10 Cyber Security Threats To Watch Out For
The biggest threat that we have to deal with today is, without doubt, the increased dependence on software for nearly all facets of our lives. Think of all the systems that heavily rely on software, and how an attack can considerably disrupt them. Some of the systems that rely on software include power grids, telecommunication, military systems, hospitals, voting machines, schools, and financial institutions, among others.
There is no doubt that most of them are vulnerable. When you start thinking of how unscrupulous people can exploit the systems in the context of life-threatening military operations, then you realize how risky our over-dependence on software can be.
As technology keeps enhancing the quality of infrastructure and delivery of vital services, it brings forth newer techniques of exploiting people and organizations as well.
The following are top cybersecurity threats that you should watch out for:
1. File-less Malware
This type of malware can exist as ordinary files within your hard drive. They are programmed to occupy the Random- Access- Memory (RAM). It is difficult to find traces since unlike other types of malware, they leave absolutely no crumbs on the hard drive. They only become visible when ordered to launch attacks by programmers.
The malware can be deployed against banks and other financial institutions by loading them onto ATMs, which effectively give hackers control over the infected machines. They can also be used to unload ransom-ware onto systems whilst the owners are completely oblivious of the occurrences.
2. Insider Threats
Employees across the world often leak confidential data to unauthorized parties, regardless of whether they are employed as contractors, as part-time employees or on a full-time basis. This is done either by design or by default. Damage that can result from leakage of classified inside information cannot be underrated.
3. Crypto Malware
The emergence and widespread use of assorted cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have undoubtedly attracted great interest from cybercriminals. Some crooked software engineers have created malware that can mine assorted cryptocurrencies when browsers of infected devices access the internet.
Even though crypto-malware has no direct harm, they pose considerable security threats given that they hijack the processing power of computers belonging to unsuspecting victims and make use of the resources to mine cryptocurrencies. To be safe from threats such as these, you can use a VPN.
Many cybercriminals get rich by gaining access to Information Technology remotely/ from external locations without express authority from owners. In the past, they have successfully accessed confidential information about credit cards and bank accounts.
Today, Intellectual Property (IP) rights such as copyrights and trademarks have become valuable assets as well, and many criminals have gained interest in them.
Widespread application of social engineering, whereby people are duped into divulging passwords, PINs, usernames and other confidential information is among the top cybersecurity threats.
5. Zero-Day Threats
Did you know that some computer programs are imperfect from day zero of installation? Some of the programs that you install contain security holes (also known as vulnerabilities). The holes can be exploited by cybercriminals such as computer hackers.
Zero-day threats can be defined as vulnerabilities that cybercriminals can discover and take advantage of long before developers of such software provide the requisite remedies.
6. Data Leakage
Even as cybersecurity in office setups has its fair share of challenges, it is important to remember that the problem goes beyond office walls. There is widespread use of tablets and other smart devices. The cheap and ever-present nature of flash disks and other storage devices have made it easier for people to back up and also transport data.
For these reasons, data thieves are increasingly targeting such devices. Data leakage has, therefore, become one of the top cybersecurity threats that individuals and organizations must watch out for.
7. Meltdown & Specter
Basically, these are vulnerabilities found in processor chips. It is easy for criminals to exploit the two because of inherent weaknesses inside processors, especially since they exist at extremely low levels.
Criminals who exploit Meltdown and Specter have the ability to go around security measures with little or absolutely no difficulty.
Cyber criminals often pretend to be authorized personnel with the primary objective of obtaining classified information. Spear phishing, in particular, is a highly sophisticated attempt to obtain classified information from individuals. Emails may appear absolutely convincing, complete with perfect wording and authentic logos.
9. Internet -of -Things Malware
Many businesses and homes across the world boast of their own microenvironments. For instance, sensors are used to obtain information regarding the prevailing temperature. Lights can be switched on and off using applications, while security is effortlessly monitored by means of smart cameras.
Due to inherent vulnerabilities, some cybercriminals have the ability to hijack the smart devices from remote locations and control them, and this can pose considerable security threats.
This can be defined as malicious software that tries to encrypt valuable data. The attempts can be successful or unsuccessful. Later, cybercriminals offer codes that can unlock the encrypted data in exchange for large ransoms. In most cases, the malicious software is delivered to targets through emails.
To be safe from ransomware, you can buy a VPN. Additionally, it is important to be careful whenever you come across unsolicited emails. Constantly updating software and backing up your data can help protect against malicious software as well.
It is unfortunate that many organizations across the world cannot pass a basic cybersecurity test. One of the reasons why many fail this important test is the failure to keep up with the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.
It is important for both individuals and organizations to be aware of common cybersecurity threats and take adequate measures that will keep them safe from danger.