The toll of cyber security attacks on business and consumers
Data breaches and cyber security attacks are increasing at an alarming rate, with around 10 major attacks in the past 2 years alone, with the Sony, Ashley Madison and JP Morgan Chase cases being prime examples of how much damage hackers can do to businesses and home users alike.
These particular breaches are created mostly by the fact that hackers are continually trying to perfect their craft and find new ways of accessing company/personal data. And even if consumers and businesses are trying to acquire new technologies that can be used to better fight cyber crime, hackers are also getting access to that so fighting it properly can be very hard.
Companies have a hard time finding perpetrators and it’s very challenging for them to allocate resources towards finding the attackers when they also allocate a vast amount of resources towards protecting their data more efficiently.
Many industries, such as the financial one for example are allocating more resources towards cyber security. According to various statistics, financial firms have lost an average of $23 million due to cyber security breaches alone in 2013 and the numbers have raised significantly since then.
Unfortunately it’s not only the business world that has to deal with this type of attacks, recently cyber criminals have also engaged in a ransomware attack towards a hospital in US. This clearly shows that hackers will stop at nothing to access important information and money.
The most widely used attacks in 2015 were malware, phishing, network interruption, spyware and denial of service. Since 2014 ransomware has started to become a threat to home users as well, and since then millions of people from all over the world have been affected by this type of attack.
Companies have to deal mostly with DDOS and targeted attacks as well as SQL injections, whereas home users have to face defacement and account hijacking, among the usual spyware and other virus infections.
When it comes to targeted industries, the government is the most common target, with various industrial niches being targeted as well. The finance sector, organizations, news and education are also common targets for cyber criminals. However, home users are getting targeted as well and the number of victims increases each year. Hackers prefer home users because they don’t tend to protect their data and computer access that well, which makes it easier for them to steal personal info such as credit card data and many others.
Motivation-wise, attackers either engage in cyber warfare or cyber espionage, but around 25% of them use hacktivism as their main cause. Then there’s the fact that many hackers perform these attacks for personal leisure and interest, depending on the situation.
How to protect yourself and/or a company against cyber attacks?
• Use strong firewalls
• Use powerful, long, alphanumeric passwords
• Update software often
• Create backups and change passwords often
• Use dedicated security suites
• Monitor data upload and download
• Never visit a suspicious site or open a suspicious mail, as that’s how you can get infected most of the time.
People that had to deal with cyber security attacks lost their money, and many times even their identity. That’s why you have to work hard in order to protect yourself efficiently in the online world because there are always some prying eyes and it does come down to you to address the situation with diligence and attention to detail. Have a safe web usage experience (the same can be said for companies), monitor data traffic and transfer while also making sure that you avoid scammy or suspicious websites, then it will be a lot harder for you to be attacked by cyber crime activists.