Cybercrimes are on the increase, causing individuals and businesses to lose sensitive data and huge amounts of funds. And the frightening aspect is that no one knows whether these crimes would eventually come to an end. The development in tech, which gave rise to an increase in smart homes, opened up multiple points for hackers to easily access the homes of users, which creates a need for more cyber security consciousness.
What is Cyber Security?
Cyber security refers to measures taken to protect programs, systems, servers, and devices from malicious attacks. Anyone can become a victim of a cyberattack, whether large, medium, or small-sized companies, government institutions, or even individuals. Usually, cybercriminals or hackers attack systems in order to steal confidential information such as company data, passwords, credit card information, and intellectual property.
Cybercriminals may not only be strangers but also people who know you. They could be former employees and contractors who just want to get back at you or your business. They look out for weak points, then capitalize on them to steal your information. Therefore, having a good knowledge of how hackers operate will help you to secure your network or devices.
Which Options Should Cyber Security Experts Consider in 2022?
2021 saw the rise of various forms of unpredicted cyberattacks. There were several ransomware attacks, not to mention the malware that was discovered by Minecraft gamers – Log4j – and the havoc caused to the supply chain of SolarWinds.
A while ago, these would have sounded like they were nothing, but they happened. To make things worse, thousands of other similar attacks took place in 2021 equally and it is estimated that cybercrime will cost businesses globally about $10.5 trillion every year, by 2025.
A lot of headway has been made in the fight against cyber crime, and in 2022, here are a few other options that should be considered in a bid to win this fight:
1. Artificial Intelligence Solutions
Just as AI is used to detect fraud in financial systems, it can identify behavioral patterns that would be useful in counteracting cybercrimes. These behavioral patterns will indicate when abnormal activity is about to happen.
The predictive power of AI makes it useful especially in systems that handle multiple events within seconds, which is a suitable place for cybercriminals to strike. However, by investing in AI solutions in 2022, we won’t be taken unawares.
We still need to understand though that cybercriminals know the advantages of artificial intelligence. In fact, they are introducing new threats that utilize the power of machine learning and other technologies to override protective measures. Still, we are hopeful that AI will counteract such powerful cyberattacks.
2. Increasing the Government’s Interest in Cyber Security
Following the concerns about privacy, spyware, SolarWinds, and the attack on Colonial Pipeline, global governments have become fully interested in cyber security. We expect them to come up with new investments and regulations too.
During the 2020 elections, cybercriminals were bent on spreading false information in order to influence the outcome of elections. These cyberthreats may also dominate the focus of the government in 2022. Hence, the government should work harder to ensure that resources are effectively deployed to boost defenses against threats.
It has been almost one year after the Colonial Pipeline and SolarWinds attacks, and more focus should be placed on improving the security of the critical infrastructure. This includes sorting out the companies that require more cybersecurity support. We also expect national and state laws that will protect the privacy of consumers, which is something the end-users are bothered about.
3. Taking Measures That Will Reduce the Impact of Social Engineering
In 2022, people will still be people, and they will still do whatever they want to do irrespective of how it will affect the security of an organization. Therefore, cybercriminals won’t stop counting on the activities of people to make social engineering work.
Social engineering is a very difficult issue to address. This is because no risk management, compliance, or government action can solve the problem of human imperfections. Humans are prone to be scammed and some are incredibly careless, which is not going to change soon.
There are cases where people just pick up USB drives and plug them into their corporate workstations. Even the email attachments that ask people to click on certain links to get free gifts are sent intentionally because scammers know that many people are gullible. Cybersecurity is an issue that we are all responsible for, but only a few of us know how much our individual actions contribute to the bigger problem.
In 2022, there should be more user training as well as a change in the way cyber security experts approach internal communications. They need to directly engage with coworkers and make themselves more accessible. If you really want to build a solid security culture, you need to build healthy relationships, trust, as well as a passion for user experience.
Security teams should meet the users at their level. An average day at work for most people involves reading multiple emails, preparing and making presentations, attending meetings, commuting, and so on. We do our best and try to multitask in some cases, yet we still make mistakes.
So, instead of subscribing to the old method of organizing awareness training, cyber security experts should summarize the message in easy-to-understand bits such as social media messages.
Additionally, utilizing a more familiar medium such as humorous videos to share security tips is a good way to build trust with coworkers. The message you send out should feel and appear just like what they are consuming on apps like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Storytelling, coupled with humor and great production, does not only engage users but also builds credibility.
4. Reducing the Vulnerability Associated With the Internet of Things
In 2022, the number of devices connected to the internet is expected to reach eighteen billion. While this is a good thing, it means cybercriminals have various access points to digital systems.
For a long time, IoT has been regarded as a threat. Previous records show that hackers have tried to use household appliances like kettles and refrigerators that are connected to the internet to access the networks in many homes. From there, they can access the phones or computers of household members where they store valuable data.
Despite all these, the internet of things will become more sophisticated in 2022. Many organizations have started developing “digital twins”, a simple digital simulation of an entire system. The model is connected to an operational system to model the data it gathers. This might offer access points and data to people with bad intentions.
However, there will be an increase in attacks on the internet of things devices because computing devices and cloud infrastructure are all vulnerable. But awareness and education will protect users from these vulnerabilities. Cyber security strategies must include extensive auditing of devices that are connected to the internet and a thorough understanding of the vulnerabilities they may pose.
5. Intensive Education About Ransomware Attacks
In 2021, ransomware attacks were prominent, and according to PwC, about 61% of business leaders in the UK expect such threats to increase in 2022. Ransomware involves infecting computers with malware that locks files and threatens to destroy them unless users pay a ransom. In some cases, the attacker may threaten to sell users’ data or publish it to the public.
These attacks are deployed via phishing attacks where employees of organizations, out of curiosity or deceit, click on links that redirect them to pages where the malware downloads on their devices.
Another method through which cyber criminals launch these attacks is the use of infected USB devices. They either access your device physically or trick you into inserting the infected USB on your computer. This type of attack now targets more of critical infrastructure than personal computers.
An example is the Florida water treatment plant that was attacked in February 2021. The attacker altered the sodium hydroxide level such that it would be detrimental to the health of users. Fortunately, a vigilant employee noticed the abnormality and saved the day. Ransomware attacks also target hospitals and gas pipelines; no industry is left out.
The key to tackling ransomware attacks is cyber security education.
If employees and non-employees are aware of these threats, their chances of becoming victims reduces drastically. Also, companies should come up with a reward system for staff members who comply with security procedures. This will encourage others to comply as well.
6. Implementing security operations centers
A pain point for many companies in 2021 was the widening skills gap. Many employees resigned and we should expect a similar pattern this year. The gap may become wider as more companies are digitizing their operations in order to suit hybrid workplaces. As a result, there will be insufficient trained cyber security experts to keep up with the sophistication and speed of bad actors.
Hence, leaders need to find custom solutions to address the skills gap. These solutions include using Cyber as a Service or exploring the automation and implementation of a SOC (security operations center).
Upgrading a SOC to control information flow and tools consolidation in a security ecosystem puts an organization in a better position to maintain a secure network with limited vulnerability points.
7. The Need for Better Coordination
Threat groups do not fail to show their willingness to join forces and resolve their challenges with a high level of coordination. Even competitors in cybercrime understand the advantages of a robust ransomware market.
A good example is what happened after Emotet was taken down in January 2021 through a joint operation by law enforcement agencies around the world. After the Emotet takedown, TrickBot surfaced and started helping to reseed Emotet infections in order to make it operational. Such a level of coordination only means that in 2022, there will be more cybercriminals working hand-in-glove to ensure their continued success.
Unfortunately, we cannot say the same about cyber security. Cyber security experts need to do better in 2022 to secure the entire ecosystem. Large organizations should be willing to share cyber security talents and tools with small and medium businesses that do not have what it takes to protect themselves.
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The Place of Common Sense in Cyber Security
When measuring the risk in cyber security, the inside threat is the people factor. This could come in the form of clients and employees. Because insiders have the permission to use IT resources and are part of a company’s processes, it becomes difficult to resolve human failures that result in cyber security issues.
A typical example is the 2020 Twitter hack that gave hackers access to high-profile accounts, including that of Barack Obama. It tricked users into carrying out illegal bitcoin transactions. Twitter’s share price dropped by 4% and the total losses were estimated at one hundred and eighty million USD. This hack was made possible by spear-phishing employees of Twitter in order to steal privileged credentials.
Again, in the WannaCry ransomware incident, the people factor played a significant role. Businesses around the globe became vulnerable as a result. Microsoft released an update to patch the vulnerability but two months later, many companies were yet to update their systems, which gave rise to several cases.
Over time, we have seen that non-IT staff are the Achilles’ heel. For instance, employees who have administrator rights are those who disable security features on their computers, thereby, allowing malware to spread from there to the rest of the corporate network. Most times, these personnel take cyber security issues lightly, resulting in dramatic outcomes for the companies they work for.
Cybercriminals know about this vulnerability, that common sense can never be common. So, they use the people factor to gain unauthorized access, infect endpoints and IT systems, and steal credentials.
Most Used Cyber Security Terms
1. Bad Actors
These are also called threat actors or malicious actors. In some cases, they are known by the specific activities they do e.g., hacktivists, cybercriminals, and so on. Oftentimes, people use hackers and bad actors interchangeably. They could mean the same thing, depending on how their skills are utilized.
Types of Bad Actors
Although it is common to find externally-based bad actors, some are internal. Each bad actor has a unique motivation and goal. The various types are as follows:
They strike critical systems in order to harm them to facilitate their activities. They are capable of doing things like messing with the national supply of electricity and contaminating water sources.
They strike critical systems in order to harm them to facilitate their activities. They are capable of doing things like messing with the national supply of electricity and contaminating water sources.
Their goal is to expose secrets and disrupt organizations that they regard as immoral. They attack systems to demonstrate their activism. This is achieved through gaining unauthorized access to systems in order to gather incriminating information. They also disrupt those systems and then spread ideological, social, or political messages.
These are spies funded by governments to collect sensitive information. Their aim is to gain economic, military, or political power over those they spy on.
These come from within a company or business. They may be present or previous business partners, employees, or contractors. Their aim is to work around the company’s cyber security defense by attacking it from within. As soon as they gain access, they can either sabotage the system or lift and sell data. They do this for the sake of revenge or make a financial gain.
A hacker uses technical skills to accomplish goals as well as overcome problems or challenges. There are three types of hackers:
They are ethical IT security experts. They work with companies, looking out for and fixing weak points in their security. They do not seize the opportunity to cause harm to the companies they work with.
They maliciously and intentionally violate cyber security.
They are in between the white and black hats. They do not work with companies to breach cyber security. However, they alert companies whenever they find vulnerabilities. Their methods may be unacceptable, but their intentions are benevolent.
3. Cyber Attack
This is an unwelcome attempt to steal, destroy, alter, or disable information via unauthorized access to a computer system. It can be associated with cybercrime and cyberterrorism. The motivation for this act varies, but there are three major areas: personal, criminal, and political.
Personally motivated attackers are usually former or currently disgruntled employees who won’t mind collecting money in order to disrupt the company’s system. They may also be after the company’s data or just pick on an opportunity to cause chaos. However, their primary goal is to seek retribution.
Criminally motivated attacks aim at financial gains through business disruption, money theft, or data theft.
Political attackers want people to pay attention to their cause. So, they launch attacks and make them known to the public.
Which Data Gets Impacted by Cyber Attacks
Cyber attacks aim at logical or physical resources that have vulnerabilities, which the attackers can exploit. Due to this, the availability, confidentiality, or integrity of those resources will become compromised.
During some attacks, the resource control, damage, or data exposure may go beyond the resource that was identified as vulnerable in the first place. The attackers go further to gain access to the company’s network, operating systems, social media accounts, and sensitive info like bank account or credit card details.
A popular example of a cyber attack is the one that was launched against SolarWinds. Cybercriminals in Russia accessed different American Government bodies by piggy-backing a virus on an update that was meant for Orion, a product of SolarWinds. Because the American government uses this product, the criminals could access its network, and then intercept confidential internal correspondences.
This type of high-level cyberattack can bypass VPNs and firewalls due to the fact that it hides behind legal computer processes. As a result, law enforcement agencies had a hard time tracking those responsible for the crime.
In summary, cyberattacks take place because individuals, organizations, or governments want things like:
- Financial data of the business or customers
- List of clients
- Access to sensitive personal information
- Access to IT infrastructure
- Access to login credentials and email addresses
- Access to intellectual property such as product designs or trade secrets
- Access to customer databases
- Access to IT services such as payment platforms
- Access to government agencies and departments
What is Cyber Crime ?
Cybercrime is a criminal activity that involves the use of a computer and/or the internet in committing an offense. The cybercriminal involved might use any device that is connected to the internet to access someone’s personal information, government information, private business information, or even disable the device. Cyber crime also involves selling the information mentioned above.
Usually, cyber crimes are an extension of an already existing criminal behavior in conjunction with some new illegal activities. They do not directly attack the physical body but a corporate or personal virtual body, which is the information that defines institutions and people online.
In this digital age, an essential element of our daily lives is our virtual identity. Therefore, cyber crime hinges on the fact that our computer networks are interconnected, which makes our identities fragile.
Some categories of cybercrime include:
1. Identity Theft
As stated earlier, cybercrime affects real and virtual bodies, but each feels the effect in a different way. This phenomenon becomes crystal clear when there is identity theft.
For example, in the US, individuals are expected to present their Social Security Numbers (SSN) instead of official identity cards. Each person’s tax is collected based on this number, and private institutions can track employees, patients, and students with it.
If you can lay hold on an individual’s SSN, you can as well access every document that is related to the person’s citizenship. In other words, you can steal that individual’s identity. Even if you have the person’s credit card details, you can use the information to reconstruct the person’s identity.
As a result, when cybercriminals lift credit card information from a business, they create two different effects.
1. They extract very useful information
For instance, they may run up large bills, causing the card issuer to suffer great losses. They may also sell the data to people who may use it in the same way.
2. They may use the names on the credit cards to create fresh identities for criminals
For instance, a criminal may contact the card issuer to say that his/her credit card was stolen. So, they would request to change the original mailing address that is on the victim’s account. Afterward, the criminal gets a driver’s license or passport using their own picture but the name of the victim.
With this, they can easily get another SSN, open new bank accounts, and then receive loans, using the credit score of the victim. The victim may not even know what is going on until the criminal has acquired heavy debts, then the bank will contact the victim.
Identity theft is an international challenge because it happens in many nations. However, law enforcement agents and researchers lack adequate statistics and information about the illegal act worldwide.
The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics stated in its 2016 report that about 26 million Americans were victims of identity theft, and it gets worse. According to this other report, 47% of Americans were victims of identity theft in 2020. Their identities were fraudulently used in opening bank accounts, utility accounts, and credit cards. Also, another sixteen million Americans were victims of account theft via stolen ATM cards and credit cards.
2. Child Sexual Abuse Materials
With the development of several media technology, people started making so much profit from pornography applications. Even on the internet, pornography websites have millions of visitors on a daily basis. Now, cybercriminals have branched out to another lucrative side of the business – child pornography.
Child pornography refers to the images of people under the age of 18 engaging in sexual acts. In the European Union, the US, and several other countries, this is illegal, but it is still a challenge that does not have an easy solution.
The complexity of the challenge becomes even bigger when you realize that places like Southeast Asia and others that do not have cybercrime laws enable kiddie porn sites to share materials. Some legal organizations opine that child porn represents an industry that is worth three billion USD each year and over ten thousand locations offer access to kiddie porn materials.
This development introduces a brooding ground for pedophiles to perpetuate their criminal acts. They create chat rooms through which they identify and deceive their victims.
Some countries have now positioned state authorities to pose as kids in those chat rooms. However, pedophiles are not backing off any time soon. They continue contacting these “kids” to meet them physically.
These criminals know that such meetings could end up as an immediate arrest, but they are not deterred. On the flip side, the authorities can capture pedophiles because they can breach the privacy of individuals on the internet. You can now see that the internet has many weak points that encourage cybercrime.
3. Financial theft
This involves gaining unauthorized access to a person’s bank account or credit card to initiate transactions, apply for loans, extortion, etc. Just like unsuspecting individuals, companies in the financial industry are also targets of financial theft.
Various techniques are employed to manipulate people into giving out their confidential information. These include fake emails from criminals posing as Netflix, telling you to pay for your subscription. You may also get an email from PayPal, informing you about a monthly invoice. These are all attempts at getting you to click on fraudulent links.
If carried out successfully, financial theft could result in the loss of a huge amount of funds, which may impact the company’s economy and even result in bankruptcy. Their reputation would also be damaged before clients, stakeholders, and the public at large. For individuals, cybercriminals may empty their accounts, steal their savings, and accumulate debts in the victim’s name.
4. Intellectual Property Violations
Intellectual property theft refers to stealing trade secrets, copyrighted materials, as well as trademark violations. Copyrights are the legal rights of composers, authors, publishers, or creators to exclusively produce and distribute their work. Materials like recorded music, computer software, electronic games, and movies are copyrights that are usually stolen online.
Trade secrets theft refers to stealing ideas, techniques, or sensitive info from industries such as IT, manufacturing, and financial services. Trade secrets are the exclusive properties of companies or businesses that give them a competitive advantage.
Before the development of computers, intellectual property violations involved so much work. Music or movie tapes would be copied, produced physically, and then transported to different locations for sale. The pirate had to sell in person. Also, to steal a company’s trade secret, the criminal would need to collect the actual blueprint, file, or paper plan from the company’s archive and sell it in person.
However, the improvement in technology has made it easy for pirates to download the creative works of others and sell them. The quality of the work does not reduce even after producing several pirated copies. As a result, the original creator loses royalties and sales that rightfully belong to them.
Furthermore, criminals do not need to physically steal trade secrets from companies. They can now download corporate secrets and plans and sell them to others within minutes.
Malware is a catchy term for all kinds of malicious software that can exploit or harm programmable networks, devices, or servers. Typically, cybercriminals use malware to collect data from victims for financial gain. This data includes healthcare records, financial data, passwords, and personal email addresses.
Since its inception, malware has developed several attack methods. They include phishing emails and SMS, infected apps and USB drives, fake installation of software, malicious ads on popular websites, and email attachments.
6. Malicious Social Engineering
Social engineering exploits the errors of people to gain access to their private information or assets. Unsuspecting users are lured into granting access to restricted systems, spreading malware, or exposing data. The attack can occur in person, online, or through other forms of interaction.
Malicious social engineering is built on the way humans think and make decisions. As a result, it attacks the behavior of users. If an attacker studies what motivates your decisions, they can easily manipulate and deceive you.
Additionally, cybercriminals take advantage of the fact that some users lack security knowledge. Many employees and consumers do not even know about some threats, so they do not know how to protect their information and themselves.
What is Malware and How to Protect Yourself
In the previous section, we defined malware as a catchy term for all kinds of malicious software that can exploit or harm programmable networks, devices, or servers. It infects a computer, giving cybercriminals the required access to damage or infiltrate the device or system.
Cybercriminals know how to disguise malware so that it will appear as legitimate files or software programs like antivirus. If your system gets infected, the malware interferes with the way you utilize your device or computer. For instance, when you are searching for information in your browser, malware will redirect you to a third-party website.
The commonest way of getting malware is by downloading programs from the internet. Such a program or application may look legitimate but in reality, it is malware that is created to hack devices. You can also infect your device or computer by clicking on suspicious links or downloading/opening attachments in your email.
How to Protect Yourself from Malware
To protect yourself from malware, do the following:
1. Be Cautious when Downloading Stuff
You can keep malware at bay if you take time to verify sources before downloading items. Stick to the well-known app stores if you want to download apps. And ensure you update the apps whenever you get the notification to do so. Also, apply caution when clicking on suspicious links or opening email attachments.
2. Install Anti-Malware
Anti-malware provides an additional security layer when you are downloading things from the internet. It can also scan files before downloading them. You can set the software to scan your computer at scheduled periods.
3. Identify Malware Signs on Your Device
To protect yourself from malware, you must ensure that it never finds its way into your device. But your device might be infected and you won’t know. So, you need to know how to identify malware signs.
Actually, the signs are not usually obvious because some malware run in the background. In some instances, your computer might start freezing, the performance will become poor, or the program may crash without warning.
If you suspect your device is infected, disconnect it from the Wi-Fi network, then scan with anti-malware to be sure that it is truly infected. If the device is owned by your company, contact the IT department immediately. If it is a personal device, contact a reliable IT company that deals with such problems.
What is Ransomware and How to Protect Yourself
Ransomware refers to malicious software that locks the screen of your computer, thereby, preventing you from accessing files until a ransom is paid. This ransom may involve paying money or giving your password to an anonymous attacker.
Previously, ransomware would shut down your system by locking your screen without leaving you a message demanding payment. But it has evolved over time; newer and more dangerous attacks are being launched on a daily basis.
You may become a target of this type of cyberattack if:
- Your device is not in good working condition.
- There is outdated software on your device
- Your operating system and browser are not patched
- You do not have a strong backup plan
- You do not pay enough attention to cyber security
How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware
To protect yourself from ransomware, do the following:
Do not click on any link you find on an unknown website or in a spam message. If you do so, a download will automatically commence, which might infect your computer.
Avoid replying to text messages, emails, or calls from unknown sources requesting your personal info. Cybercriminals might collect your information, then use it to launch an attack on your system.
Ransomware comes in the form of email attachments, so avoid opening suspicious attachments. To ensure that the message is trustworthy, check to be sure that the sender’s address is correct. If an attachment requires running macros before you can view it, simply discard the email. If you open it, you would be giving the malicious macro control over your computer.
Avoid connecting USB drives, CDs, and other storage devices to your system if you don’t know their sources. Cybercriminals can drop an infected storage medium in a public area and an excessively curious person might pick it up, connect it to their computer, and become a victim of ransomware.
Update your operating system and programs regularly. Ensure you utilize the most recent security patches during the update. This will make it difficult for criminals to attack any weak points in the system.
Stop downloading media files or software from unknown websites.
Ensure that the sites are trustworthy and verified for downloads. You will find the trust seal on the address bar of the browser. If the website uses “HTTPS”, it is safe. Also, a lock or shield symbol on the address bar indicates that it is secure.
Additionally, avoid downloading things randomly on your mobile phone. Use the verified app store for downloading apps.
If you are using public Wi-Fi, your computer may become prone to attacks. Hence, avoid using it for confidential transactions or you can use a safe VPN service.
What are Bots and How do Your Protect Yourself?
Bots are computer programs designed to automatically perform certain tasks. Artificial Intelligence has given rise to the development of more robust bots that can imitate human behavior. These bots are so diversified that companies can now collect customers’ data, search the web for information, or index web pages easily.
Others can interact with customers and answer their questions on the company’s support portal like a real customer service rep. Also, some malicious bots can steal customers’ credentials or impact campaigns negatively.
A malicious bot is a variant of malware that can reproduce itself.
It can do other things such as:
- Executing phishing attacks
- Stealing confidential data e.g., personal data, bank information, and passwords
- Participating in DoS (denial of service) attack
- Opening a back door on an infected device or computer
- Retransmitting spam
Some of these bots can connect to central servers, thereby, forming control centers for compromised bots. The networks formed as a result are known as Botnets.
Types of Compromised Bots
1. DDoS Attack Bots
DDoS or Distributed Denial of Service attacks occur when cybercriminals use multiple computers to flood a targeted system with too many queries, requests, or packets. Other times, these criminals target a software vulnerability in the system and seek to exploit it using multiple connected devices in a coordinated fashion.
Either way, the goal is to get the IT infrastructure saturated so that it would get interrupted, or at least, temporarily suspended. If the attack is successful, users will no longer be able to access the network resources, as it would.
2. Credential Filling Bots
These bots automatically create false accounts, access websites, and contaminate forums. They steal people’s credentials by trying out different combinations of passwords and accounts or exploiting weak points.
During the attack, the bots use passwords and accounts that were stolen from other sites and then try to connect them to more sites to see whether there will be a match. This information is extracted when there is a major data leak that was resold or published online.
3. Scraping Bots
These robots are programmed to read and collect data from different websites, then duplicate it on other sites. The data read and collected could include prices, names, or even details of products on Ecom websites. Some companies utilize them in collecting data legitimately about their websites and site visitors. In this instance, the company creates the bots and grants them access to its networks.
However, malicious scraping robots can steal sensitive data or copyrighted content and sell it off on the dark web. If your company is affected, the number of visitors on your website will reduce and your brand will lose value.
4. Inventory Denial Attack Bots
These bots are also referred to as shopping bots, and they pose a significant threat to e-commerce businesses that could lead to long-term damage to the business's reputation, and of course, loss of revenue.
With this type of malicious bot, automated scripts are programmed to repeatedly access shopping carts, picks items from online stores, add them to the carts, but will never complete the transactions.
This way, the e-commerce site owners will believe that their products have gone out of stock. Worse still, when a legitimate buyer wants to purchase items, he or she will see that the products are no longer available.
Provided these bots are still in those systems, they will automatically execute their tasks. Therefore, if you sell online, you can protect your business by integrating solutions that detect and block such attacks before they can access your website.
How to Protect Yourself from Malicious Bots
To protect yourself from malicious bots, do the following:
- Always update your system with the most recent patches.
- Update your antivirus as well as other security solutions.
- Invest in a security scanner that shows you vulnerabilities on your device.
- Block bots API security.
- Educate your employees on cyber security.
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What is a Physical Cyber Attack and How do you Protect Yourself?
A physical cyberattack is one that leaves an impact on the physical environment. For instance, a bad actor can take over the communication or computing components of pipeline valves, transportation, water pumps, etc., thereby, causing damage to properties and risking the lives of individuals.
Some Common Types of Physical Cyberattacks
The common types are summarized below.
False Data Injection Attack
An attacker can inject false data in the form of harmful commands and codes into the network of a control system that lacks sufficient authentication mechanisms. This type of attack ranges from commanding a company’s control system to perform tasks that are outside the safe scope of operation to reconfiguring the entire control system so that the equipment will perform differently.
Insider Threat Attack
This is possibly the most dangerous form of physical cyber attack as the malicious actors are within the organization in question. Due to the fact that these players sometimes have admin privileges, and typically have access to most of the systems in the organization, they can make critical changes to the organization’s security policies or the system if they have the wrong motive.
Insiders within a company usually understand the cybersecurity architecture of the company and with this knowledge, they can access areas that external actors can’t reach, and with that privilege, they can change the security settings of the organization.
To prevent this from happening, limit the access you give your employees to sensitive systems. Create a working system that ensures that only a select few who absolutely need the access to carry out their duties will get them. You can even set up a multi-factor authentication that requires that the employees who need access to sensitive systems can only do that by the use of a strong password and a USB device or a handheld device with an automatically generated access number.
Even though this may not prevent the insider threat danger completely, it makes it easier for you to identify the malicious player as only very few staff will have that access. This way, knowing that they can be identified and apprehended easily, the perpetrator may get deterred from carrying out an attack.
This involves illegal data collection via information leaks in pieces of industrial equipment. For instance, an attacker can collect information from a system by tracing the fluctuation in power usage during data processing.
Also, a deep study of manufacturing equipment in industries during production times can reveal sensitive information that will assist in creating a near precision reproduction of the products that the compromised machines are producing.
Eavesdropping attacks occur when a bad actor intercepts traffic when it is sent through the network. When you share sensitive information like like credit card information, usernames and passwords over non-secure communication channels,, the bad actor can eavesdrop and launch an attack on your system.
To prevent this type of attack, encrypt your data. By doing so, you make it impossible for the hacker to be able to use it whether they are actively or passively eavesdropping.
Although authentication mechanisms prevent attackers from executing harmful codes on targeted equipment, if the authentication data packet is modified with harmful commands, it can be replayed. This is dangerous because the altered data will appear like the original one. Infected electronic equipment will not even recognize that the data packets contain malicious content.
Denial of Service Attack
This attack aims at bringing down a system by denying it access to computational resources. As a result, the attacker takes control of the system. For instance, a DoS attack can disrupt communication between industrial servers and other subordinate control systems, denying them access to central server networks.
Zero-day attacks can be said to have taken place if a hacker identifies and exploits a vulnerability in the software before the developers can fix it. This attack type targets security vulnerabilities that are not publicly disclosed. It can take place in different forms including SQL injection, missing data encryption, broken algorithms, bugs, redirects, and buffer overflows.
The attack might be disastrous, especially if a supply or production line is involved. The attacker will utilize powerful malicious software that won’t allow IT teams to install security patches. And even if they succeed in installing patches, the malware will disable them.
The worst thing about this type of attack is that since the weak point is not widely known, it means only a few people can discover it.
How to Protect Yourself from Physical Cyberattacks
Take the following steps to protect yourself from physical cyberattacks:
1. Guard Against Invasion
You can create an integrated ecosystem that will monitor and protect your home and office by combining certain smart technology. For instance, a comprehensive surveillance system offers defense against intruders who approach your home physically. But you also need to ensure that your smart devices and systems are protected too.
Before now, intruders break into homes by smashing windows or tampering with locks. Now, they can access your home through your smart light bulb. This is because the devices in your home are connected. Also, if your Wi-Fi password isn’t strong enough or carelessly stored on one device, a black hat hacker can see your financial transactions.
2. Add Multiple Protective Layers
Many people believe that physical cybercrime is real, yet they do not think about protecting themselves. In fact, compromised passwords are the cause of most network intrusions. Hence the need for multiple protective layers in addition to strong passwords. Apps and websites now offer more security in the form of a one-time code or security pin which can be sent via text messages or emails.
3. Minimize Attack Surfaces
An attack surface is the number of entry points on a system that exposes it to a high level of security risks. And as you add more applications, devices, and services to the system, the attack surface increases. Therefore, you need to ensure that only trusted users can access entry points on the system. Also, disable any services that are unnecessary or unused to reduce the likelihood of infiltration.
What is Cyber Social Engineering and How do you Protect Yourself?
In a previous section, I mentioned that social engineering exploits the errors of people to gain access to their private information or assets. The activities of cybercriminals thrive on the fact that the feelings of people can be easily manipulated.
So, if they find it difficult to hack a complex network or website, they manipulate feelings or abuse someone’s trust. Hackers utilize this technique in deceiving victims into sharing their confidential information such as bank account details or passwords. This way, they will achieve their goals without hassles.
Social engineering picks on people when they are feeling fearful or vulnerable.
For instance, during the pandemic that hit the world in 2020, people were socially isolated and felt lonely. In their search for human connections, they turned to dating apps.
According to this report, 270 million people used dating apps globally which is about double of the number from the previous five years. Cybercriminals utilized this opportunity to scam many people. This makes it important to learn how to identify signs of social engineering to avoid falling victim.
Signs of a Social Engineering Attack
Social engineering attackers utilize confidence and persuasion. When you are exposed to such tactics, you are likely going to make decisions or take actions that you won’t take ordinarily. You will also discover that you are being misled.
The following behaviors show that you are under an attack:
1. Heightened Emotions
When your emotions are being manipulated, you can easily fall for anything. This gives the attacker an upper hand in the game. At that point, you can’t reason properly, so you take risky or irrational steps.
Some of the emotions that can be manipulated, which moves you to act include:
Another trick that cybercriminals use is presenting time-sensitive requests or opportunities. They make you think there is a problem that requires immediate attention, so you can compromise yourself. You may also be told to do a certain task and get rewarded within a limited time. The sense of urgency that comes with each tactic can override your ability to think critically.
Cybercriminals make sure that people believe every word they say. They know that all they tell you are lies, so they try to be as confident as possible. They do in-depth research about you, then use the information to craft a story that you can easily believe without arousing suspicion.
Apart from the traits discussed above, attackers can use simple means to gain access to your computer or network. For instance, they can visit public places and look over people’s shoulders while working on their laptops or tablets. This gives them access to the usernames and passwords of many people easily. They won’t need to write any harmful code or send an email to achieve their aim.
How to Protect Yourself from Social Engineering Attacks
You can protect yourself from social engineering attack by doing the following:
1. Suspect every unsolicited message
Even if the message seems legitimate, if you were not expecting it, do not fall for it.
Avoid contacting the sender of the suspicious message with the contact info in the text you received. Do your independent research, then use the info you discovered to contact the person. This will help you make sure that the person whose name appeared in the message actually sent you the message.
2. Take extra care with your apps and update them regularly
Hackers know that you might be on the lookout for phishing emails. As a result, they could try to contact you through the sites and apps that you trust. So, at this point, do not assume that your applications are safe.Update them regularly with the latest updates. If you let down your guard, you could get attacked.
3. Double check emails from trusted sources
Do not assume that your company’s communications are secure. If a coworker sends you an email that looks suspicious, go with your guts. Use another means to communicate with that person, so you can be sure that he or she actually sent it to you.
4. Resist the urge to share personal details online
This is the most important step you can take. When it comes to sharing your personal info online, be stingy about it.
Cybercriminals will happily collect the comments you make on Facebook, so they use them to steal your identity. They can even use the info to access any of your other accounts later, but this will warrant scraping your public posts on social media to gather the information that would be useful in gaining your trust before they launch an attack against you.
5. Use multiple factor authentication
By using two-factor authentication, even if a cybercriminal knows your password, they cannot access your account because they would be asked to provide the authentication that you have previously chosen to protect your account.
Even though you apply this step, you still need to use a strong password and avoid using the same password for all your accounts. This way, it will be a lot more difficult for hackers to access your account.
What is Phishing and how do you protect yourself?
Phishing occurs when a scammer tries to trick a user in order to collect their personal information or money. It is usually done via text, email, or phone call. Scammers also use social engineering techniques to get users to trust them before they attack.
Whether you are video chatting, working remotely, or participating in online classes, fraudsters are looking for ways to exploit you.
But there are certain proactive measures that you should take to boost your security.
First, you can install security software on your device and ensure that it is always updated. Fraudsters keep changing their techniques, so if you do not update your security software, you might become prone to new attacks.
In addition to security software, other tips that can protect you from phishing are:
When you receive suspicious text messages or emails from organizations, go to the website of the organization or call their customer service to find out whether the offer is real or not. The link sent to you in the email might be a malicious one.
Some emails come with a sense of urgency. The sender tells you to take action immediately else you would lose out on the offer or the privilege. Do not fall for it because if you follow the instruction, you will end up downloading malware to your device.
Whenever you receive messages with links, hover over them to preview instead of clicking on them. If they look suspicious, delete them immediately.
Know how to protect your cloud from phishing attacks
What is Swatting and How to Protect Yourself
Imagine sitting in front of your computer, playing a game or reading an article, then suddenly, lights flash through the window. You look out, and the sight of heavily armed police officers and other law enforcement agents greet your already surprised face.
They scream at you, “you are surrounded, don’t do anything stupid.” But you have never committed a single crime ever. So, your heart skip beats while praying that someone should say, “sorry, we’ve got the wrong guy!” But it never happens; they take you with them.
In this case, you are a victim of swatting. It is a hoax that hackers, online gamers, or people with malicious intentions can commit. Although swatting is a prank, it could lead to the death of the victim. Therefore, it has grave consequences that should not be taken for granted.
During swatting, the bad actors trick special services and armed authorities into responding to false reports. They do this so that these armed officers can storm the homes of innocent targets. They can also send ambulances, fire departments, and expensive cash-only food deliveries to victims.
Swatting cases usually stem from online gaming activities where rival gamers plan swat attacks for their opponents. Additionally, if you give out too much info about yourself online, you might fall victim.
How to Protect Yourself from Swatting Attack
To protect yourself from swatting attack, here’s what you should do:
Go to your social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok – change the privacy settings. Also, avoid disclosing your location online, and stop posting photos of your kids, home, car, etc., on the internet. An attacker can match your pictures to your correct address using dubious means.
If you are an active gamer or comment regularly and/or argue about politics and different controversial topics online, avoid using your actual name. If you offend a swatter, he or she can do a quick search to extract your information and get back at you.
When using the internet, your device has an IP (internet protocol) address that corresponds to your physical location or that of your router, which is usually your office or home. To prevent scammers from tracking your original IP address, use a virtual private network (VPN). This service assigns another IP address to your router. So, if you are commenting from the US, the scammer will think that you are in Canada, Australia, or some other country.
If you think you may be a victim of swatting, there is a registry that you can include your name to alert authorities about your vulnerability.
Other Sources of Attacks
1. Internet of Everything
The internet of things comprises various online objects and devices that are in our cities, homes, and offices. They constantly collect, analyze, and transmit data. Some of these devices, like fitness trackers and smartphones, go everywhere with us. Others can be interacted with remotely like the heating control. There are some invisible ones that help to modulate the flow of traffic, industrial manufacturing systems, and so on.
IoT devices are attached to computers, which makes them vulnerable because computers are not entirely secure. This means smart bulbs, smart fridges, and other devices are not secure. Also, these objects make up a huge distributed network. So, if someone wants to attack the network, all IoT devices will serve as entry points.
2. Any Device Connected to Your Network
Wi-Fi allows us to connect to the internet from anywhere – homes, workplaces, grocery stores. Most businesses and families communicate via this means. However, your Wi-Fi may be insecure. A hacker can compromise your network through any of the devices connected to it. This can affect personal, company, and financial information that is stored on the device.
To stop hackers from accessing your network, do the following:
- Change your router’s default settings and password.
- Secure your IoT devices by:
- Purchasing secure products
- Using different networks for your business and IoT devices
- Professionally installing your devices
- Regularly maintaining the devices
3. Information Collection
As technology evolves, people spend more time online. As a result, hackers have become tech-savvy in their bid to make money from unsuspecting people.
Although their motive may not always be about financial gains, they use software to collect your personal information such as bank account details or credit card number. They can either sell your data to others or use it themselves. Depending on how much info they collect, they can clone your identity, use it to open another account, and then collect a huge loan. This can damage your credit rating for years.
4. Remote Access
Remote hackers perpetrate all kinds of attacks. For instance, in the United States, a water treatment plant in California was attacked in January 2021. Multiple programs for treating drinking water were deleted. The hackers exploited unpatched vulnerabilities in the network to distort the normal functioning of water systems, causing damage to the health of people.
Some examples of remote attack include the following:
- DNS (domain name system) poisoning: the server redirects users to a fake website where they will download malware unknowingly.
- Port scanning
- Password spraying: the attacker tries various passwords to see which one will match your username.
Hackers can use software to automatically detect nearby Bluetooth devices. They can even see the networks you connected to previously. This is because your device trusted those networks, so it saved them for automatic connection in the future.
If an attacker replicates one of your trusted networks, your device would be tricked into connecting to it. As a result, the attacker will gain control over your Bluetooth device to infect your device, spy on your activities, or steal your information from apps and text messages.
6. Open Ports
Ports help computers untangle data and ensure that the data packet goes to the correct place. For instance, you can assign Skype and your browser to separate ports, so your computer won’t become confused when receiving and sending data through each port simultaneously.
A scammer can scan your ports to know how your device works. They can see which ports are open and those that are closed. If the ports are open, the scammer can find out what your device is working on. This knowledge informs the scammer about the services you run on your computer. By analyzing open ports and the services that use those ports, scammers can know their roles, then create fingerprints for future attacks.
How to Do Cyber Security Risk Assessment
Take these steps when assessing cyber security risk:
1. Catalog Your Business Information Assets and Determine Their Value
Your goal is to analyze the value of your data. However, to do this successfully, you must first define how important your business information assets are, catalog them, and incorporate them into your organization’s information risk management policy. This has to include the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service solutions you use in your company and every other IT infrastructure you have. This way you can easily classify your assets into minor, major, and critical.
This is a very important step because many businesses have a limited budget for information risk management, so it is better to limit the assessment scope to only critical business data. Therefore, you and your team must take time to define what is of the most importance and identify them.
2. Prioritize Your Assets
After you must have identified your critical assets, the next step is to prioritize these assets. Remember that all your assets have different values. Some assets are valuable because of the amount of revenue they generate for the business, while others ensure the integrity of data. This means you have to work together with your management team to make a list of your valuable assets.
3. Identify Cyber Threats
Every risk assessment will include some basic cyber threats, but after prioritizing assets, you need to pinpoint additional potential threats that may impact your business like:
This could occur as a result of having a poor backup process.
Disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, lightning, and floods can harm your business as much as any cyber attacker can. Not only can you potentially lose your data, but you could also lose your servers too.
Unintentional exposure of information or data leakage
This can happen if you permit the unrestricted use of USB and CD-ROMs. Also if you accidentally send sensitive information to the wrong recipient, or transmit Non-Public Personal Information (NPPI) via unsecured channels, it could lead to data leakage or unintentional exposure of information.
If you don’t educate your team on phishing, malware, and social engineering, they can become victims of phishing scams, or accidentally click on malicious links on the websites they visit. To prevent this from happening, put some IT security controls like password managers and data backups in place.
4. Identify Vulnerabilities
Vulnerabilities are weaknesses that attackers can exploit to breach data or launch other cyberattacks. You can identify vulnerabilities using the following techniques:
- Checking the NIST (National Institute for Standards and Technology) vulnerability database
- Requesting reports from the incident response team
- Analyzing software security
- Extracting vendor data
- Carrying out vulnerability analysis
- Checking audit reports
Something as simple as a missing patch in your operating system can make your entire network vulnerable. An attacker can take advantage of the opportunity and cause a huge data breach.
5. Determine Inherent Risks and Prioritize them
You don’t have to consider your control environment to take this step. Categorize risks into low, medium, and high levels. This will help you to know which one to address immediately and those that can be resolved later. However, not all your assets result in monetary losses when attacked. Some of them will damage the image of your company, so prioritize your risks wisely.
6. Document the Risk Analysis Report
Create a report that describes the vulnerabilities, risks, and value of each threat. It should also include the probability of occurrence and recommendations for mitigation. The document makes the assessment process credible as it clearly explains to both stakeholders and individuals how you and your team discovered the risks and what everyone should do to mitigate them.
7. Set Security Controls
After compiling the assessment report, it is time to execute the strategies. Afterward, define and implement your security controls. Security controls will help entirely eliminate the likelihood of threats or at least, reduce the chances of their occurrence to the barest minimum. Use technical means like hardware or software, encryption, 2-Factor authentication, automatic updates, and mechanisms for detecting intrusion to monitor your controls. You can also use a non-technical method like keycard access.
How to Create a Cyber Security Strategy
A cyber security strategy is a comprehensive plan for protecting an organization’s data. It is more than technology, and includes the company culture, procedures, policies, and training. It comprises an organization’s holistic plan to secure its assets and minimize cyber risk. It is a strategy adaptable to the organization’s ever-evolving business climate and its current threat landscape. Typically, it is developed with a three to five-year vision and reviewed as often as possible.
Here’s how to create one for your organization:
1. Lay the Foundation for a Sound Security Strategy
The first thing to do is identify the primary components of your strategy. They should include data protection, legal regulations, and the company’s risk appetite.
You need to review your internal processes, taking note of the systems that generate revenue and those that could disrupt data and cash flow. Next, review your company’s compliance with security regulations. Afterward, evaluate the number of threats the company can comfortably handle. The company’s risk appetite depends on its industry, goal, and financial performance.
2. Understand the cyber security risk your organaztion potentially faces
Today’s cyber security threat has become very complex, and to create an effective cyber security strategy, you must equally understand and assess the cybersecurity risk you potentially face. Your willingness to accept this is going to determine the key areas of cyber security that you will be willing to invest in.
Define and analyze the threat landscape for your business, then find out how they will affect security and data. To do this, you should equally understand and evaluate the environment in which your business operates.
Who are your primary customers? What does your business offer? Who benefits if your business operations are disrupted? What are you selling? What are your security vulnerabilities? Who are your competitors? What threats are your they facing? Have they experienced any security breach in the past?
Getting the answers to these questions will give you a better grasp of your business environment.
Although evaluating your competitors may seem too much, they face similar threats. So, your business may experience the type of risks your competitors have handled.
Additionally, you should look at things from the perspective of the attacker to find out their weaknesses and strengths. Find out the resources they have, their motivations, the operations they target, and what they will gain from breaching security.
3. Get Proactive With Cybersecurity
Don’t sit and wait for your IT infrastructure to develop a fault, or for your network to become slow before you invest in an upgrade or a security patch. Every effective cybersecurity strategy is proactive rather than reactive. So, monitor the state of your network and infrastructure regularly. Tackle the issues that come up and replace the worn out equipment before it creates a vulnerability in your security system. Act in advance and protect your company.
Cyberattacks are bound to occur, so your business needs a response proactive response strategy. Thankfully, with the advent of technological advancements, you can manage risks better. You can now see where you need to make improvements based on expansive cybersecurity information and automated processes made available through big data. Moreso, machine learning can help you make predictions using algorithms so you can prepare a proactive response to cyber attacks.
4. Build Your Security Plan
In this step, you need to choose a framework for the present security state of the company.
There are different frameworks. They include:
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
- Center for Internet Security (CIS)
- International Organizations for Standardization (ISO)
Another thing you should do is to evaluate the maturity level of the company. This will help you to define weak points and areas that require improvement.
Additionally, assess the available technology as well as the tools that the company is not utilizing to their full capacity. Use this knowledge to pinpoint foundational problems that can be fixed immediately.
5. Make Implementation a Priority
This is the final stage of the plan where you objectively analyze the ability of your company to implement the plan. The conclusion of the analysis doesn’t matter at this stage. The important thing to note is that implementation must be prioritized.
You can outsource the execution to a third-party company if your company does not have enough resources to implement the plan. Whichever implementation plan works for you, however, ensure you consider potential threats, hiccups, and disruptions before launching the plan.
Common Sense of Protecting Your Resources
Below are some common-sense methods you can employ to protect your resources from cybercriminals:
- Use a strong password or get a password generator to create unique passwords.
- Do not click on every link you find in your email. Think before acting.
- Enable automatic updates for your software.
- Implement multiple factor authentication.
Password Tips for Your Safety
The following tips will help you to create strong passwords for your safety:
- Use very long passwords that have a combination of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. It makes it difficult for hackers to crack.
- Avoid using your personal information like your birthday, phone number, or your name. hackers can pick your information online and try to use it to access your account.
- Do not use a predictable pattern like 1234, ABCD.
- Do not use the same password for all your accounts. If the hacker cracks one account, he or she will be able to access the others.
- If you cannot remember multiple passwords, get a password manager.
Some Useful Free Tools for Assessment of Cyber Security
This is an open-source tool that serves as a security scanner, network explorer, and port scanner. It identifies routers, firewalls, and remote devices. It also identifies open ports and checks whether they can be exploited for attacks.
This is another open-source tool that serves as a vulnerability scanner and manager. It detects vulnerabilities, supports different operating systems, and spots security problems in networks and servers.
This tool scans websites to identify critical loopholes such as errors in cross-scripting, misconfiguration of file upload, and incorrect cookie handling. It can scan different protocols like HTTPD, HTTP, and HTTPS.
4. cWatch Scanner
It scans for vulnerabilities, builds visitors’ trust on websites, increases conversion rate, and reduces the rate of cart abandonment.
Security Tips to Tackle Cyber Threats in 2022
As cyber threats increase, it is important to protect your business. Here are a few tips to prepare you and your team members to tackle cyber security issues:
Regularly Evaluate the Security of Your Network and Devices
Vulnerabilities such as weak passwords, unauthorized access to confidential information, and unsecure Wi-Fi access are caused by the absence of multiple-layer protection. Hence, ensure that important information is protected with strong passwords and limit the account privileges of your employees as much as possible.
Keep Your Software Updated
Whenever programmers and developers discover bugs, they quickly send notifications for users to update their software or applications. If you ignore those notifications, you will become an easy target for cybercriminals. Therefore, ensure you install updates as soon as you receive the alert.
Use a Unique Digital Signature
Digital signatures prove the authenticity of emails. Your employees will identify emails that come directly from you when they see your signature in the message. Therefore, if they receive anything contrary, they won’t trust the sender. Although using a unique digital signature does not make you invincible, it provides an additional protective layer for your business.
Invest in a Network Operations Center
A network operations center (NOC) can help you monitor your networks and devices 24/7. So, even when you and your employees are out of the office, you can rest assured that everything is under control. If a NOC identifies a potential threat, you will receive a notification. This level of vigilance increases your chances of responding quickly to cyber security threats.
What to Do First if You Fall Victim of a Cyber Attack
The first thing to do if you fall victim to a cyber attack is to disconnect from the network. If you are connected via Ethernet cable, Wi-Fi, or phone, disable it to prevent data transmission to the hacker.
If the attack happens while working on the company’s computer, inform the IT team immediately. They know the best method of preventing the infection from spreading to other computers. They can also stop it from compromising the company’s information as well as yours.
If any damage was caused, the IT team knows the best recovery method to apply. However, if the attack occurs on your personal computer, inform your internet service provider immediately.
What Actions Can be Taken as a Victim of Cyber Attack
Take the following actions if you are a victim of cyberattack:
Install a reliable anti spyware or antivirus software on your device to prevent the incident from reoccurring. Run periodic scans to detect and remove potential threats.
Back up your folders and files regularly in case they are destroyed or lost during the process of recovery. Use backup software, hard drive, flash drive, DVD, or CD to achieve this.
Be careful of what you click on online. If a website or advert looks suspicious, avoid it.
You may need to reinstall your operating system, depending on the level of attack. Some infections can go unnoticed in your system and cause problems in the background.
If you were a victim of identity theft or online fraud, close or freeze the affected accounts to avoid disputing fraudulent activities later. Your credit card issuer will tell you the next steps to take after reporting the compromise on your account.
Keep an eye out for signs of cybercrime. If a credit card arrives in your mail when you didn’t apply for it or you suspect something fishy going on in your account, then you need to watch it.
Sometimes, vendors may call you based on purchases that you did not make.
Ensure you review your bank statements and bills every month. Make sure that your bills arrive at your home address.
Cybercrime is real and will be around for a longer time than you can imagine. In fact, we may never be able to completely eradicate it. Some people argue that cybercriminals and threat actors are essential in ensuring that security systems are updated and secure enough to protect personal and business data. However, the bottom line is that cybercriminals keep us on our toes so we can learn from the attacks, rectify issues immediately, and come up with new security strategies.
Also, understanding the different threat actors and their motivations will help us to pre-empt their moves, identify their target, and anticipate the places or devices they will attack. This will help us map the right defenses and build security for the future.
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