What you need to know about cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Trends in 2022

The past two years have seen phenomenal growth in the usage of the internet with more businesses going online and employees working from home due to the pandemic. But the increased usage of the internet has given a greater opportunity to cybercriminals to expand their scope of operations and find lucrative targets to steal from.

In 2021, we saw big targets such as Acer and Travelex shelling out multi-million dollars to regain control of their data from hackers. The hackers and the cybercriminals don’t just target big corporations for big payouts, they target anyone or any business not alert to cyber vulnerabilities.

While cybercriminals may look to have an upper hand at the moment, it is not too difficult to insulate yourself and your business from becoming a victim. This article will discuss the types of cyber threats you can encounter and then provide you with ways to prevent them.

Types of Cyber Threats and How To Prevent Them

Cybercrimes can be classified into three broad categories based on the target victim. These are – individual, property, and government. The level of sophistication increases with each different category. There are several ways that criminals can attack online. You need to be aware of all the different threats that are out there and find ways to insulate yourself against these threats. The most common cybercrimes are:

  • Online Scams – These are mainly emails, ads, or forms promising rich rewards. Once the links are clicked, malware, virus, or other malicious scripts can interfere with the system and steal vital data.
  • Web attacks – These are executed via the internet. Viruses can be downloaded from the internet which can then damage the system and cause irreversible damage.
  • Ransomware – It blocks the victims from accessing their own data. It is locked up behind a gateway and the only access is for the victims to pay the criminal to get access to the data. If the victim refuses payment, then the data is deleted and may cause irreparable damage to the victim.
  • Malware – These are codes or programs that are designed to affect victims’ computer systems and attack them.
  • Virus, Trojan Horses, Etc -these are programs that may appear legitimate or useful but cause damage to the data and system
  • Phishing – This is carried out by creating trust with the victim and then tricking them into opening malicious links that can steal personal data, passwords, etc.
  • Identity Theft and Credit Card Fraud – The attackers steal your identity and then pretend to be you to access your financial records, bank cards, and other sensitive information. The attacker uses your credit cards to purchase online. This is one of the simplest forms of cyber-crime.
  • Insider Threat – While most cybercrimes are executed by outsiders, some are carried out by people with authorized access to the systems and their databases.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the types of cybercrimes. Many other types of crimes also occur on the internet.

Impact of Cyber Crimes

Everyone who uses the internet is a potential victim of cybercrime. We constantly hear of data breaches where the information of millions of users across different platforms is stolen and sold on the darknet. The cost of cybercrime in 2021 was estimated to be around USD 6 Trillion. This is expected to grow each year and is estimated to be over USD 10 Trillion by 2025.

The victims of these cyber attacks are increasingly seen to be medium and small businesses with nearly 43% of attacks targeted at these businesses according to a study and only about 14% of such businesses have adequate cyber security.

 

Prevention and Security Against Cybercrime

The emerging trend in cybercrimes shows that it is evolving and now their primary target is the people who use the technology as they prove to be the weakest link in the cyber defense. The chosen method for such attacks is ransomware, credential theft, phishing, and social engineering. The easiest way to get hold of someone’s data is through stolen phones and devices. Keeping this in mind businesses can take the following measures to reduce their risk:

  1. Educating the Employees: With the majority of the crimes taking place due to human weaknesses, it is important that the people who are part of your network are made aware of the threats and taught to recognize them and deal with them effectively. Most attacks happen via phishing, malware, and identity thefts so educate your employees about these and provide them with measures to prevent such attacks.
  2. Investing in a Cyber Security System: Just using an antivirus is no longer enough as there is a lot more than can be used to hack into your systems. Hence having a comprehensive cyber security system that prevents hackers from gaining access to the network. This will help to contain the loss in case of a cyber-attack and also look at your vulnerabilities and try to plug them to prevent unauthorized access.
  3. Keeping Ahead of the Evolving Trends in Cybercrime: As security systems get more efficient, the criminal will find other newer ways to attack and steal. Thus, businesses need to be aware of the evolving trends and take preemptive action.

Ways to Lower the Risk of Cyber Attacks on your Apple Devices, iPhone, and iPad

There is no questioning the fact that it is more difficult to hack or break into Apple devices, but they are not completely immune to them either. Cybercriminals are innovative people and they have found unique ways to hack into your secure iPad or iPhone to steal your data, grab your browsing history and capture your passwords. While you may trust the apps that you get from the App Store be aware that the app developers themselves may harvest and sell your data to interested parties. Apple cannot control such data transfer and cannot track where your data finally ends up. However, there are ways you can reduce your risk and not just for iPad and iPhones as these measures work for Android devices too.

  • Use the iOS settings to increase the security of your device to maximum. The default settings will not provide complete protection.
  • Enable two-factor authentication
  • Disable location tracking.
  • Activate Find My iPhone. Avoid device theft or loss. If you lose your phone this will protect the data and enable remote wiping off the data from the phone.
  • Keep track of the permissions you grant to the apps. Camera, phone, message access can be misused to spy on you.
  • Do not jailbreak your iPhone or iPads.
  • Turn Off Photo Sharing
  • Disable Image Backups
  • Download only from verified sources and avoid downloading unnecessary things.
  • Have strong passwords using letters, symbols, and numerals. Do not reuse passwords or share them with anyone.
  • Regularly update your devices to enjoy the benefits of greater security offered by your OS.
  • Have strong cyber security software to block ads and protect against malware, tracking cookies, spyware, etc.
  • Take regular backups of all your sensitive data and have a recovery plan in case of a cyberattack.


Conclusion

Keep yourself abreast of the latest developments in the cybercrime world and install a good cyber security system on your devices to prevent hacking and stealing of your valuable data. Prevention is better than cure so make it harder for the criminals to get to you and your data.

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