Good cybersecurity has become a need rather than a want in recent times. Patchy cybersecurity can lead to financial setbacks, regulatory penalties, reputational misfortunes, vandalism, and of course, those woeful lawsuits. It can disrupt the business flow and breach personal customer data, which is always a critical thing to deal with.
One of the most significant disadvantages of the entire world going digital is the continual growth of cyber threats. The ever-innovative criminals are coming up with novel and unorthodox methods of malware. They are using smart home devices, the very things we expected to make our lives easier – to spy on confidential information. The FBI highlights these cyberattacks have cost the world over $1 trillion since the beginning of the pandemic, with $4.2 billion in 2020 alone. This article has made a short list of some of the most common cybersecurity transgressions you can expect in 2021. It is never too late to spend on a sound security system!
What Can Be a Cyber Threat?
A cyber threat is a rather intentional and planned attack on someone’s computer system to override it. This obviously can be in several ways, but in this day and age, the internet is always the easiest way in. This is why it is necessary to have a secure and private internet connection. If you are in the United States, the Grande internet and Comcast internet may give you what you seek.
Once inside a computer system, a cybercriminal can have a field day with all your personal information and confidential files. For individuals, it can be a loss of credit card info and private details, but the consequences are much more intense for an organization. Cybersecurity breaches can lead to theft of data, damage of computer systems, and unauthorized use of IT assets. And there is just a lot of blame to go around and plenty of questions to answer.
What are the types of cybersecurity threats?
Cybersecurity threats are of many types, and since they are constantly evolving, impossible to predict. However, we have listed some of the most common ones below with basic information.
Malware is malicious software activated as soon as a user clicks on a malicious link or attachment that holds it. This one-click may download corrupt and wicked software onto your computer and allow chaos to ensue. As highlighted by Cisco, Malware can be in the form of:
- Ransomware: Blocks all vital network functions pretty much like a hostage situation. A hefty ransom alone can free the system. Half of all cyberattacks in the world in 2020 were ransomware.
- Spyware: Hides within a network and spies on personal information. It steals your data and transmits it back to the source.
- Viruses: Installs other harmful components on your device and destroys crucial elements of your hardware.
Phishing may seem like too simple an attack, but it works. These attacks use hoax communication, imitating legit email addresses and trick their receiver into opening them and carrying out the instructions inside. This can be providing essential login details to bank servers or credit card information.
It may appear to be unbelievable, but a lot of people do actually fall for phishing attacks. It happens a lot more on corporate networks and is no joke. So next time you see an email that outlines that you have won a million dollars in the lottery at a South African bank – just walk away. It is not worth your time or hard-earned money.
- Man-In-The-Middle Attacks
Man-in-the-middle or MITM attacks are a cruel way to filter and steal data. It happens when a hacker successfully plants himself in between a two-party transaction. They disturb internet traffic, steal information, and covertly disappear, too, once they finish. This makes the detection of MITM attacks much more complicated and hence, almost impossible to report to the authorities.
MITM attacks frequently occur over unsecured, public networks because they are easier for hackers to navigate through. Therefore, it is always better to play it safe and not connect to that corner coffee shop’s Wi-Fi. Your email can wait until you are in more secure network locations.
- Attacks on the Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things of IoT is an intricately integrated system of networks and objects that can transfer information over the internet. The wireless network they connect over allows them to split and share data and commands without repeated human contact. Simply put, it is like when you ask Alexa to show you the doorbell camera or to close the electric blinds in your living room.
Smart houses and smart living have become quite a trend in recent times. But the IoT on such networks is incredibly shaky due to overused passwords, weak and inconsistent updates, if any. The significant risk with IoT security is that everything is out in the open once they are compromised. Everything lies at risk of easy manipulation, from your spouse’s name and phone number to your medical records, credit card information, login info, and Wi-Fi security.
An Emotet is kind of like malware but much more advanced. It was initially developed to serve the function of a banking Trojan to steal monetary info. It enters a foreign system and spies on confidential and sensitive data. Origin is unknown as of now, except that they spread through spam emails. More alarming about this kind of cybersecurity threat is that it is not picked up by conventional anti-virus systems and can evade detection for long.
Once an Emotet is within a system, it can invade other associated networks too. It is an expensive and hazardous tool that can be extremely catastrophic in the wrong hands.
In conclusion, we can safely assume that as our reliance on digital systems continues to rise, so does the cybersecurity threat. There is no comfortable way to say this. The attacks keep getting more and more sophisticated. We indeed have to up our security game if we have to escape these threats. It is crucial that we are adequately informed to handle these threats effectively with as few losses as possible.