Cyber Attack Vectors and How to Avoid Them?

Published on : 08 Feb 2022

Cyber Attack Vectors and How to Avoid Them

What Are Cyber Attacks?

Cyber-attacks have been a critical issue for millions of internet users around the world. People are worried about cyber security on their laptops, computer, or cell phone with regards to hackers getting access to their confidential information. 

While there are many secure and legitimate websites, there are many malicious codes used by hackers to gain access to your information for dangerous reasons. Read the article to discover common cyber attack vectors and ways to avoid them.

What Are Common Cyber Attack Vectors?

A cyber attack is an attempt by a hacker to destroy or damage a computer system or network. Essentially attack vector is a method that allows unauthorized parties to gain access to a protected network so they can launch a cyber attack.

Cybercriminals find vulnerabilities in the system and use attack vectors to exploit those vulnerabilities to their advantage. Once they gain access into the network, they can even gain access to highly sensitive information such as PII or personally identifiable information and other valuable information in the network.

The cost of an average data breach is around $4.24 million. Therefore, it is important to learn and understand what attack vectors cybercriminals could possibly use. Detecting vulnerabilities and addressing areas of exploit can help you prevent data breaches.

IP attribution and digital forensics can only help you so much. Your only safe bet is to work on prevention. Some of the common attack vectors are –

  • Email attachments
  • Viruses
  • Malware
  • Instant messages
  • Pop-ups
  • Text messages
  • Web pages
  • Social engineering

With cyber threats on the rise, there is no telling what potential vulnerabilities listed on the dark web and  CVE cybercriminals could exploit to gain access to highly valuable information. Also, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to prevent all attack vectors. Today, antivirus software is no longer enough to ensure cyber safety. This is the reason many companies employ in-depth defense services to avoid such attacks and ensure cybersecurity.

How Do I Avoid Cyber Attack Vectors?

Do Not Use Credentials That Are Weak Or Stolen

Remember to always use a password containing a combination of uppercase, lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters as a way of keeping cyber attackers away from hacking into your computer. 

Beware of sending your login credentials to another account. This gives hackers who are phishing easier access to personal information for further use. Remember your strong password by using a combination of names and numbers that are relatable to you. Hackers who are phishing are always looking for weak passwords they can use to enter an account.

Do Not Use Compromised Credentials

Account takeover fraud happens when a user’s information like his username and password have been compromised by an attacker. The hacker now has the user’s information and can use it however he wants. Often such attacks are not known to the user until he tries to log in and discover his username and password have been changed by the hacker. Now you have to figure out how to get into your own account.

Avoid this scenario by updating your password when it appears that it has suspicious activity. Experts recommend changing your password once every three months. Also use strong passwords that combine uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters.

Beware of A Malicious Insider

A malicious insider may be an unhappy employee who may expose private company information to an unauthorized individual. Company CEOs, supervisors, employees, and others in the company need to be observant of disgruntled employees. Supervisors can take away certain computer levels to keep employees away from security information. 

Employees should have secure access to information according to their seniority in the company. Investigations should be done of the suspected disgruntled employee who is sending the unwarranted information. An employee should report this behavior to a supervisor immediately.

Do Not Use Poor or Missing Encryption

Old computer software will always have poor and lack encryptions. Update your computer software when needed to keep cyber security high on your computer. Updated computer software will be difficult for hackers to hack into your computer and place malware. 

Updating your computer and using a VPN are two ways to keep hackers away from your important stored information.

Use Computer Software That Blocks Suspicious Software Or Ransomware

Ransomware is malicious software designed to block a computer system until money is paid for its’ release. Use computer software that will alert you to these types of software so you can block the dangerous cyber attack.

Be Observant For Phishing By Cyber Attackers

Be observant of hacker phishing for your information. Observe suspicious email attacks, website links, and other phishing opportunities that bring cyber attackers into your secure world. Experts say that 96% of phishing activity from cyber attackers comes from sending emails. 61% of companies deal with phishing activity via their social media channels. 65% of phishing in large corporations deal with spear phishing, aimed at stealing the information of top executives. 3% of phishing activities occur through fake websites.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are a combination of capital letters, small letters, numbers, and special characters that cannot easily be identified by a cyber attacker. It should be a string of numbers and letters that you can remember. 

It would also be best to have your passwords written down on a notepad for all of your accounts in case you have to refer back to them. Having a strong password ensures that cyber attackers trolling the internet cannot easily get into your accounts and get your personal information.

Always Update Your Computer Software

Old software on your computer will continue to have bugs and holes in its cyber security that allows hackers to get your personal information. Updating your computer software ensures that you have the best cyber security to keep hackers away from attempting to destroy and compromise your software and information.

Do Not Click On Weblinks

Every day you are asked by companies and other professional sources to click on a particular link to obtain information. However, if you do not pay attention to the link next to the legitimate company’s name, you may be opening yourself up to a world where cyber attackers can come into your life. 

Do not click on suspicious web links that can lead to malware dysfunction. Malware is a malicious code that destroys the secure information, integrity availability, and confidential nature of a computer information system.

Malware causes problems for the owner of the computer accounts, allowing cyber attackers to change passwords, usernames, and your personal information.


Having a VPN on your computer helps protect against identity theft. A VPN sends your personal data through an encrypted safe tunnel that is far out of the reach of cyber attackers. A VPN makes sure that your confidential data is protected and offers the best cyber security available.

Bottom Line

Those were some practical and effective tips on avoiding common cyber-attack vectors. Remember to use a strong username and password that is not easily identifiable by a hacker. Pay close attention to suspicious emails that look like they come from a reputable company. Update your computer software to ensure the highest levels of cyber security. Use a VPN to keep your personal data and any threat of identity theft low. Watch for disgruntled employees who send unauthorized information and report this to a supervisor immediately.

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Narendra Sahoo
Narendra Sahoo

Narendra Sahoo (PCI QPA, PCI QSA, PCI SSF ASSESSOR, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, 27001 LA) is the Founder and Director of VISTA InfoSec, a global Information Security Consulting firm, based in the US, Singapore & India. Mr. Sahoo holds more than 25 years of experience in the IT Industry, with expertise in Information Risk Consulting, Assessment, & Compliance services. VISTA InfoSec specializes in Information Security audit, consulting and certification services which include GDPR, HIPAA, CCPA, NESA, MAS-TRM, PCI DSS Compliance & Audit, PCI PIN, SOC2 Compliance & Audit, PDPA, PDPB to name a few. The company has for years (since 2004) worked with organizations across the globe to address the Regulatory and Information Security challenges in their industry. VISTA InfoSec has been instrumental in helping top multinational companies achieve compliance and secure their IT infrastructure.