Technology is a tool that can facilitate the protection or abuse of data. Data from 2019 confirms that hacks occur every 39 seconds. When individuals use their sophisticated knowledge about computers to further their illicit purposes through unauthorized access to any information and systems, cybercrime is perpetuated. If you’re wondering how impactful cybercrime is, this industry generates around £1.2 trillion per year. Cybersecurity’s importance in today’s time is understated.
What is cybersecurity
Also known as computer security or information technology security, cybersecurity pertains to the protection of computer systems and networks against unauthorized access and attack. This access can take the form of theft, damage, disruption, and misdirection. The threat against cybersecurity is more frequent than before. When these threats are successful, you can lose data integrity, confidentiality, and availability.
Common threats to cybersecurity
- Ransomware attacks
Ransomware is a severe malware infection. In most cases, ransomware spreads through links clicked from seemingly legitimate emails. When users click on the provided links or the attachment is downloaded, the malicious ransomware code gets into the system. The code encrypts your files which are then only accessible through a key only the hacker can provide. A ransomware-infected system will present a message explaining that your files are now inaccessible and will need decrypting. The only key that can help you re-access your data now comes with a price. It’s a ransom situation indeed. Other ways your system can get infected is through an infected USB drive, compromised websites, or through social media messages.
Do you remember getting a legitimate-looking email with the subject line that says “Your Amazon order confirmation”? Titles of phishing emails aim to lure you into taking the bait. After you view the message, a poorly constructed email is often shown, requesting that you click on a link which somehow looks like a familiar website. Many people have fallen victim to such attempts. On a business setup, employees receive a legitimate-looking email from a boss with instructions to follow. Following such instructions will lead phishers to gain access to the company’s data. In 2019, 94% of malware was delivered via email, and 64% of organizations have experienced a phishing attack in the past year.
Phishing comes in many forms. Spear phishing is a method where phishing messages attack organizations, instead of individuals, usually for unauthorised access. Clone phishing makes use of an almost identically designed email, cloned from a legitimate email for more believable results. A whaling attack is another type of phishing which directly targets important senior executives to steal money, sensitive information, and gain illegal access. Many phishing attempts are easy to recognize. If your first line of defence, your staff, need a little more awareness in this regard, companies like MMR IT will help you effectively fill in the training gap.
Cybercrimes often support financial crimes, such as money laundering. By 2021, statisticians predict that the cybercrime industry would’ve yielded around £4.77 trillion. This amount of money is stolen from individuals and businesses you know and care about. How do you plan to protect yourself and your empire?