Cybersecurity is a concept that most of us glance over. If everyone is getting their work done, and no attacks have happened, then we should all be safe, right? The truth is, attacks can happen at any time and will be undetectable until it is too late.
Am I At Risk?
Many people, especially during the pandemic, are working from home, meaning company computers and company phones. We assume that as long as I stay away from dangerous websites, don't open any suspicious emails, and stay on top of work it will be fine. Most of us specialize in something that does not have anything to do with cybersecurity, so how can we know the risks? We don't realize how much sensitive data is transferred on a daily basis with less-than-ideal security measures. Our home Wi-Fi is much easier to hack than you think, and public Wi-Fi is even easier to intercept. As much as companies take measures to update their security, hackers are just as quick to develop new methods for getting around these securities.
Today we will be discussing different kinds of cyberattacks, symptoms of being under attack, as well as countermeasures against each one.
Malware is an umbrella term used to describe attacks intended to cause harm to your internal system. The intended purpose varies between malware but the most common are:
- Ransomware - Like its namesake, the objective of this one is to lock you out of your data and hold it for ransom in order to regain access.
- Spyware - The purpose is to infect your computer to gain access to your files and "spy" on you so the hacker can gain access to your personal information.
- Trojan - Similar to the Greek myth, a Trojan virus disguises itself as a harmless program such as an email attachment or free download. This program gives the hacker a lead into your system which can be attacked immediately or used for future hacking.
What are the symptoms?
You could experience slowdowns, bugs or glitches more frequently, and other symptoms abnormal in your typical daily device use. However, these symptoms do not guarantee you are infected as there are many reasons your system could be malfunctioning(fail to update system, system age, etc.).
What Can I Do?
Stay vigilant when browsing the web and opening emails by verifying the source. Hackers send hundreds of potential threats daily so make sure you verify your source. Don't forget to back up your data as an attack may leave you no choice but to do a full system reset. If you are experiencing problems with your system, contact your manufacturer or speak to an IT expert.
Distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS) is an attack intended to slow down, or even crash a system, denying service. The attacker uses multiple computers to send a large amount of information, so it cannot handle any more requests for service.
When you access a website, you are requesting its services. A website can only handle a limited amount of requests at a time so hackers take advantage of this and flood a website with requests for service, essentially denying anyone who will actually use the website for its services. The server handling the requests will either stagger its requests, or overload and crash.
What Can I Do?
Implement security measures like filtering normal traffic with abnormal traffic, implement a Web Application Firewall (WAF) to act as a reverse proxy, or use an Anycast network to scatter the attack traffic across a network of distributed servers. Contact your IT support for additional layers of security as preventative measures against these attacks.
3. The Internet of Things (IoT)
Ever wonder how you might be talking about an item and all of a sudden it is appearing in your news feeds, advertisements, and seemingly everywhere you turn? Everything is now connected to the internet, which has its benefits but also increases exposure to hackers. As much as we have streamlined access to our devices, hackers now have more access points to attack.
What Can I Do
Although it may seem easier and relatively safe to run the setup provided with the product, we strongly suggest looking into your security measures. A mass-produced object will likely have the same security level. Once a hacker finds one of your passwords, they will try to use it for other devices and portals. Use strong and unique passwords for your devices as they significantly increase your security level. Keep your devices updated and disconnect the ones you don't use. This will make sure you have the latest protection as well as minimize access points for attacks.
As AI permeates throughout our society, the application can be for both positive and malicious intent. The same attacks mentioned above could be operated through AI, and further improved because of machine learning algorithms.
What Can I Do?
Stay informed about the current cyber trends. The tools that can help with our daily activities also have the potential to pose harm. As always, contact your IT professional for more information and clarification on cyber topics.
Staying up to date with the latest cyber news will leave you well equipped for any potential cyber-attacks. Your first layer of protection is yourself, and your next layer is to have an expert ensure all your devices are safe. Cybercriminals are not going to disappear anytime soon, in fact, they are only going to be more prevalent in the future. BAASS offers self-sufficient solutions made to keep cyber criminals away. If you want to learn more, click here and speak to an expert today.