By Ray Parker
Cybersecurity threats continue to evolve with our increasing dependence on technology. Cyber-attacks are now more sophisticated than ever, placing data and assets of corporations, governments, and individuals at constant risk. Cybercriminals manage to exploit even the smallest of loopholes in your system to gain unauthorized access to your personal/financial data even with firewalls, antivirus solutions, and cybersecurity training for your employees. With damages related to cyber-crime projected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 according to CyberSecurity Ventures, it is more of a matter of “when” rather than “if” a cyber-attack will occur. Therefore, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Appropriate measures must be taken to avoid a cybersecurity breach and strengthen your security system. For this, there are cyber security testing companies which cater to your security requirements and detect vulnerabilities through various testing techniques.
Following are the top 5 cybersecurity threats in 2019 which you should look out for:
1) Human Nature
One of the biggest security risks to your company can be your own employees. Especially if they are untrained. Even a slight carelessness on their behalf can be costly. For instance, using easy-to-guess passwords or falling for phishing emails. Attackers are well-equipped these days and it will only make it easier for them if you’re not ready. Therefore, training your employees to defend against these risks is a must. Careless employees are not the only troublemakers. Companies sometimes do have rogue employees who put their employers at risk for revenge or some other personal gains. Whatever the reason is, the result is the same. You lose your data, your customers, your trust.
2) Malware and Ransomware
Fun fact: Ransomware is already on track to hit $11.5B in damages for 2019, which roughly translates into someone becoming a new victim every 14 seconds. Not so fun, is it? Attackers use malware or software to deny access to a computer or system until a ransom is paid. Malware is very well-disguised which makes it hard to detect. This is one of the most lethal attacks. It can cost:
- A lot of money paid in ransom
- Stolen data that forces executives to heighten their security protections
- Broader organizational disruption
- Money and effort to clean up the network and restore business operations
An old yet effective technique, phishing is still one of the favorites of cyber attackers. Another quick stat: $17,700 is lost every minute due to phishing attacks. That’s $9.3 billion per year. Phishing attacks appear to be normal, everyday emails from trusted sources but deliver malware to your computer or device, giving the hacker the critical access, they need. The content is becoming more interesting and relevant to the potential victims. It gets difficult to recognize, even for tech-savvies. Phishing comes in many forms:
- General phishing
- Spear phishing
- CEO fraud
- Smishing Vishing
- Clone phishing
- Domain spoofing
- URL phishing
- Watering hole phishing
- Evil twin phishing
Phishing activities frequently involve the use of social engineering tactics. They can use domain spoofing or phone number spoofing to make their communications appear more legitimate.
This is a list of five major cyber threats but the truth is that these are not all. October is the National Cybersecurity Month in the U.S. which is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. Governments all around the world are taking the issue of cybersecurity very seriously as it has cost economies billions of dollars annually. For government organizations and all companies, irrespective of their size, it is recommended to avail the services of a good cyber security testing company which will assist them in strengthening their security systems.
Ray Parker is a senior marketing consultant with a knack for writing about the latest news in tech, quality assurance, software development and testing. With a decade of experience working in the tech industry, Ray now dabbles out of his New York office.