Beware of these cyber threat actors in 2022

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Beware of these cyber threat actors in 2022

Published on February 9, 2022

Written by Neelesh Kripalani, CTO, Clover Infotech

Businesses are accelerating their digital transformation and cybersecurity is now a major concern. Creating a robust defense relies on intimate knowledge of the enemy, their motivations, and goals. Defending against a known attacker is much easier than against an unknown one. Therefore, it is important to understand the types of threat actors and their motivations in order to create a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.

What is a “threat actor”?

Cyber ​​threat actors are individuals or groups with malicious intent who aim to exploit vulnerabilities or low cyber security awareness to launch a cyber attack. Your action aims to cause harm to cyber empire including any computer, device, system or network.

Simply put, a threat actor is an entity responsible for a cybersecurity incident. Threat actors have different educational backgrounds, skills and resources.

6 Threat Actors to Watch Out for in 2022

#1 Nation States (Motivation – Espionage):

Nation states are one of the most sophisticated threat actors that have dedicated resources and personnel with extensive planning. They are either directed or funded by nations and national governments, or both. Some nation states have operational relationships with private sector entities and organized criminals.

#2 Cyber ​​Criminals (Motivation – Financial Gain):

Cybercriminals are generally credited with moderate sophistication compared to nation-states. They make money by stealing data, tricking you into transferring money, stealing credentials, etc. These threat actors are fast learners and constantly evolving their techniques. Their preferred attack is via email, typically a phishing email that attempts to obtain your credentials or trick you into downloading a malicious attachment.

#3 Hacktivists (Motivation – geopolitical):

Hacktivists are groups of criminals who band together to carry out cyberattacks in support of political causes. Her focus is on raising awareness. For example, almost all of the information leaked by WikiLeaks was the result of hacktivists trying to uncover the truth.

#4 Thrill-Seekers (Motivation – Satisfaction):

A thrill seeker is a type of threat actor that attacks a system for sole experimentation. You are interested in learning more about how computer systems and networks work. They are considered medium to low in terms of complexity as they typically rely on publicly available exploits that require little technical skill for their cyber attacks.

#5 Insider Threats (Motivation – Dissatisfaction):

Sometimes workers turn against employers and become insider threats. They are individuals who work within their organization and are particularly dangerous due to their access to internal networks. However, employees can also become insider threats through their own negligence or even through their own unintentional mistakes.

#6 Script Kiddies (Motivation – Fun):

Don’t let the cute name fool you! Although script kiddies (aka skiddies) are unable to develop penetration tools themselves, they use tools developed by other attackers to penetrate a network or system. They find the easiest ways to hack a system and don’t invest much energy in an attack.

Wrap up

Understanding the types of threat actors and their motivations is an essential step in building a resilient cyber defense. Besides knowing the cyber threat actors, it is more important to develop a cyber security strategy that can protect organizations from these threats. Cybersecurity awareness is very important as negligence can also lead to cyberattacks, especially in the form of insider threats.

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