There’s no denying the fact that cyber attacks are becoming more common. As businesses continue to move their operations to the internet, rates of cyber attacks will likely increase. To make matters worse, research shows that 60% of all businesses shut down as a result of a cyber attack. There are different types of cyber attacks, however. While some of them involve the exploitation of a vulnerability, side-channel cyber attacks use a different method of execution.

Overview of Side-Channel Cyber Attacks

A side-channel cyber attack is a type of cyber attack that involves the eavesdropping of physical phenomena or characteristics within an information technology (IT) infrastructure. In other words, hackers will look for phenomena or characteristics that can provide them with access to networks, computers or accounts.

Side-channel cyber attacks are distinguished from other types of cyber attacks by their method of execution. Other types of cyber attacks typically involve the exploitation of a vulnerability. Vulnerabilities in software can be exploited so that hackers can perform their malicious activities. Side-channel cyber attacks are different. They specifically involve a hacker monitoring an IT infrastructure for physical phenomena or characteristics, which the hacker may use for nefarious purposes.

How Side-Channel Cyber Attacks Work

How do side-channel cyber attacks work exactly? While there are different types, they all involve a hacker monitoring an IT infrastructure for physical phenomenon and characteristics. Computers and other network-connected devices typically give off signals. Hard drives, for example, will emit electricity as they read and write data. During a side-channel cyber attack, a hacker may observe the electrical signals produced by a hard drive to determine what type of data it’s reading or writing.

This is just one example of a side-channel cyber attack. Side-channel cyber attacks encompass all forms of computers and devices, including their respective components. Hackers can monitor computers and devices while looking for signals that could be used to gain access to your IT infrastructure.

Tips to Protect Against Side-Channel Cyber Attacks

Because of their unique method of execution, side-channel cyber attacks are more difficult to protect against than other types of cyber attacks. You can still use antivirus software, but the problem with antivirus software is that it doesn’t always stop hackers or other bad actors from prying on your IT infrastructure.

With that said, power filtering is an effective safeguard for side-channel cyber attacks. Power filtering is a dampening method that’s designed to dampen the electrical signals produced by computers and devices. When these electrical signals are dampened, they can’t be interpreted by hackers.

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