Cyberattacks are malicious attempts to damage, steal or destroy critical corporate data, compromise websites, and disrupt operational infrastructures. The attacker takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the system, installing a malicious code to alter computer code, logic or data leading to cybercrimes, such as information and identity theft.
As corporations and the clients they serve have come to depend on websites and web-based applications to create, consume, and do business, the privacy and security risks to which they are exposed every day are growing exponentially. Cyberattacks have become increasingly sophisticated and dangerous. They are no longer reserved for high profile targets, and can affect any organization that relies on networked applications, devices and systems.
Government organizations and financial firms remain the focus of many cyberattacks, particularly those carried out in the name of hacktivism. However, due to the open infrastructure of the Internet and the increased availability of easy-to-implement attack tools, almost anyone with the basic skills necessary can carry out a cyberattack, making cyber security a top priority for any enterprise with valuable digital assets and an Internet presence.
Cyberattacks take advantage of vulnerabilities, whether it's weaknesses in software, computing devices, or the humans that administer and use them. As websites grow more complex and applications are developed more rapidly, the potential for attack increases. Meanwhile, hackers and cyber-mercenaries are building, distributing, and utilizing sophisticated exploit tools and malware to steal or destroy critical corporate data, compromise Web sites, and disrupt operational infrastructures.
Whether the motive is espionage or sabotage, cyber criminals employ a range of attack methods, such as spear-phishing, SQL injection attack, cross-site scripting (XSS), and brute force attacks, using them adaptively and in combination to carry out elaborate cyberattacks.
One of the most disruptive tactics used in cyberattacks is the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack in which botnets are used to congest a website or web application to the point that legitimate users can no longer access it—costing enterprises millions of dollars in revenue, lost productivity and damaged reputations.
Organizations, particular those that have suffered the effects of cyberattacks, have strengthened perimeter-based security controls like firewalls and intrusion detection systems. Unfortunately, traditional data center security methods such as these are not enough to protect companies from large-scale, distributed cyber threats and furtive attacks at the application layer.
What enterprises need today are multi-layered defense architectures that can not only detect and deflect cyberattacks as close to the source as possible but also scale to absorb massive-scale threats. And this is exactly what Akamai's Cloud Security Solutions offers our customers.