The main types of information security threats
Everyone knows that a person who has the necessary information becomes successful in running business projects. And the possession of data about competing companies and their activities gives unlimited opportunities in confrontation with them.
The development of technology has led to the dependence of enterprises on the IT system, and at the same time to vulnerability to hacker attacks, viruses and other threats. Therefore, the issue of information security is the most important for modern enterprises. Moreover, the market offers a wide variety of information security tools and IT systems from cybercriminals.
What is meant by information security?
The concept of information security implies the protection of information and all information systems of an enterprise from intentional or accidental events that harm the owners of the enterprise or an individual user. The main area of information security is risk prevention, not elimination of their consequences. Taking preventive measures to guarantee the confidentiality, integrity and availability of information is the most appropriate approach to protecting information resources. Loss of information can create serious problems for the business - from impressive monetary losses to the complete closure of the enterprise.
Naturally, the problem of losing information did not arise now. Industrial espionage and the double recruitment of experienced employees existed before the era of computer progress. But only with the advent of computers and the World Wide Web did new methods of unauthorized capture of information appear. If in the old days, in order to possess other people's valuable information, it was necessary to steal a bunch of papers and packages of documents from the office, now it is enough to transfer the necessary information to a removable drive that can be easily hidden from the eyes of security.
Most often, information about the financial activities of the organization, technical concepts, commercial projects, identifiers for entering the local network requires protection. Also, the loss of personal data of employees and clients of the company can cause great damage to the enterprise, as this can lead to serious fines and legal proceedings. It happens that data loss damages the enterprise even long after its occurrence, falling into the hands of competitors or ubiquitous journalists.
Therefore, any valuable data on the activities of the enterprise must remain within the company and be comprehensively protected. But in order to properly build the protection of an IT system, you first need to figure out what can pose a threat to information security.
Types of information security threats
According to information security analysts for 2019, the Russian mass media published more than two hundred cases of information leaks from Russian commercial enterprises and government organizations. This is almost 17% of all information leaks in the world. More than 50% of companies in Russia are faced with this threat. The most common cases of loss of financial and personal data - about 83%. At the same time, in 73% of cases employees of organizations are to blame, and only in 27% are managers. In 2019, Russia again ranked second after the United States in terms of information leaks.
Statistics prove that security of confidential data storage in Russia is not done well enough. Most often this is due to the incorrectly chosen methods and means to ensure the protection of this data.
Computer security threats are various events and actions that can lead to leakage of confidential data. They can be divided into two groups: natural and artificial.
Natural threats are natural events that humans cannot influence. So, in the event of an earthquake and panic that arose, important documents may end up in the hands of strangers.
Man-made threats are created by people. They can be deliberate and unintentional. Unintentional people happen through negligence, negligence and inexperience. For example, installation of programs that are not included in the list of software required for operation. Such programs disrupt the operation of the IT system, causing distortion of information or provoking the loss of important data. Intentional, on the contrary, are created on purpose by groups of hackers. At the same time, attackers can operate both inside the organization and outside it. The result of their work is the loss of corporate finances, information and personal data.
Any of the existing threats is aimed at violating the integrity, availability and confidentiality of information:
- A breach of confidentiality is illegal access to data. The danger of losing confidentiality is that sensitive information may fall into the wrong hands. This happens when outsiders gain access to confidential data. This violation of confidentiality is called "information leakage". They happen mainly due to human fault, when employees inadvertently transfer their powers and access rights to other users, as well as due to failures and breakdowns in computing equipment.
- Integrity breaches are actions aimed at changing and distorting data in the IT system of an enterprise. This happens due to deliberate actions of employees or due to equipment malfunction.
- Accessibility violations are actions that impede or prohibit entry into an IT system until the end goal of the attacker is achieved.
According to the location of the primary source, there are internal and external influences, and according to the degree of damage, passive and active attacks. Also dangerous can be actions aimed at individual components of the system: data, hardware, software. Security management options are identified depending on what is potentially threatening data protection.
Basic methods of hacking information security systems
There are several common hacking methods that cybercriminals actively use.
- Unlicensed software. Very often, an attempt by managers to save finances on the purchase of licensed software leads to malfunctions in the information protection system. It is important to remember that pirated software does not protect against swindlers whose main purpose is to steal information using virus software. The owner of pirated software does not have many advantages, such as technical support and necessary updates, which the developers offer. On the contrary, illegal software can be filled with viruses that threaten data protection. It is known that 10% of pirated software contains viruses to steal usernames and passwords.
- Virus software is one of the biggest dangers today. It is hard to imagine the amount of damage that virus threats inflict on IT systems of enterprises around the world every year. Experts say that the increase in the number of virus attacks is due to the fact that more and more channels for the penetration of malware are emerging, primarily email and instant messengers. The number of targets for virus attacks also increased. Previously, only the servers of common web operators were exposed to viruses, and now viruses can attack firewalls, routers and other components and components of operating systems and supporting infrastructure. Encryption viruses were also activated. In 2019, many organizations were affected by viruses such as PETYA, MASHA, WANNA CRAY. Moreover, you can catch these viruses even without opening letters and messages in mailboxes and applications for communication.
- DDoS attacks are a huge number of hacker intrusions into the operating system in order to disable it, that is, to create impossible working conditions for the employees of an organization. DDoS attacks are carried out on a communication channel that can be blocked by a stream of unnecessary information, or on the main server of an IT system. As a result, it fails for a long time, from several hours to several days. Typically, such attacks are used by competitors as a form of industrial blackmail or to lull the vigilance of system administrators when stealing money from corporate accounts. Theft of funds is often the target of DDoS attacks.
Along with information threats, there are other obstacles in the work of the information protection service. During company checks, Russian federal authorities may confiscate equipment and all data storage (HDD, memory cards, USB flash drives, etc.). Since most of the important business data is stored digitally on servers, if it is confiscated, the business will shut down for a while. At the same time, no one will compensate for the penalties, and if the audit lasts longer than usual, the question of closing the enterprise may arise due to losses. Confiscation of electronics is one of the most pressing problems of modern office work, and any circumstance can serve as a reason for it - from the conclusions of the investigative committee to the judgments of judicial commissions in the course of the criminal cases that have arisen.
Despite the rapid development of digital technologies in the field of information security, computer fraudsters are ahead. And this is not because there are no competent solutions or there are not enough information security specialists who will solve many problems and take care of IT security. Most likely, this is due to the fact that the management of enterprises is not fully aware of the need for methods of protecting information resources.
Only installing antivirus software and restricting access to confidential data are not reliable means of protection against hacker crimes. To provide better protection of information, a multilevel security system is required.
Unfortunately, staff programmers and system administrators cannot always deal with this issue. In this case, specialized companies that provide information security at the highest level come to the rescue. They are engaged in the selection of methods and tools that will provide the necessary protection of confidential data.