Thursday, December 6, 2018

Common Cyber Security Risks And Solutions

It’s evident with the ‘90s Hackers to the present Mr Robot that Crime and Criminals have had been an endless subject of fascination. Although it has entertained and attracted people to this domain of knowledge, it hasn't been adequately understood outside of industry professionals.
Cybercriminals have precise and varied goals —from performing ransomware attacks like the infamous WannaCry to stealing company database records. To burglarize sophisticated systems, hackers should be creative, versatile, and be able to always look into the greater picture.

Thus, implementing efficient cybersecurity measures is a daunting task now as devices have outnumbered people, and attackers have grown more innovative.

Indeed, there is a growing concern amongst experts that cybersecurity firms are severely understaffed, and the current count is not sufficient to combat the ever-increasing number of cyber attacks. A report out from Cybersecurity Ventures assessed that there would be 3.5 mn unfilled cybersecurity jobs as we near 2021, up from 1 mn openings last year. While the employment figures from the U.S. and India stress on the cybersecurity labour crisis.

Hackers avail from weighing the many alternatives for cracking into systems, for instance, they can use phishing schemes or social engineering or even breaking into the phone providers' network employing malware to get your phone account details. 

As the saying goes, there's always option B, and if that doesn't work, then the English Alphabet has 26 letters. So really, whether you’re a multinational firm or the average Joey, you’re bound to face COMMON CYBER-THREATS in your day-to-day life in this technology-saturated world.

  • WEAK PASSWORDS are like inferior quality locks; they are simple to crack, and once access is permitted to your account, cyber-criminals are free to cause havoc in your life. The primary causes of brute-force cracking of passwords are statistical probabilities and time, and ideally cyphering.

    What to do?

    Try Passphrases and Password Managers. Pass-phrases are definitely longer, but much secure. Simply put, it’s an encryption key that you can memorize.
  • OUTDATED SOFTWARE is more susceptible to an attack as it can allow cyber invaders full-access to your system, even if they’re at the other end of the globe. This is why updating your computer is extremely important.

    What to do?
    The only way you can save yourself from trouble is by updating your applications, programs and operating system as soon as reasonably possible.
  • PHISHING schemes are deceitful attempts to acquire sensitive information like login information and credit card details. The criminals disguise as trustworthy and reputable entities through any means of electronic communication. In most cases, through email or instant messaging spoofs leading victims to feed in their personal information on a bogus website.

    DomainTools, a DNS-based cyber threat intelligence had conducted a survey with 1,000 UK consumers. The results revealed that 20% of them were victims of phishing emails that faked to be from a trusted, legitimate brand. These strategic attacks had malicious plans like theft of PII (Personally identifiable information) or the installing malware on a network.

    What to do?
    Ignorance isn't bliss; so keep abreast of news about new phishing scams.

    Inspecting the URL provided in the email or instant message may not be a fool-proof, but you can spot that the leading company's name will be at the end of the URL.  E.g.,

    You can also check for the green chrome lock icon on the left.

    To put it briefly, if you receive an email or instant message with a link to your bank or other sensitive information, do not open that link. Instead, manually enter the URL or contact the customer service.

    You can learn more here.
  • Public WiFi may leave expose you to sniffing attacks -where data is robbed by capturing the network traffic using a sniffer, an application that assists in capturing network packets.

    Long story short, your every move is watched. Even if your data is encrypted, if the Wi-Fi service hasn't employed strong encryption, your data is still at risk.
    Cyber Invaders can also conduct MITM Attacks where they change information in-transit before or after you get or send it.

    To add, If someone knows your Home WiFi password, they will be able to carry out a similar attack as if your WiFi were a Public WiFi network.

    What to do?

    'Don’t share your password' and 'don't put up your personal information on social media networks' is the new -"Don’t talk to strangers.”

    So, use a secure and robust WiFi password at home and set-up a Guest Network Password. Ensure that your router operates on the highest level of encryption available (i.e. WPA2 and AES encryption).

    Use a VPN (a way to securely view over the internet)

    Ensure your security by visiting the website with HTTPS

    Double check WiFi hotspot names before connecting, as there could be fake WiFi hotspots that are named similar to legitimate ones.
  • With SOCIAL ENGINEERING (certainly not the last on the common cyber-risks list) attackers exploit human psychology. They trick you into revealing sensitive information- be it monetary payment or obtain access to your confidential data.

    What to do?
    This may be tough to guard yourself against, however, stay alert, use common sense, and don’t give away your passwords, particularly over the phone or via text. 

Although the shared solutions may not make us immune to attacks, the habits and security mindset that we develop over time can lower our susceptibility to cyber risks.


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