6 Cyber Security Facts That May Surprise You

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With an increase in number of cyber threats, the thought of experiencing a data breach keeps IT leaders awake at night. There are many research papers and studies devoted to investigating exactly how worried CIOs and CEOs are when it comes to protecting their company’s information systems, and it is important to say they are scared rigid.

According to a report from Protiviti and ISACA,“Cyber-security and privacy issues are considered among the biggest technology challenges to enterprises.” Meanwhile, a study from GITNS reveals that 54.8% of C-Level executives accept data security is one of their important three concerns in 2017.

The UK Government states, in 2016 about two-thirds of established British companies suffered a cyber-attack in the preceding 12 months. Generally, most businesses that operate in the online world have to be ready for a hack that steals their information systems. However, neither of these reports are enough to alert if you do not consider the existing state of data protection.

Here are 6 cybersecurity facts that you need to know:

1. Most Expensive Virus

If you are not clear how strong a computer virus can be, read up about ‘MyDoom’. MyDoom is known as the most expensive virus ever generated for its damage that is predicted to be around $38.5 billion. A rapidly spreading email worm, MyDoom scores the first position when it comes to damage extent compared to other viruses. Known to be Russian developed software, it spreads by resending itself when opened.

2. IoT Is Likely To Be Internet Of Vulnerabilities

Symantec, in 2015, accounted proof-of-concept attacks against connected devices, for instance, televisions and smartwatches. Just how susceptible are internet connected devices to cyber attacks? Symantec research identified different vulnerabilities in 50 available smart devices, encompassing a ‘smart’ door lock that could be unlocked remotely online without any password. Various real world and proof-of-concept attacks have been found against medical devices and even smart devices. Gartner predicts that about 6.4 billion connected things will be in use this year worldwide; a number is likely to extend 20.8 billion connected devices by 2020.

3. Hacktivism

Hacktivism is attacking a computer for political or social reasons. This is responsible for 50% of the total cyber attacks happened in the world. With strong roots grounded in the hacking practices, it leads to provocative issues of human rights among others. You may consider it positive in some sort, but hacktivism is a politically driven hack that triggers protest and other forms of civil unrest globally.

4. Social Media Invites Malware

Nowadays everyone uses social media as a form of communicating with friends, family, or to partake in the specific mindless news feed stalking. The problem is that hackers have started paying attention to these social networking platforms because the active presence and high user engagement. Simply, social media has become a goldmine to attack online users. Facebook is likely to be a haven for cyber attackers to post ‘like’ or link jacking traps to attract users to check fake posts that intentionally download dangerous malware into their systems. This can initiate a chain reaction of computers heavily loaded with malware, which the attacker can remotely control to perform malicious attacks, for instance, a Distributed Denial of Service attack.

5. Most PCs Are Susceptible To Exploit Kits

Systems on the internet that have Oracle Java, Adobe Reader or Adobe Flash are vulnerable to exploit kits. The truth is, 99% of all computer users are vulnerable to the exploit kits. Exploit kits are software, developed to function on the web server to find and exploit vulnerabilities, and further upload and operate malicious code on the client system. The vulnerabilities exposed by the above software are harmful. To stay safe, keep your software and mobile apps involving operating system timely updated. Why not if there is an option, replace where possible.

6. Mobiles Are Also Not Safe

Chris Hart is an operational risk director for Cincinnati-based First Financial Bancorp said, “Cyber risks are following more web traffic on cell phones to mobile platforms too.” About 32% U.S adults prefer online banking method, but now 12% of consumers prefer mobile banking, as per a recent American Bankers Association survey cited by Hart. There is up in mobile banking preferences by 3 percent over the last five years, as per Hart’s information. Though malware has not become common yet for an average mobile user, mobile is likely to become an active space for junk applications and unsafe software programs that can severely infect devices, according to Hart’s report.

Apple Pay facilitates transactions to be confirmed using the phone’s fingerprint scanner, integrating a verification factor to the payment process, Hart added. Furthermore, Apple Pay and Android Pay secure payment card in cloud storage or on the device, which makes it hard for the physical cards to be counterfeited or compromised, he said. He added, not all merchants have accepted these payment methods due to the equipment needed to support their use. Either using plastic cards or virtual ones, consumers are safeguarded from all unsolicited activity charged to their accounts till a notice is provided to their financial institution within 60 days after the bill with the contradicted charge was sent, Hart said.

Danish Wadhwa

Danish Wadhwa is a strategic thinker and an IT professional. With more than 6 years of experience in the digital marketing industry, he is more than a results-driven individual. He is well-versed in providing high-end technical support, optimising sales and automating tools to stimulate productivity for businesses.