure website, the attack commences by downloading malware such as keyloggers or viruses into the user’s endpoint. Not only will protective software help defend against such attacks, but URL filters can keep you and your team from accidentally winding up on unprotected sites. Be sure to emphasize to your team the importance of avoiding unsafe or suspicious sites and downloads.


Remote-controlled networks of compromised programs and computers are known as botnets, and they’re capable of a lot of various attack types. They can spam, send fraudulent communications, or even commit DDoS campaigns. Botnets are a viral infection, in that each new compromised endpoint becomes a part of the larger host network — making them all the more capable of Cybersecurity attacks on a grand scale. When in communications, botnet controlled devices act as a “man in the middle”, learning whatever they can about unsuspecting users. When in respect to actual traffic, botnets are capable of using DNS tunneling to send unsavory traffic and establish connections from the inside that aren’t seen by firewalls. Thanks to their versatility, it’s important that users emphasize encrypted communications and protect their DNS traffic with next-generation firewalls where possible, like the ones instituted by high-end endpoint protection platforms.


The best solutions to each type of threat involve tools and knowledge alike. Knowledge, like threat intelligence or analysis of URL types, is crucial — but so is having advanced tools in place. While some, like Carbon Black, meet multiple needs, others like SentinelOne are designed to address all threat types in proven, modern ways. If you’re looking to defend your network and beyond, an endpoint protection platform like that is the way to go.

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