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Is it Possible to Detect Cyberattacks Before They Happen?


Can cyberattacks be detected before they happen?

With the growing importance of data and its amount stored on web platforms and cloud servers, cybersecurity is a significant concern for businesses and large-scale enterprises. As an instance, we can bring up the example that happened with As per IdentityForce, an unsecured server of the family history search software company, exposed sensitive data of almost 60,000 customers. 

That being said, different reasons motivate a cyber attack. Some attacks are for information, while others have financial motives and even vengeance involved. According to Verizon, 98% of POS data breaches in the accommodation and food services industry in the year 2020 were financially motivated. 

This makes it clear that cybersecurity is of great importance in today’s time. That brings the question asked by a lot of business owners and other professionals, which is: 

“Can cyber attacks be detected before they happen?”

In the next part of this article, we will answer this question in detail, considering all essential factors involved. Along with that, we will also discuss the different types of cyberattacks prevalent in today’s time, how they are detected, and what measures to take to ensure better cybersecurity for your business. Read on! 

What Are the Different Types of Cyberattacks?

Before we answer whether it is possible to detect cyberattacks before they happen, we must know about the different kinds of cyberattacks. This will help us get a better idea of the kinds of threats we are dealing with. It also helps us better detect, prevent and address any changes or cases of cyberattacks. Let us take a look at the most common types of cyberattacks prevalent in today’s time.

Denial of Service Attack (DoS):

 The system is not able to respond to genuine service requests when under such an attack. 

Phishing Attack: 

Such attacks generally involve the miscreant sending malicious emails that appear reliable and legitimate sources but can extract sensitive information from the target system.


The target’s system is held hostage with ransomware until they pay a ransom to the attacker. 

MITM Attack: 

MITM or Man-in-the-middle attacks are cyber breaches that enable the attacker to eavesdrop on the data sent back and forth within a network or a group of computers. It is a form of spying on the interaction between two parties. 

Password Attack:

 This attack involves the stealing of passwords and then accessing the victim’s system. The password can be extracted through various methods, including network interception, brute-force password hack, and others. 

SQL Injection Attack: 

Structured Query Language injection is a standard method of hacking websites that rely on existing databases to serve their users.

Along with these, there are various other kinds of cyberattacks, which include:

  • Session Hijacking
  • Brute-force attack
  • Web Attacks
  • Spear-phishing attacks
  • Whale-phishing attacks
  • Trojan Horses
  • Insider Threats
  • Drive-by Attacks
  • Malware Attack
  • XSS Attacks
  • URL interpretation 
  • DNS spoofing

Is it Possible to Detect Cyberttacks Before They Happen?

Cyber threats have indeed evolved both in severity and in terms of sophistication. This has made it detecting and battling such threats and attacks a more strenuous and complicated job. Although, if it comes to answering the question asked above in simple terms, then it can be said that cyberattacks can indeed be detected before they happen. 

While it is said that cyberattacks can be anticipated, it depends on various factors, including the skills of the professionals involved and the available resources. According to IBM’s Cost of A Data Breach Report of 2020, in current times, a business needs an average of approximately 197 days to identify a security breach and 69 days to contain it. 

Enterprise networks are generally the most preferred targets of malicious cyber attackers. Such attacks can lead to significant financial and operational losses. It also causes unplanned downtime and affects the productivity of the entire organization. This is why businesses must understand the importance of anticipating large-scale security breaches. They must also have a proper security system in place to efficiently detect and quickly mitigate cyber threats. 

To detect and mitigate cyber threats before they even happen, organizations must have a proper cyber security plan that offers a step-by-step approach towards cyber threat detection and addressing. Let us look at these factors that can help detect and prevent major cyber-attacks and data breaches. 

Risk Assessment Plans

The first step towards optimum cybersecurity is risk assessment. This is where most cyberattacks can be detected and mitigated even before they happen. Any organization wanting to ensure maximum cybersecurity must ensure that a proper risk assessment plan or framework exists. The key things involved in such a framework are: 

  • Categorization of potential threats.
  • Choosing the essential security control measures. 
  • Effective implementation of threat detection and mitigation tools.
  • A comprehensive assessment of the IT infrastructure within the organization. 
  • Performance monitoring

How are Cyber Threats Detected?

Two things are fundamental for organizations to be able to detect and mitigate cyber threats and cyber-attacks. They are: 

  1. Advanced and constant monitoring
  2. Strict, organized, and effective IT policies

While many organizations adopt manual processes, IBM’s research indicated that security automation could bring down the cost of breaches to a great extent. 

Cyber threats are detected with the help of tools and certain cyber threat detection strategies. Let us look at the most effective tools and strategies that help detect cyber threats even before they happen.

  • Anti-virus Software

This is a mandatory tool for all types of organizations and systems. Reliable anti-virus software can detect a range of threats on a system or network of systems, including malware, malicious email attachments, spyware, ransomware, and a lot more. This helps detect and prevent a wide range of cyber threats before they magnify into something extensively harmful.

  • Threat Detection Logs

A lot of automated cyber security platforms provide advanced logging capabilities. Such logs can be beneficial for detecting any suspicious activity on an organization’s networks and systems.

  • Penetration Testing

Penetration testing can help identify different kinds of vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems, networks, and web applications. The cybersecurity experts can adequately assess the IT environments to detect different types of security issues like configuration issues, authentication errors, unpatched software, etc. 

  • Automated Monitoring Systems

The entire IT infrastructure of an organization can be much more secure through the integration of an automated threat detection system. Such platforms enable complete monitoring of device performance and activity. Along with that, network security tools help in real-time web traffic monitoring and detect any irregularity as soon as it happens. This also helps reduce the incident response times.

Detecting Cyberattacks – Final Words

It is a sigh of relief that cyberattacks can be detected in real-time and even before they happen with the advancement of modern technology. This is possible with proper cybersecurity measures in place and a well-organized IT infrastructure.

A proper IT infrastructure includes a risk assessment framework and advanced security monitoring tools, automated cybersecurity systems available, and the expertise of skilled IT and cybersecurity professionals. With these, detecting cyber threats, no matter how severe or sophisticated is indeed possible.

That is indeed the boon of modern technology.

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