Top 10 Cyber Security Threats 

Cybersecurity's most wanted list you can't afford to ignore!

We have all shifted online in recent years. Now, with this transition, making cybersecurity a priority has become the top need of the hour. 

While there have been continuous developments in security infrastructure, the rise in online threats such as data breaches across social media platforms, server hacks, and ransomware attacks can’t be ignored. 

Talking of that, do you know what are the top 10 cyber security threats and vulnerabilities that you should be mindful of to ensure you don’t fall victim to them? We’ll discuss more on it in this blog. Let’s begin.

top 10 cyber security threats

Top 10 Cyber Security Threats and Solutions

Despite the use of AI in cyber security, multiple cyberattacks daily hit a broad spectrum of targets, including governments, businesses, and individual users. Now, this is why it is more crucial than ever to understand the different cyber security threats and their solutions to protect yourself and stay secure online.

What is a Security Threat and Its Types?

As the term suggests, a security threat refers to any potential danger or violation that can compromise the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of computer systems, networks, or data. It can be caused by any entity to another person or organization.

 Such threats can arise from various sources and hence, it is important to adopt countermeasures to reduce the risks of:

  • Tampering with data
  • Information disclosure
  • Spoofing identity
  • Repudiation

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering is one of the riskiest hacking techniques cyber criminals employ as it depends more on human error than technical faults.

Instead of using technical weaknesses, hackers employ psychological techniques in these attacks to persuade victims to reveal personal information or give them access to databases, networks, and systems. Since it is comparatively easier to trick someone than to breach a security system, this raises the hazard of these attacks.

According to a Verizon report, social engineering techniques have become an easy way of gaining access to employee credentials and data since COVID-19. Up to 74% of data breaches involved human interaction and have been doubled since 2020.


  • Keep an eye on recent social engineering attacks and educate your staff on how to identify the red flags
  • Limit access to private systems, networks, and data for all employees
  • Employ data loss prevention measures to make sure any information isn’t revealed in an unauthorized way
  • Use email filters, anti-malware programs, and firewalls to scan and block harmful emails and attachments automatically
  • Conduct routine authorization checks and vulnerability assessments
  • Conduct security audits to identify and tackle any potential security threats

Also Read: What To Do If a Scammer Has Your Email Address?

2. Phishing Attack

Phishing involves fraudulent attempts to fool individuals and get them to reveal all their sensitive information or download malware on their systems. Such attacks typically occur through deceptive emails or messages with malicious links.

Phishing attack

According to an Acronis study, the amount of email-based phishing assaults increased by 464% in the first half of 2023 itself, indicating that these remain a serious threat to enterprises. Even in 2024, these attacks are getting increasingly rampant. 

Phishing also includes building realistic-looking websites. Job seekers are easily tricked by effectively counterfeit emails or messages that pose the company as authentic correspondence. As a result, they unintentionally divulge personal information to hackers, such as bank account details, login passwords, and many more sensitive information.


  • Get email filtering software to identify and address fake websites and emails
  • Train your staff members on how to spot phishing attempts to deter such risks
  • Add multi-factor authentication to every account and keep their software regularly updated with the newest security patches

3. Cloud Vulnerabilities

Regular cybersecurity audits, encrypted servers with restricted access, and inbuilt firewalls are just a few advantages of cloud storage. So, while keeping files on the cloud is generally considered safer than on a hard drive, there are still certain risks involved that you need to watch out for.

Misconfigurations, data breaches, and illegal access to cloud systems have become major issues in recent years. In addition to this, vulnerabilities in the supply chain, shared tenancy, inadequate access control, poor multi-factor authentication, and major configuration errors while setting up cloud storage are also some known risks that are open to cyber attacks.


  • Cloud-based data and apps should be included in the current compliance policies and regulations
  • Conduct regular risk assessments of data
  • Direct access to the cloud data through an API link
  • Prioritize secure authentication and encryption
  • Invest in safe cloud setups through expert engineers

Also Read: What is the Role of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security?

4. Ransomware

Ransomware attacks involve spyware or malware that encrypts files belonging to the victim or prevents users from accessing their systems until the ransom fee is paid.

Ransomware cyber attack

As one of the top 10 cyber security threats, almost half the companies of all sizes in any industry have been said to face this. Businesses may suffer major revenue losses, interrupted operations, disclosure of private information, harm to their reputation, and legal ramifications.

Hence, it is highly important to prevent ransomware attacks.


  • Make routine backups of sensitive data to a remote as well as offline system
  • Keep regular accounts and administrative accounts apart
  • Always update your antivirus and anti-malware software
  • Limit the use of who can have access to confidential software and data
  • Train staff members on basic safe computer techniques like how to recognize phishing emails and ransomware
  • Implement strong backup plans, and apply security patches regularly

Some well known Ransomware attacks are WannaCry (2017); NotPetya (2017); Ryuk (2018)

5. Internet of Things (IoT)

We all know that the Internet of Things (IoT) uses the Internet to link devices all over the world. But this also means that as more devices are connected, the worldwide attack surface increases as well.

IoT devices can be exploited by hackers to overwhelm or compromise the network, cause disorder, or invade user’s privacy. As there is an increased risk associated with more connected devices and many of them also lack security measures, IoT networks are frequently targeted by hackers for cyberattacks.

Hackers use these shortcomings to get unauthorized access or start a Distributed Denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.


  • Use secure passwords for your IoT devices
  • Network isolation, frequent firmware updates, and system access controls
  • Confirm all systems and their software are timely updated
  • Regularly assess vulnerabilities
  • Use segmented networks to reduce the impact of incursions across all devices at once

Some top DDoS attacks are MiraiKrebs botnet attack (2016); the GitHub DDoS attack (2018); Amazon Web Services DDoS attack (2020)

6. Zero-day Vulnerabilities

Among the top 10 cyber security threats today, one is zero-day vulnerabilities, which are exploited by hackers daily.

Zero-day focuses on undiscovered software flaws for which there are no existing patches or defenses to compromise systems and steal sensitive information. As there are no fixes available at that moment, hackers easily bypass security measures already in place and gain unauthorized access to a network, computers, or personal data.


  • Use intrusion detection systems and apply software patches regularly
  • Keep an eye on vulnerable or highly sensitive databases
  • Keep your software updated and put access controls for networks
  • Use threat intelligence-equipped heuristic intrusion prevention systems to recognize and counteract attackers
  • Utilize sandboxing technology to predict any possible risks

Here are a few Zero-day attacks in the history are Stuxnet worm (2010), the Heartbleed bug (2014)

7. Data Breaches

Data breaches and violations of privacy are already significant cybersecurity concerns. Cybercriminals attack organizations in an attempt to gain sensitive data, which can affect a company’s finances and reputation. Imperva’s analysis indicates that 32% of the over 100,000 breaches might have been prevented with stronger control of information and security.

Data Breach

Data protection is not just mandated by law, but also necessary for the maintenance and security of a company. Even with stricter cybersecurity rules and punishments, companies still bear a heavy financial cost and risk millions of people’s personal information due to a lack of data protection.


  • Use strict access controls, frequent security audits, and strong data encryption to guard against data breaches and privacy abuses
  • Use robust network and system access controls
  • Conduct vulnerability assessments regularly
  • Put strong encryption procedures in place for private information
  • Perform penetration tests and security audits regularly

Also Read: What is Spyware? The 10 Examples of Spyware You Need to Know

8. Poor Data Hygiene

Cyber hygiene refers to standard operating procedures and preventive precautions that are applied to the use of technology, such as avoiding unprotected WiFi networks and setting up multi-factor authentication using a VPN. Its main goal is to assist companies in protecting their information and data.

However, studies conducted by Businesswire Security Behavior reveal that online hygiene practices are not up to par. 42% of organizations use sticky notes to store passwords, while nearly 60% of organizations count on human memory. Just 37% of people use two-factor authentication for personal accounts, while over half of IT professionals believe that it is not necessary to use it for access to work accounts.

Implementation of good cyber hygiene practices can easily decrease vulnerabilities.


  • Use two-factor authentication across accounts
  • Conduct cybersecurity awareness training to teach cautious information-sharing
  • Use network security measures like intrusion prevention and detection systems
  • Install a web application firewall with the ability to examine incoming requests
  • Strong access controls, frequent security audits, and standard surveillance and response can all help mitigate APTs

9. Insider Threat

When it comes to top 10 cyber security threats, it’s not always from outside like phishers or hackers but you also need to take precautionary measures against employees inside your company. Any organization can suffer a great deal of damage at the hands of individuals having access to their computer system or network. 

Whether deliberate or unintentional, there are always risks of releasing confidential information or breaking into systems. Because they are hard to predict or identify, this threat is among the most dangerous ones on our list.


  • Put access controls for sensitive data and systems in place
  • Work to foster a healthy workplace culture to prevent angry employees from posing as insider threats
  • Keep an eye on user behavior, paying close attention to system and user logs
  • Install data loss prevention (DLP) technologies to lessen insider threat effects
  • Implement strict permissions and access constraints.
  • Put behavior analytics and staff monitoring into practice
  • Encourage a culture of responsibility and security awareness

Also Read: What is DMZ in Networking and Its Purpose?

10. Third-Party Threat

Businesses frequently depend on outside vendors, contractors, partners, or customers to gain entry to other company’s databases and systems. However, this also opens up possible points of access for cyber criminals who can take advantage of lax security measures on the part of third parties.

Hackers can bypass security systems by breaking into networks that are not as well-protected and belong to separate organizations, which gives them special access to their main target.

One well-known instance of a third-party breach happened in early 2021 when hackers exposed personal information from more than 214 million accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. It was found that the attackers were able to obtain the data by breaking into Socialarks, a third-party contractor with restricted access to all three firms’ networks. 

Similarly, there are many such serious cyber attacks in history after which, people started seeing the need to take countermeasures to tackle third-party threats.


  • Conduct comprehensive vendor risk evaluations before onboarding
  • Provide explicit contractual duties with data security requirements
  • Use privileged access control, and keep an eye on activities and access by third parties
  • Use data encryption methods while exchanging private information
  • Audit third-party security procedures and adherence to industry standards regularly
  • Establish fast response procedures and backup strategies in case of third-party breaches

Other Types of Cyber Attacks

Other Types of Cyber Attacks

Apart from the above-mentioned threats, there are other vulnerabilities too that users usually face:

  • Malware: Malicious software comes with a wide range of threats such as viruses, trojans, spyware, worms, and ransomware that infiltrate the system, steal data, affect operations, and extort money from the victim.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) Attacks: Hackers perform such attacks to eavesdrop on conversations between two parties and use them to manipulate or steal sensitive information between them. MitM attacks are frequent in unsecured networks or public Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • SQL Injection: SQL injection injects malicious SQL code into input fields to exploit risks in web applications’ databases. By doing so, attackers can bypass authentication, access unauthorized data, or even manipulate the database to execute random commands.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats: APTs are undercover cyber attacks planned by highly skilled foes, usually state-sponsored or organized crime groups. Such assaults involve targeted campaigns to exfiltrate sensitive information and disturb the core infrastructure completely. 

Also Read: IDS vs IPS vs Firewall: Definitions and Comparisons

Examples of Cyber Security Threats

Here are some examples of how hackers can pose cyber security attacks on you and your business:

  • Your web server’s inquiries may be redirected to the attacker’s web server.
  • Your company’s database may be modified by a cybercrime expert.
  • Possibly a remote attacker may control your server.
  • If you’ve connected your phone or laptop to an unencrypted free WiFi available at a cafe, there are chances of that being used by a cyber thief to intercept data transmissions and obtain your private data such as login passwords or bank account information.
  • Hackers may pose as an IT specialist and install malicious software into your systems in the disguise of security patches without your knowledge.

Now that you are well aware of these top 10 cyber security threats and solutions to counteract such practices, it’s time to protect yourself and your company from hackers.

If you have any queries or suggestions, do not hesitate to reach out to us in the comment section. Keep visiting TechCult to read more informative blogs.

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