Cybersecurity issues are rising and evolving day by day as new technology comes forth in today’s digital world. Unfortunately, no one is safe from cyber threats, whether an individual with a smartphone or a large business or organization.
With our reliance on connectivity and the widespread usage of technology, it’s open season for hackers to infiltrate and steal anyone’s personal information.
As the internet took over communication, it left loopholes and invited all kinds of internet threats, with severe ones ranging from something devasting to a minor nuisance.
You can bet your bottom dollar these threats will keep coming till we’re using the internet.And it might sound scary, but now we have excellent countermeasures, too.
This article will talk about the biggest cybersecurity threats of the last decade. It’d be interesting to know how we persevered through them. So let’s get started.
Phishing scams have been ever-present since the internet came into existence. Usually, the affected party will receive a message which asks for sensitive information such as a password or credit card information in return for something.
Sometimes, these phishing messages look legit, using actual email addresses or media. But unfortunately, this compels the end-user to click on phishing links and unintentionally give away personal information.
Generally, a practical approach to avoid phishing scams is common sense. Such phishing emails and messages contain many syntax and spelling errors that are easily identifiable.
Furthermore, official emails from businesses don’t request private information over email, which is a dead giveaway.
Are you interested to learn more about phishing scams and other cybersecurity threats?You’ll need an advanced educational qualification like a Master of Science in Cybersecurity online degree.
This degree will equip you with the skills and expertise you need to design and develop effective countermeasures.
You will also conduct research, work with companies and conglomerates to upgrade their systems, and design standalone defense systems to help protect critical data that could fall into the wrong hands.
“Someone has hacked my account!” is what people conclude when they try to log into their accounts and can’t because their passwords don’t work anymore.
The reality is that a thieving third party somehow guessed your password and locked you out of your account. Something like this can be detrimental for a business that deals with tons of sensitive data every day.
There can be various reasons for someone losing their password. For example, attackers might use a ‘brute force’ program or plain old guesswork to cycle through hundreds of password attempts.
So, opt for two-factor authentication to keep thieves out of your accounts as it utilizes a secondary device to complete the login process.
Rise Of AI-Based Attacks
Machine learning and AI are two technologies businesses utilize in their security infrastructure. It allows them to create automated threat detection systems, replacing human invention to analyze data quickly.
While AI and machine learning have their advantages for threat detection, it isn’t a one-way road. Cybercriminals are taking full advantage of the two as well.
They’re automating their attacks and resorting to model-stealing and data-poisoning strategies to steal valuable business information.
We’re not saying businesses should refrain from utilizing AI and machine learning; we’re suggesting they incorporate AI and machine learning to lessen their chances of a data breach.
In 2020, companies that deployed AI tech in their security systems saved around 3.58 million dollars in losses on average.
Social Engineering Attacks
Social engineering attacks rely on human interaction. That said, these attacks aren’t just bots entering someone’s computer but instead respond when humans make mistakes.
Social engineering attacks pose one of the biggest cybersecurity challenges today. How much of a challenge, you might ask?
Reports estimate that around 93% of data theft results from employees unintentionally engaging with a disguised social engineering attack.
For instance, a typical social engineering attack occurs when people think they’re helping out someone in need. The attacker might pose as a family member or a fellow employee and ask for your bank account or credit card number, skimming or taking everything last penny you have once you share.
So businesses are training their workforce to spot social engineering attacks and avoid bogus emails or enticing offers as a countermeasure.
You can usually find a trojan virus packaged with a legitimate program or software. That is why it is difficult to detect until you install an infected program or app.
Then, a regular giveaway is when the virus starts showing you annoying popups and alerts you that ‘your PC is affected by a virus.
Staying away from unofficial or unsigned programs or apps is the best decision to avoid a Trojan virus. Furthermore, an antivirus will locate and quarantine a Trojan virus, if any exists on your computer.
Distributed Denial of Service, also known as a DDoS attack, utilizes a technique where hackers target servers and overload them with heavy online traffic.
When a server cannot handle such high traffic, it shuts or slows down and becomes completely unusable. A DDoS attack leaves servers offline and requires maintenance work in most cases.
Avoiding a DDoS attack means identifying traffic overload and access denial. However, this takes time depending on the number of malicious IP addresses used to carry out the attack.
One of the most common cyber threats is ransomware, a distant cousin of malware. A ransomware attack occurs when users install a malicious program or application, locking them out of their essential files until they pay a ransom.
Removing a ransomware program after it has affected your computer is somewhat challenging. To avoid such malicious programs, keep your antivirus updated and avoid clicking on fishy links.
Also, keep backups of all your important files as the ransomware program will hit them first.
The cybersecurity threats mentioned above are consistently growing in complexity and making it difficult for end-users to stay protected against them.
However, by understanding how they work, you can easily detect, avoid, or remove them before they cause damage to your identity and your computer.