Top 2 Types of Most Destructive Cyber Attacks and How to Combat Them

Whether the cyber attackers are trying to get into your local networks or breaking into your sensitive information stored on the cloud, data breach attempts could cost your company millions if not billions of dollars in damages. While it is good practice to share advice on creating strong passwords and how to protect them, it would also be best to help the people in your company understand exactly how data hackers try to guess your credentials. Let’s take a look at two of the most common types of cyber attacks, the tactics behind them, and how you can fend them off.

Dictionary Attacks

Top 2 Most Destructive Cyber Attacks and How to Combat Them

What is it?

This is an aptly named hacking method wherein people try to guess your password by referring to common words found in most dictionaries. With so many possible words out there—not to mention so many languages to choose from—why, then, is this type of attack so effective at cracking user credentials?If a hacker’s program is able to guess one password every second, it would take less than two days to guess every word in the Oxford dictionary.

How do you combat it?

It’s fairly simple: do not use a complete word from the dictionary. Also, try not to use the name of a family member, a pet, or even your favorite color. These would be the first things people would try to use to guess your credentials, as these are very easy details you can remember. Instead, use a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Brute Force Attacks

What is it?

Unlike a dictionary attack, a brute force attack does not skip directly to complete words from a dictionary, but attempts to guess every possible combination that your password could contain. For instance, if you were trying to break the lock on somebody’s safe, and the pass-code contained three characters, you would try changing the number at the end at least nine times before changing any number on the left. An example would be trying 0-0-1, then 0-0-2, going all the way to 0-0-9, before finally trying 0-1-0.

How do you combat it?

If your password only contains eight characters, it would only be a matter of time until the hacker figures it out, because there can only be so many possible combinations. Make it twelve characters long—longer if you can remember it, or if you use a secure user credential encryption app—to make it harder to figure out.

Now that you know the strategies behind these two types of cyber attacks, you should have a better understanding of why certain methods for making stronger passwords work and why some don’t. However, even the strongest keys could eventually be cracked if a hacker is persistent enough, so do not forget to set up other fail-safe methods such as setting up two-factor authentication. By keeping up to date with the latest trends concerning data breaches, you should be able to protect your company, your staff, and your customers’ information with the best practices.


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