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Literature of Cyber Security Strategies

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Information Systems
Wordcount: 2944 words Published: 20th Sep 2017

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Natora Shepherd


“Staying Safe: Cyber Security for people and Organizations” lucidly iterates the imperativeness of cyber security. The journal focuses considerably on how the lack of knowledge of both professional and personal environments has caused a surging level of threats due to security ignorance. The key topics covered by this paper is- The 8 Most Infamous Data Attacks, The Map of Breaching, What’s a PoS Attack, How Consumer’s View Hacked Business and The Rippling Effect, Heed The Waring Signs & We’ll Provide A Solution. For the reason that 80% or more businesses process significant amounts of data or use PoS systems.

“Learning The In’s and Out’s of Data Breaching May Save Your Company”

We live in a digital era, where computers are a part of everyday operations. As our technology advances, society has seen how much our nation struggles to secure government, personal, business, and financial data. Currently, the country suffers from a half-million cyber-attacks every minute, making it merely impossible to issue a patch promptly to seal exploited vulnerability and isolate the attack. Unfortunately, computers are not the only electronic devices subjected to cyber-attacks, for this purpose, it’s imperative that business, government agencies, and organizations construct a systematic approach to safeguarding their computers. Reading this document will provide a clear understanding of- Why are Business Attacked,The 8 Most Infamous Data Attacks, The Blueprint for Breaching, What’s a PoS Attack, How Consumer’s View Hacked Business and The Rippling Effect, Heed The Waring Signs & We’ll Provide A Solution.

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Ultimately, as we progress into the future, the level of cultivation breaches upsurges throughout the cyber world. A data breach occurs when hackers exploit a weakness in the targets system. As a result, hackers can extract and access confidential information without the consent or knowledge of the user. Importantly, knowing why hackers mark government agencies, department stores, online stores, and healthcare organization is equally beneficial. Hackers fabricate attacks, where enormous amounts of confidential data are accommodated.

“Why are Business Attacked.”

Attacks against companies are increasing at an astounding rate. Yet, in still they continue to ignore incident until its too late. Understanding the motives behind the many attacks discussed enables corporations to concentrate on areas within the business infrastructure a hacker should possibly attack. For one large company, government agencies, and organizations process massive amounts of data on a daily basis. The amount of data acquired through these attacks is the driving force. Needless to say, knowledge holds power and information pertaining to any business is the biggest source of knowledge for a company.

For instance, organized crime groups specifically use cyber exploits to commit identity theft, online fraud, and computer extortion. In many cases hacker prey on the knowledge that many businesses has lower defenses which are easy to penetrate. Once the information is in the criminal’s possession, their free to upload the content on Black Markets sites, underground trading sites. Meanwhile, admittance users navigate through the site scanning immense amounts of – debit cards, bank account numbers, credit cards, social security numbers, and so forth (Wright, Sean).

In this section, we take a look at five well-known companies that fell victim to data breaches. Data breaches continue to take our nation by storm, with business and organizations being the primary target. The reason why many companies become targets is that more and more businesses have become more contingent on digital data. Companies store the majority of sensitive data on local machines, cloud servers, and enterprise databases, because of this hacking, a company’s data is simpler than ever. Let’s take a look at some of the largest and most hindering breaches on records dating as far back as 2009.

  1. In 2012 Experian was indirectly involved with one of the largest data breaches after acquiring a company called Court Ventures. Court Ventures had a contract with the company U.S. Info Search that enabled clients of U.S Info Search to locate individuals’ addresses in order to determine which court registers to assess. The data retrieved was then sold to a number of third parties resulting in the data falling into the hands of a Vietnamese fraud service. The Vietnamese fraud service gave its own customers the opportunity to view American’s social security numbers and financial information.
  2. 2009 marked a major turning point for the company Heartland Payment Systems suffered a massive data breach resulting in 130 million records being compromised. The system was penetrated by malware planted on their network. Heartland obtained data from more than 250,000 businesses along.
  3. Sony PlayStation Network- experienced an outage back in 2011 from an external intrusion resulting in all network users losing access to their system. It was stated that approximately 77 million accounts were compromised.
  4. Living Social- is a local marketplace where consumers can buy and share the best things to do in their area. More than 50 million users accessed this site on a daily basis. In 2013 hackers attacked their servers and made off with more than 70 million members personal data worldwide.
  5. Evernote- runs a cloud base storage which allows its users to access notes from multiple devices. In 2015 tens of millions of their note-takers found themselves worrying about their security. No, customers, financial information was extracted. However, the hackers were able to gather customer’s user names, encrypted passwords, and email addresses(Andromeda botnet).

The Blueprint for Data Breaching

As with anything else, there’s more than one type of attack that could put a business in a compromising situation. In this section we’ll talk about the five most popular attacks, leaving any business in devastation. Brute force attack is a very sophisticated algorithm or software written to perform any actions necessary to attack a companies infrastructure. The software does this by searching for vulnerabilities- and several cases targets password protect mechanism. This attack is designed to go through hundreds of thousands of different words, combinations of words combined with numbers in efforts to crack passwords; it does this by evaluating each word in the dictionary seeing if they can access somewhat like a password.

DDoS also known as distributed denial of service attacks happens when servers are overloaded with connections, the goal is shutting down the targets network system or website. An example of this particular attack is covered under “The 5 Largest Data Breaches” section. Next on the list is Phishing attacks which are perhaps among the most frequently reported method of cyber attacks. There’s numerous types of phishing attacks but the one used depends upon the industry. With this approach, hackers send out hundreds of thousands of emails with attachments or link hoping someone will click on them, given hackers system access. Coming in last is ransomware. Ransomware prohibits the use of the infected computer. In other words, it holds files or the PC for “ransom.” Now, there are various types of ransomware; however, all of the prevents the victim from using the PC.

Point-of-Sale (PoS) Malware

Point-of-sale malware is a malicious software expressly written to detect, aggregate and exfiltrate payment data. This malware was first exposed in October of 2008 when Visa issued an alert on a new type of exploit. Point-of-sale malware is a memory scraper that searches for data in its true format for track two credit card data. Chewbacca, BlackPOS, Kaptoxa, and Backoff are all types of POS malware. Orchestrating a POS attack is much simpler and a less risky way to obtain customers data without physically visiting the premises. So, what makes POS systems an easy target, well the systems are proprietary set up either by third-party consultants or vendors and may not be well comprehended by client’s IT staff.

The anatomy of a POS attack on a corporate network involves multiple stages. Ultimately, the hacker must acquire access to the victim’s network. This access is usually gained through an associated network not directly linked to a common desktop environment. Secondly, they can scan for vulnerabilities in external-facing systems, such as utilizing SQL injection on a web server or pinpointing a periphery device still using the default manufacturer password. Once inside the network, the attacker directs their attention toward the ultimate prize the POS system.

They may achieve their objective in various ways, although, the simplest method is collecting user credentials, through password hash extraction, cracking, keylogging Trojans, or brute force. The third step entails the use of data-stealing tools-like RAM-scraping malware and network-sniffing(Colasoft Capsa,/Wireshark). All data gathered during this process is then stored locally in a file until exfiltration. Because POS attacks often take time to carry out the primary goal, hackers need their code to remain persistent on the compromised terminal. Lastly, the hacker may attempt to hijack the internal system acting as the companies primary server. During this process their trying to identify a server that regularly communicated with the POS system, while piggybacking on normal communications to avoid detection (Andromeda botnet).

How Consumer’s View Hacked Business and The Rippling Effect

First and foremost just in case, the company you work for has forgotten all business are in the market to make money. However, not possess customer rapport makes it merely impossible to do so. By this token, it is necessary to view this situation through the client’s eyes. How exactly does a breach on a company affect consumers or customers perspective of them? Take a moment to rewind back to a time where you felt betrayed by either a business or person. Surely the memory resonates clearly in everyone’s mind because the human psyche holds a great capacity for feelings of abuse or betrayal. Clearly, it should not come as a surprise that consumers harbor those same negative emotions against business that allow their personal information to be stolen. If it where you would the level of trust remain the same? According to recent statistics75% of consumers say they would cease to do business with a company who had been hacked. Moreover, hacking has a tremendous impact on a business future. So, why are many businesses willing to take the chances of subjecting themselves to these types of threats. Perhaps, saving money now is worth losing loyal customers and withstanding the devastation and setback a breach would have on any companies future. Afterward, depending on the type of corporation or business it could leave them paying out millions of dollars to every customer compromised. Ironically, then and only then companies wish to ponder on the repercussions.(Last Name, Year)

Heed The Waring Signs & We’ll Provide A Solution.

Most organizations and business are coming to terms with why hacker breaching techniques are becoming more sophisticated. Even with this being the case some companies place all their trust in their antivirus software not recognizing the need to take other precautionary measures. All businesses whether big or small struggles to allocate security resources. In some case it’s not that IT don’t have the required tools to improve their risk of exposure’s- it’s more about not having the time. So, here are some early warning signs.

  1. Improperly trained employees

Solution: Cybersecurity awareness is critical to the operation of any business. All users need appropriate training on how to safeguard all devices on the company network, spot fraudulent e-mails, and when to contact IT personnel.

  1. Unclear security policies

Solution: Reinforces policies for accessing data, sharing data, granting user permission, and how employees use mobile devices on company network

  1. Unforeseen file activity or uncommon log-in patterns from team members

Solution: track relationships among users and activities. Keep an eye out for various security product in the ecosystem.

  1. Unsupported or None-patched operating systems

Solution: All workstations connect to network servers must be continuously patched and up-to-date as a preventive measure against criminals exploiting vulnerabilities.

  1. Joint user accounts

Solution: one of the most insecure actions, even though it creates conveniences. Oftentimes using shared accounts results in a lack of accountability for access confidential data. Reframing from creating shared accounts prevents these types of data leaks.

  1. Unsubstantial Passwords

Solution: reframe from the use of short password. A strong password is said to consist of longer words (15 characters at minimum) mixture of numbers, capital letters, lower-case letters, and symbols.

  1. Not managing file syncing

Solution:make sure all company files remain under company controls at all times. The employees should never use personal accounts for work. In addition, invest in business-ready versions of products like Box, given executive granular authority over company Unsupported or None-patched operating systems

Solution: All workstations connect to network servers must be continuously patched and up-to-date as a preventive measure against criminals exploiting vulnerabilities (Warning Signs Of A Breach, n.1-7).

  1. Time-consuming account lockouts (security professional encounter 10,000 or more alerts per month).

Solution: make sure the SOC team can distinguish between real security incidents which take hours to investigate and “heavy fingers.” Some many SOC teams proceed to unlock accounts prematurely as a means to save time.

  1. Distractions like DDoS attacks used to steer a security operations center(SOC) attention towards isolated the breach, while allowing hackers to move in undetected.

Solution: the companies SOC team should have a mitigation solution in place for possible violations. The key is being prepared for what might come, and constantly monitor for suspicious activity across the network(Shteiman, B n.8-9).


To conclude for years, our nation has felt the crippling effects of cyber attacks targeting business and government sectors. Many of these attacks have brought agencies and corporations to an abrupt halt, as they attempted to veil the devastating effects. Yet, they still choose to ignore the risk by rejecting adequate security and failure to educate themselves. We’ve approached the modern day area of cyber attacks; this is why organizations must heed the warnings by taking action. Our nation must move forward by learning how to recognize warning signs and guard against various data breaches and pos attacks. The information from this document was designed to stress the importance of knowing all the threats that lurk around in the cyber world by offering insight on two prominent threats of Data Breaches, PoS devices, and avoidance methods.


5 types of cyber attacks and how they can affect your business. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2017, from http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2016/06/22/5-types-of-cyber-attacks-and-how-they-can-affect-y?slreturn=1487565444&page=6

Mid-Year Review: 6 of the Biggest Cyber Threats of 2016. (2016, September 28). Retrieved January 03, 2017, from https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/2016-biggest-cyber-threats/

New point-of-sale malware distributed by Andromeda botnet. (n.d.). Retrieved December 2, 2016, from http://www.csoonline.com/article/2948966/cyber-attacks-espionage/new-pointofsale-malware-distributed-by-andromeda-botnet.html

(n.d.). Retrieved January 10, 2017, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/10-warning-signs-your-business-may-risk-data-breach-sean-wright

(n.d.). 3 Warning Signs Of A Breach – What Security Teams Should Be Looking For. Retrieved December 30, 2016, from https://techcrunch.com/gallery/3-warning-signs-of-a-breach-what-security-teams-should-be-looking-for/

Types of Phishing Attacks. (2007, August 24). Retrieved November 15, 2016, from http://pcworld.about.com/od/emailsecurity/Types-of-Phishing-Attacks.htm


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