Most antivirus and cybersecurity solutions tell you that they protect your attack vectors. If you’re familiar with the industry, you know exactly what that means. However, most people aren’t cybersecurity professionals. So, they may want to know, “What are attack vectors?”
Attack vectors are the way cybercriminals try to attack you. Attack may be a bit broad. This means that they attempt to steal your information, scam or defraud you, or in some rare instances cause you physical harm. These attack vectors don’t necessarily start with malware. Other paths and scenarios begin with social engineering. Criminals use a variety of attack vectors in case any of them are blocked. Spreading their malicious intent across different attempts allows them to ferret out weaknesses in your cybersecurity. VIPRE is going to help you become cyber smart about the most common attack vectors.
Attack Vector – Email
Email is one of the most attacked vectors, if not the #1. Cybercriminals can acquire lists of email addresses through the dark net, through guessing your address on LinkedIn, or even calling up your company and asking for it. This attack vector is relatively easy to exploit. Now, there are plenty of security measures in place already. Most Email Service Providers do some filtering of spam and malicious emails. However, occasionally something will slip by. If it happens to a large enough company, that slip up can become infamous. Security products like VIPRE Advanced Security and VIPRE Email Cloud provide email protection to secure this attack vector.
One of the truly insidious sides of this vector is how it can lull you into doing something risky. Cybercriminals will impersonate legitimate organizations. They’ll also target vulnerable groups. A final common tactic you need to be aware of is exploiting people’s fears. These examples all rely on an individual trusting the email’s source well enough to lower their defenses.
Attack Vector – Apps
Virtually all mainstream app stores utilize some level of security practices. Typically apps are scanned and vetted before becoming available for consumers. However, you still need to be careful. Security improvements are made year over year. That just means hackers work harder to attack you in app stores like the Microsoft Windows’ Store. The main gist of protecting yourself is to make sure an app has been on a store for some time and comes from a reputable publisher. This vector can be especially dangerous. You can override your security precautions when installing a malicious app.
Attack Vector – Social Media
Twitter can be an attack vector. In a famous example, celebrity accounts were used to swindle folks. Twitter hacks can also involve persuading someone to surrender posting permissions for their account. Facebook can also be used to harvest information from people. These are two of the most difficult attack vectors to secure because they rely on exploiting the perception of trust in order to attack you. This is why you have to be cyber smart. Don’t share information on Facebook and make sure you really know all of your friends.
Attack Vector – Third Party Update/Supply Chain Vendor
The most common third party update exploitation is hitting a piece of software that hasn’t been updated (Chrome, I’m looking at you). However, the most infamous third party attack was with FireEye in late 2020. The security company got hit by an update that was signed as securely coming from SolarWinds. However, it delivered a payload of malware. This situation was peculiar because it involved two giants of the security industry. However, the attack vector is not uncommon. That’s why it’s important to have multiple layers of security keeping your software up to date. VIPRE offers auto patch functionality for third party software for personal and professional use.
There are more attack vectors out there, which is why you need to be VIPRE Secure.