Cyber security types of threat

Online, the new frontline

We shop online. We work online. We play online. We live online. More and more, our lives depend on online, digital services. Almost everything can be done online – from shopping and banking to socialising and card making – and all of this makes the internet, also known as cyberspace, an attractive target for criminals.

Large-scale cyber security breaches often make the headlines but about 70% of organisations are keeping their worst security incidents under wraps, so what makes the news is just a small proportion of the breaches that are actually taking place. Britain is being targeted by up to 1,000 cyber attacks every hour.


Vulnerability – a point at which there is potential for a security breach
Threat – some danger that can exploit a vulnerability
Countermeasure – action you take to protect your information against threats and vulnerabilities.

Find out more

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Knowing your enemie

, find out about:

a threat to your information, computers and other devices that arise from malware
a threat to your communications (such as spam and denial of service (DoS) or distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, often launched using botnets).
For each threat, try to identify the type of individuals or organisations that are posing the threat. Which of the following types would best describe them?

Cyber criminal: those carrying out cyber attacks for personal financial gain.
Spies: those engaged in either espionage activities on behalf of commercial organisations or national governments.
Hacktivists: those who carry out cyber attacks as a form of protest against organisations or governments.
Insider attacker: disgruntled or dishonest staff who attacks their organisation’s computer systems.
If you identify a different type of attacker, how would you describe it?

Activities to select from (choose one)
Online banking – for example, to check the balance in your account or make a payment.
Online shopping – think particularly about buying something from a new store that you don’t recognise and haven’t shopped from before.
Social networking – think about whether you would add someone as a ‘friend’ if you hadn’t met them in person.
Working from home – consider the need to transfer documents that contain confidential information between members of your team.



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