How to stay protected against Cyber Threats?

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a discipline that covers how to defend devices and services from cyber-attacks by nefarious actors such as hackers, spammers, and cybercriminals. While some components of cyber security are designed to strike first. Cyber security has been used as a catch-all term in the media to describe the process of protection against every form of cybercrime, from identity theft to international digital weapons.

Cyber security is the practice of defending computers, servers, mobile devices, electronic systems, networks, and data from malicious attacks, and it is also known as information technology security. 

The term “cyber security” applies in a variety of contexts, from business to mobile computing, and can be divided into a few common categories.

1. Application Security

This focuses on keeping software and devices free of vulnerabilities. A compromised application could provide access to the data it is designed to protect. Successful security begins in the design stage, well before a program or device is deployed.

2. Identity Management and Data Security

Identity management includes frameworks, processes, and activities that enable Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting of legitimate individuals to information systems within an organization. Data security involves implementing strong information storage mechanisms that ensure the security of data at rest and in transit.

3. End-user Awareness

End-user awareness addresses the most unpredictable cyber-security factor: people. Anyone can accidentally introduce a virus to an otherwise secure system by failing to follow good security practices. Teaching users to delete suspicious email attachments, not plug in unidentified USB drives, and various other important lessons are vital for the security of any organization.

4. Cloud Security

Cloud security relates to designing secure cloud architectures and applications for an organization using various cloud service providers such as AWS, Google, Azure, Rackspace, etc. Effective architecture and environment configuration ensure protection against various threats.

5. Operational Security

Operational security includes the processes and decisions for handling and protecting data assets; including processes that identify seemingly innocuous actions that could inadvertently reveal critical or sensitive data to a cybercriminal.

What is a Cyber Attack?

A cyber-attack is a deliberate attempt by external or internal threats or attackers to exploit and compromise the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information systems of a target organization or individual(s). Cyber-attackers use illegal methods, tools and approaches to cause damages and disruptions or gain unauthorized access to computers, devices, networks, applications, and databases.

Cyber-attacks come in a wide variety and the following list highlights some common ones that criminals and attackers use to exploit Information systems.

Malware

Malware means malicious software. One of the most common cyber threats, malware is software that a cybercriminal or hacker creates to disrupt or damage a legitimate user’s systems. Often spread via an unsolicited email attachment or legitimate-looking download, malware may be used by cybercriminals to make money or in politically motivated cyber-attacks.

Some examples of malware are:

  • Viruses – A self-replicating program that attaches itself to a clean file and spreads throughout a computer system, infecting files with malicious code.
  • Trojans – A type of malware that is disguised as legitimate software. Cybercriminals trick users into installing Trojans onto their computers where they cause damage or collect data.
  • Ransomware – Malware that locks down a user’s files and data, with the threat of erasing it unless a ransom is paid. New versions of Ransomware also hold the user’s data at ransom and leak this data if the user does not pay.
  • Adware – Adware is software that forces online advertisements onto the user’s interface. These adverts generate revenue for the attackers
  • Spyware – A program that secretly records what a user does, so that cybercriminals can make use of this information. For example, spyware could capture credit card details.

Man in the middle attack

A man-in-the-middle attack is a type of cyber threat where a cybercriminal intercepts communication between two individuals to steal data. For example, on an unsecured WiFi network, an attacker could intercept data being transferred from the victim’s device and the network.

Phishing

Phishing is a type of social engineering attack often used to steal user data, including login credentials and credit card numbers. It occurs when an attacker, masquerading as a trusted entity, dupes a victim into opening an email, instant message, or text message.

SQL Injection

SQL injection, also known as SQLI, is a common attack vector that uses malicious SQL code for backend database manipulation to access information that was not intended to be displayed. This information may include any number of items, including sensitive company data, user lists or private customer details.

Latest Cyber Threats

1. IoT Attacks

The Internet of Things is becoming more ubiquitous by the day. It includes laptops and tablets, of course, but also routers, webcams, household appliances, smartwatches, medical devices, manufacturing equipment, automobiles and even home security systems.

Connected devices are handy for consumers and many companies now use them to save money by gathering immense amounts of insightful data and streamlining businesses processes. However, more connected devices mean greater risk, making IoT networks more vulnerable to cyber invasions and infections. Once controlled by hackers, IoT devices can be used to create havoc, overload networks or lockdown essential equipment for financial gain.

2. Phishing gets more sophisticated

Phishing attacks, in which carefully targeted digital messages are transmitted to fool people into clicking on a link that can then install malware or expose sensitive data, are becoming more sophisticated.

Now that employees at most organizations are more aware of the dangers of email phishing or of clicking on suspicious-looking links, hackers are upping the ante — for example, using machine learning to craft and distribute convincing fake messages in the hopes that recipients will unwittingly compromise their organization’s networks and systems much more quickly. Such attacks enable hackers to steal user logins, credit card credentials and other types of personal financial information, as well as gain access to private databases.

3. Ransomware Strategies Evolve

Ransomware attacks are believed to cost victims billions of dollars every year, as hackers deploy technologies that enable them to kidnap an individual or organization’s databases and hold all the information for ransom. The rise of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is credited with helping to fuel ransomware attacks by allowing ransom demands to be paid anonymously. As companies continue to focus on building stronger defences to guard against ransomware breaches, some experts believe hackers will increasingly target other potentially profitable ransomware victims such as high-net-worth individuals.

Why be Cyber Secure?

Cybercrime has reached far and wide just as much as technology and the Internet have their reach. Information technology security solutions are crucial for all sorts of businesses and organizations, given the pervasive adoption of the internet and digital technologies. 

Let us learn about the advantages of cyber security and how organizations across the globe benefit from the services of cyber security.

1. Protects Professional Information

In this age of a digitally driven world, one of the most valuable commodities is personal information. If a virus can collect personal information about your employees or customers, it is quite likely that it will be sold or used to steal their money.

2. Protects and Enhances Productivity

Viruses infecting your systems and network will result in functioning resulting in the almost impossibility of further working. In effect, this will cause downtime in work for your staff and wastage additionally bringing the entire company to a halt.

3. Prevents Website Crashing

If you’re a small business, you’re probably hosting your own website. If your system is infected, there’s a good risk your website will be forced to go down. This means that not only will you incur losses due to missed transactions, but you will also run the risk of losing the trust of your clients, and some viruses may cause long-term damage to your systems.

Barriers to Cyber Security

Cyber security is set to prevent or detect, the altering or destruction of personal information, extortion, or disruption of normal corporate processes. While cyber security plays a major significance in providing a safe digital environment, implementing and maintaining robust cyber security can be difficult for some organisations.

1. The High Cost

Businesses may find cybersecurity to be too expensive. This disadvantage may be experienced by businesses that do not have sufficient funds to protect their data and systems. It is not unusual for a company to have to invest more in cybersecurity than they receive in return. This is one of the primary reasons why many companies are hesitant to invest in cybersecurity.

2. Constant Management

Cybersecurity necessitates ongoing surveillance. A company’s entire system’s cybersecurity must be closely monitored. Especially since hackers and cybercriminals are constantly devising new ways to gain access to a company’s network. 

Besides, the only best way to maintain any system’s security is to remain up to date with continual monitoring. This remains the greatest approach to ensure things working in order and security is kept intact. 

3. The complicated infrastrucutre

Businesses or organizations may find cybersecurity to be too difficult. Cybersecurity measures take a long time and effort to implement because it requires specialized personnel to operate, and that’s why it makes it difficult

For some businesses, it can even be too difficult to comprehend. This might lead to a slew of issues in the workplace. It can also result in data loss or even a security breach if the company does not have enough security measures in place.

Stay up to date with the latest trends in cyber security and technology with the ADL tech blog. Explore our services page to identify how our team of talented and dedicated engineers and technicians can help achieve your goals in digital transformation. 

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