We are living in an era of cutting-edge technological innovations. These innovations continue to transform our way of living, working, studying, receiving treatment and so on. However, technology is not the only thing that has been evolving with time. We now have smarter gangs online. Criminals that keep upgrading their attack tricks to circumvent many security measures. In the interest of improving your cybersecurity, we will discuss the top cyber risks facing the public in 2020. To remain safe, you need to have an actionable plan in place. We will also recommend 6 security resources to protect yourself.
Key Cyber Risks That The Public Should Watch Out For In 2020
In this cyber-attack, the criminal infects your system with malware that enables them to get hold of crucial and sensitive data. The attacker then asks for payment (ransom) with an ultimatum that you either pay or lose your data. Businesses are prime targets of ransomware attacks. The effects are so devastating that some of them end up closing shop a few months after an attack. Florence, Ala. was on May 6, 2020, hit by a ransomware attack on the IT environment’s system. This was followed by a subsequent attack on its email system in early June.
To get out of this mess, the relevant authorities spent close to $300,000.
A phishing attack is a common social engineering attack technique where an attacker sends a luring email to a victim. Phishing emails are tailored to trap a victim. For instance, they may promise easy money upon following a link or downloading an attachment. The deceptive links redirect you to fraudulent pages where you surrender sensitive information or credentials. These credentials and other sensitive information end up being used for malicious activities such as gaining illegal access to your personal or work accounts.
According to a report released by small businesses trends in 2018, employees receive an average of 4 phishing emails per 5 working days. This indicates hackers release billions of phishing emails daily. The attackers aim at all kinds of targets. In June 2020, attackers used Covid-19 to con hundreds of unsuspecting members of the public who were struggling to settle in the new normal that this pandemic had just necessitated. In Britain, for example, phishing attacks related to Coronavirus cost Britons close to £4 million. The phishing scams were related to best deals on personal protective equipment, masks, and relief funds from the government.
IoT Related Attacks
These risks leverage on the prevalent use of internet devices. IoT devices have many vulnerabilities which make them an easy target for cybercriminals. Many people tend to overlook the need for security measures in these devices. Take, for instance, how many people have antivirus software on their smartphones?
Unfortunately, even with very linear security measures in place, many IoT device users continue to access and store lots of information on these devices.
6 Effective Security Tools To Protect Yourself
Email Security Tools
Invest in an email security service to protect all your email correspondences. These tools ensure that emails are encrypted until they reach the intended recipient. They also scan incoming emails to detect any malicious attachments or links.
Antivirus And Antimalware Tools
Use up-to-date antivirus and antimalware software to shield your devices and systems from viruses and malicious infections on the web. These tools are an essential resource to protect your computer, laptop, tablet, Android and iPhone mobile devices. Go for programs that in addition to virus and worms protection, do also provide internet security. That’s where the trouble lies.
Use A VPN
Add a layer of security by downloading a VPN app. A VPN is a reliable way to protect all the smart and IoT devices in your possession. The application protects your sensitive information by creating a private and secure tunnel for all your online traffic. As your data is encrypted you are safe from prying eyes.
Enable Multi-Factor Authentication Tools
Limit access to your accounts by enabling authentication tools. These tools are essential resources to protect your computers, tablets, and other futuristic mobile technologies. Authentication tools are additional layers of security set up to verify all login attempts. When enabled, these security tools send verification codes to the selected medium. For instance, you may get a one-time verification code via SMS or email.
Install and activate an ad blocker to do away with unsolicited ads that keep popping up on the open web pages. These ads are indirect links to malicious programs or sites. An ad blocker rules out the possibility of clicking on the ad unintentionally.
These tools scan devices and networks to identify any existing weaknesses that can be exploited by an attacker. These tools check if your favorite websites are vulnerable to cyber attacks. A vulnerability scan gives you a report that helps you make informed decisions on the right security measures to put in place.
Cybersecurity Is A Priority Issue
There are no two ways around cybersecurity. To handle cyber threats, you must remain vigilant and have effective security measures in place. Because digital threats are dynamic, the select tools should be audited periodically to ensure that they are still effective and functional.