Over the last few years, we’ve seen the number of cyber-crimes worldwide escalate at a frightening pace. The financial impact of the growing number of attacks has been substantial and new threats continue to surface. Internet users from individuals to large corporations are left scrambling to try and keep cybersecurity measures in place and to stay educated on the latest threats.
Top Computer and Internet Security Threats
Cyber attacks are no longer just a threat in the workplace. Today, everyone connected to the internet is fair game and every individual and business on earth needs to be aware of the dangers.
Let’s talk about the largest threat on the list — ransomware. Ransomware defined is a malicious software takes control of of a computer system and everything on it until a sum of money is given to remove it. WannaCry exploded onto the scene on May 12th in 2017, infecting over 230,000 systems in more than 150 countries.
Making use of the EternalBlue exploit that came from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) Vault7 leak, the damage was substantial with many serious disruptions in numerous places. It not only illustrated how easy such a widespread, dangerous attack was to launch, it made us think about how to prevent another one and it showed us the importance of keeping our security measures current at all times.
Many would be surprised to find out that ransomware is now treated as a commodity. This program can be purchased by anyone with ill intentions. What’s even scarier is that it doesn’t require a particular level of technical expertise to wield it.
The last year has seen an increase in the use of spear phishing where fraudulent emails are sent from an apparent known and trusted sender to entice the targeted victim to give away confidential information. Now the top infection vector, spear phishing continues the use of email as the number one delivery method. Besides, tricking someone into giving you their credentials is easier than getting around their security measures and firewalls.
The quest of thieves to steal our identities continues. When you consider that 16.7 million identities were stolen in 2017, you realize that they will only be encouraged by their success, learning new ways to deceive victims by the day.
Cryptojacking is a growing threat when you factor in thieves are taking advantage of rising cryptocurrency values and the moderate ease of staying anonymous online.
The Weakest Link
Cyber thieves also look at your supply chain, the transport and logistics systems for the all of our transportable goods, and that is only as a strong as its weakest link. Often they are finding that the supply chain is the best way into a specific target. Often, its security is lower and provides hackers with several opportunities to gain access to the information of customers, partners, and more.
Make no exceptions for your supply chain when it comes to cybersecurity. Remain in control, always, to know and control all privileged access.
Mobile Use (and Targeting) Is On the Rise
With more than 5 billion mobile device users out there, the number of cyber thieves targeting mobile users has risen at a commensurate rate.
The most common victim is Android. Mobile users should carefully consider what they install on their devices and where the application originated from. The same cool app you think will save you a lot of time may have just sent your identity and your password to the other side of the world where “legal” isn’t a concern.
Cybersecurity is more important now than it has ever been. Technology alone isn’t enough to protect our identities and confidential information. The human factor, where hackers try to deceive victims into revealing crucial personal data, is still a hot topic and the easiest way for thieves to attain their goals.
A balance between people and technology should be found and maintained. Cybersecurity should be comprehensive and easy to use while endpoint users should become perpetual students of online safety practices and keep informed of all of the latest security threats.