What is cyber security and attack?
Cybersecurity or information security or computer security are security mechanisms to protect computer, networks, data, and information from unauthorized cyber or digital attacks. Cybersecurity enables multiple layers of protection across computer, networks, and programs relying on cyber defense tools and technologies to ensure security and protection from intruder's attacks and exploitations.
On the other hand, cyber-attacks are attacks on the system or cyberspace to gain access, steal, destroy, alter and disable target systems using exploitation and vulnerabilities to alter computer program to behave on hacker’s motive. The types of cyber-attack are mainly based up what hackers are trying to acquire, however, some of the types of cyber-attacks are:
- Compromising Device – to obtain control of the device.
- Service Disruption – to restrict services from doing their work.
- Data Exfiltration – to steal crucial data and information from a target system.
- Advance Persistence Threat (APT) - to gain authorized access to a system and remain undetected for a lot period.
Why is cyber security so important?
The reliance of computing systems is increasing exponentially with the rise of the internet and smart devices, and alongside the cybersecurity attacks are increasing every year. The degree of these cyber-attacks is also increasing at the cutting edge advancement in cyber world with an increasing number of cyber-hackers dedicating to develop cyber-attacks to exploit all kind of systems, businesses or individuals. Hence, the question is not 'Why is cyber security so important?' but 'How to take action again these cyber threats?’
Therefore, we must encompass tools and technologies to build mature cybersecurity environment to accommodate protection against increasingly sophisticated cyber threats and attacks.
- Cyber-attacks are expensive and can cost a fortune to businesses and even individuals.
- Cyber-hackers have grown more malicious and sophisticated using high-tech innovations.
- Cybersecurity information and resources are available openly for anyone to use and cause damage to anyone.
- The cyber world is a world comprising of smart devices with increase human reliance and increased threats.
- The cyber world is full of personal and business information to put anyone at risk.
Cybercrime and attacks are very unlike to settle down despite cybersecurity professions, compliances and government efforts as constant innovation of technology impose constant danger to cyber-attacks. Thus, it is utmost important for individuals and business to incorporate a profound level of preparation to minimize cyber breaches and attacks.
What are the threats in cyberspace?
- Phishing – is a defacement technique where fake email, S.M.S., and website are created that look authentic to original, designed to mislead users to steal credentials and crucial information.
- Virus – a computer program or a piece of code specifically designed to spread from one computer to another for various purposes such as sending email, delete files and folders, disable security settings, corrupt system data, and personal information.
- Trojan Horse – a malicious piece of code mostly hidden behind legitimate looking software of application designed to steal sensitive information, logging keystroke, hijacking webcam and so forth.
- Adware and Spywares – adware is any software designed to capture browsing data while spyware is similar to adware programs that are installing in your computer without your knowledge to recode keystrokes and screens.
- DOS and DDOS (Distributed Denial of Service) – the collection of infected computers from automated software bots commonly known as ‘Zombies’ are used to sabotage a server hosting web application by flooding web traffic to slow down or completely shut server.
- Social Engineering – is a manipulation technique to trick a user into making security mistakes to infect a system, gain access or give information.
- Man-in-the-Middle - a method in which an attacker sits in the middle of the transmission between the user and the web service user is using to log activities, browsing data and credentials.
- Rootkit – is a tool that allows remote control of a system with administration level privilege equipped with programs such as key logger and security disabled.
- Eavesdropping – is an attack that takes advantage of the unsecured network to access the data being transmitted over the network without the user’s knowledge.
- Ransomware – is a malware that confines computer access or file access and demands payment for the restriction to be removed.
- Zero-day Exploits – are flaws or exploits in software that are yet to be fixed or are unknown to the vendor of the software. Up till the vulnerability is not know the exploit is known as a zero-day exploit.
These lists of cybersecurity threat are difficult to keep track of as more tool and techniques are emerging with evolving technologies. It seems that there is no sure-shot way to guarantee cybersecurity, thus, at max, we can ensure that we incorporate as much security as possible.
Today's (Yr. 2019) cybersecurity threats!
- Using artificial intelligence to craft more sophisticated phishing, DDOS, spyware, virus, and other cybersecurity attacks.
- Ransomware ware is on the boom targeting high net-worth victims.
- Cyptojacking to mine crypto-currencies by hijacking millions of computers and mobile to use processing power is common today.
- The Internet of Things (IoT) is supposed to reach almost 30 billion by 2020 increasing great threat to cyber-attacks.
- The world is running on data today with big data, data warehouse and cloud computing with many laggings behind cybersecurity concerns.
- Off all, the shortage of cybersecurity professional when compared to cyber-hackers imposes a great threat to modern society.
How to secure your cyberspace?
- Ensure to keep your private information private.
- Beware of suspicious emails and phone calls.
- Don’t click on every link that catches your eye on the internet.
- Always keep a backup, it can save you a fortune.
- Install the anti-virus program and keep all virus definitions, software and engine updated.
- Ensure filtrations of unauthorized access and malicious content from the outside network.
- Establish a protection mechanism against cyber threats with cybersecurity tools and policies.
- Monitor and analyze suspicious intrusions and activities that could be a potential attack using tools and technologies like Intrusion Detection System (IDS) and firewalls.
- Keep software and application updated with all security patches, updates, and configuration.
- Of all, the biggest threat to an organization is not outside but inside.
The attacking technologies are outstripping defense technologies in cyberspace with the internet being the sole gizmo for innumerable endpoints and inherent vulnerabilities for cyber players. No doubts cyberspace is full of challenges with major ones being:
- Lack of information or willingness to incorporate cybersecurity risk-management strategies.
- No proper infrastructure and quality security professional to tackle cybersecurity challenges.
- Cybersecurity threats are always rising with emerging technological trends.
- No formal education on awareness of cyber security threats and attacks.
Recent cybersecurity breaches in 2018 - Overview
- Quora reported that third-party has gained access to one of their system victimizing 100 million user’s profile information, email, password hashes, and public and non-public records.
- Facebook reported that Cambridge Analytica harvested user’s information such as private information, profile picture and friend’s network without permission victimizing 87 million users.
- Starwood stated that its server was compromised with unauthorized access victimizing 500 million user’s name, email, phone, address, date of birth, hashed password and much more.
- Newegg reported that they were hacked by Cybergang Magic art to inject credit card skimming code victimizing about 50 million online shoppers.
- Indian aadhar portal was hacked compromising 1.1 billion user’s aadhar number, name, email, phone, address, and photos.
There are a lot more of which may go unreported and it’s difficult to argue on which was the worst, and those that made to our list were popular and large scale. On a further note, cyber-attacks that occurred in 2018 were 47% higher and precise than in the previous year.
Individuals and organizations need to focus more on cybersecurity concerns to help protect systems and sensitive information from outside intrusions and attacks. We must understand that no wonder an individual or small, midsized or big organization, no one is immune to cyber-attacks as one single breach can cost a fortune. However, awareness, security precaution, and environment can reduce the likelihood of such cyber incidences, as – cybersecurity is a communal concern, the more system we secure, the more secure we all are.
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