What Is a Multi-Vector Cyber Attack?

The way in which cyber attacks are conducted against businesses is changing. No longer do hackers, as well as other nefarious individuals, rely on a single point of entry. Many hackers now infiltrate and attack their victim’s network using multiple points of entry. Known as a multi-vector cyber attack, it’s a more complex type of cyber attack with devastating consequences for businesses.

Multi-Vector Cyber Attacks Explained

Also known as a polymorphic cyber attack, a multi-vector cyber attack is characterized by the use of multiple points of entry. In other words, they don’t use a single method to infiltrate a network. Rather, they use two or more methods of infiltration.

Like other cyber attacks, multi-vector cyber attacks are conducted for a variety of reasons. Some hackers perform multi-vector cyber attacks to stain sensitive data, which they’ll either sell to a third party or use for their own nefarious purposes. Other hackers perform multi-vector cyber attacks to cripple or take down a business’s network. Regardless, all multi-vector cyber attacks involve the use of multiple entry points, meaning they use multiple methods of infiltration.

The Rise of Multi-Vector Cyber Attacks

Multi-vector cyber attacks are a relatively new phenomenon. It wasn’t until 2017 when they first emerged. Since then, however, they’ve become increasingly common in today’s ever-connected digital landscape.

It’s not just large companies being targeted by multi-vector cyber attacks, either. Small- and medium-sized businesses are targeted just as frequently — if not more frequently — than their large counterparts. Smaller businesses, in fact, are viewed as low-hanging fruit by hackers. Hackers realize that smaller businesses lack the resources of their larger counterparts, so they may feel compelled to perform a multi-vector cyber attack against them.

Vectors Used in Multi-Vector Cyber Attacks

The “vector” in a multi-vector cyber attack refers to the point of entry used by a hacker to infiltrate a network. There are dozens of possible vectors that can leave a network susceptible to a multi-vector cyber attack, some of the most common of which include email, social media, databases, web browsers, USB flash drives, mobile apps and even online ads.

In Conclusion

By definition, a multi-vector cyber attack is a digital attack on a network in which the hacker uses multiple points of entry. It’s a more complex type of cyber attack, making it more difficult to protect against. With that said, you can still protect your business’s network from multi-vector cyber attacks by deploying the appropriate safeguards.