The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and the world is often taken aback by the new methods which cyber attackers employ in their malicious quests. Cybersecurity is costing the world several millions of dollars – both in losses and in acquiring security outfits for their systems.
Cybersecurity is a big deal for businesses because of the assets, data, and customer trust they stand to lose if they get breached.
Common Cyber threats ignored by Individuals and Corporations
More often than not, system breaches occur due to negligence or threats that are often overlooked by both individuals and organizations. Explained below are some of these threats:
1. Social Engineering
In situations where cybercriminals try every sophisticated method they know in trying to get through defences of organizations with no success, they resort to social engineering. Here, they simply find a way of tricking an employee of the organization into handing them the necessary information they need. Such information might be a classified internal memo or simply login details to the organization’s secure system.
At times, these criminals don’t even play the long hard road of trying to hack the system – they simply look for a weak link in the organization and exploit it. This method of breaching systems has been considered to be the easiest and even works well if implemented right. Some reports even say that 90% of data breaches are a result of human error.
2. Mobile Malware
Computing has become pervasive and as a result, our tiny mobile devices can perform most of the functions that personal computers can do for our day-to-day activities. The landscape is changing and so are the threats. Malicious programs have now gone mobile – meaning mobile devices can now be infected with viruses, malware, and ransomware.
Although some mobile OS pride themselves in the tight security offerings they have instilled in their products, the fact remains that none of the modern mobile operating systems is immune to attack from malicious software. Most of these attacks are perpetrated through fake applications and corrupted files.
3. Public Networks
Repeatedly, internet users have been warned of the dangers of connecting to public networks in parks, airports, cafes, etc. The common way by which attackers perpetrate their crimes is by hacking into the network and snoop for sensitive details such as login details and financial records. They do this by intercepting all the traffic data that goes through the network. This is referred to as a Man-in-the-middle attack.
Another way attacks can be perpetrated on public networks is to create a free network using the same SSID as the actual one. This way, unsuspecting device users connect to the network and effortlessly, all their network data gets sent to the hacker.
Ways to Mitigate these attacks
The methods by which these attacks can be prevented are quite simple. Detailed below are a couple of them:
Scam or Phishing attempts through social engineering can be avoided through proper staff sensitization on information distribution between employees over the internet.
General policy guidelines should be developed and enforced to prevent the unconscious flouting of such rules. Staff training and refresher courses can also be organized and done from time to time.
2. Dedicated devices and networks
Employees who are often mobile should be provided with dedicated devices and networks which they can use to work when on the go. Remote employees can also download VPN software to help them secure their connection.
VPNs encrypt the data that travels to and from the network, making them coded to anyone that might attempt to steal the data. There are number of various VPN services to pick from but it’s always important to choose those that are trusted and secure like Proton, Express VPN, or Surf Shark VPN (which is affordable, secure, and comes with a lot of great features).
3. Antivirus software
Antivirus software helps prevent infection from malicious programs. They also scan, detect, and quarantine these harmful programs if need be. Encryption software also helps keep sensitive information safe from snoopers.
Cybersecurity awareness is very important in modern-day technology and the only efficient way to address this to not overlook the basic threats which might compromise system security sooner or later.
Also read: Is Private Internet Browsing Really Private?
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.
He writes for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project and a freelance consultant passionate about technology and web.