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Cybersecurity remains a top priority for individuals and organizations. Amid an increasing reliance on the internet, cybercriminals are developing new ways to steal personal information and cause expensive data breaches.
Regardless of your industry, it matters to be prepared against any online threat. The cost of retrieving lost data and the reputational damage that cybercriminals bring should be enough reasons to increase your security posture.The first thing you will have to do is to recognize the most critical cybersecurity threats that exist today. Here are five you need to defend against.
While it’s nothing new to cybersecurity experts, ransomware continues to pose a considerable threat to enterprises. It works by restricting you from accessing sensitive data unless you pay a ransom. While most data hostage takers demand less than $10,000, some may even require payments of up to $100 million to release ransomed data. Your best defense against this type of threat is to install a reliable anti-malware and anti-virus program that’s regularly updated.
Most cyber threats are preventable if users are quick to spot suspicious messages and content. However, not everyone could identify a potential phishing attack immediately. Today’s hackers are using automated messages to craft convincing emails, ads, and online forms that are designed to steal information such as credit card data and social security numbers from unsuspecting victims. Vigilance is the key to preventing phishers from succeeding, so consider training employees and yourself in checking the legitimacy of websites and email sources before engaging.
Some cybercrime syndicates would resort to wide-scale data theft. Corporations that collect customer information are highly vulnerable to this kind of threat. If you lead an organization that requires users to sign up, make sure your network is protected against not only external but also internal threats. Cybercriminals may find ways to duplicate access credentials and trick your system into believing that they’re legitimate users. Consider implementing a cybersecurity plan that includes real-time monitoring of user behaviors and activities. Look for IT companies that specialize in this type of protection so you can reduce the risk of data breaches.
Social Engineering Tactics
Unlike phishing, social engineering strategies involve building trust. In this case, hackers use psychology and deceit to get people to surrender sensitive data. Social engineering uses a variety of methods including honey traps and piggybacking attacks. Some hackers may even pose as influencers or corporate executives to appear credible, so make sure to research every person that sends you an email or direct message before engaging further.
While cryptocurrency markets have seen significant disruptions during the past years, this doesn’t stop hackers from using private PCs to mine for Bitcoin. This method is known as crypto-jacking and it uses a sophisticated piece of software that embeds itself in a user’s computer or mobile phone and turns it into a mining device. The user may experience performance issues and the device may consume more electricity than usual. This results in higher energy bills and a reduced lifespan. To prevent this type of attack, use an anti-crypto-mining app and boost your organization’s cybersecurity hygiene.
Data theft and sabotage can cause considerable damage to your business, so improve your cybersecurity posture by identifying these threats and learning how to counter each one.