The online world is truly a wonderful place filled with various opportunities. Unfortunately, for all its benefits, the online world can also be a very dangerous place. Here, criminals have no names or faces, and you can’t spot them easily.
They literally lurk in the shadows waiting for an opportunity to strike at an unwary victim. The victims here are usually businesses and sometimes individuals, whereas the criminals are hackers. One thing is for certain though, while hackers themselves may be elusive, their attacks aren’t.
Cybersecurity threats can be spotted fairly easily and, therefore, avoided altogether. Only the truly crafty hackers can mask their activities and pass undetected.
Even then, their attacks can be prevented, and the damage can be mitigated. However, you must be able to identify the treat first. With that in mind, here are a few common types of cybersecurity threats and how to avoid them.
Everyone knows about computer viruses because they’ve been around since the Internet became available for commercial use. Although typical viruses are no longer mainstream, they are still around, and people usually forget about them until they infect their computers.
So how do you spot these? Some viruses are well-hidden while others are as plain as it gets. For example, all of you who used Limewire to download music back in the day know that a file named “Linkin Park NuMb.exe” is not, in fact, an mp3 song but a virus. Viruses today are more sophisticated, but the same principle applies: be careful.
Therefore, whenever you consider downloading something that’s “free,” make sure you double-check everything before downloading it. You can simply install trustworthy anti-virus software with real-time protection. The majority of such software can easily detect and remove a computer virus before it has a chance to do real damage and replicate itself across the entire system.
Hackers are notorious for being expert programmers who use their skills to break into other peoples’ networks and steal whatever they deem valuable. Whether it’s a business or an individual computer, hackers won’t hesitate to break in if the opportunity is good enough.
For businesses, data breaches can be a serious problem. This is especially true for companies that sell products or services and, therefore, process a lot of sensitive data about their customers on a daily basis. Hackers will try various ways to break into a company’s network because consumer information is very valuable on the dark web.
There’s not much you can do to spot a data breach on your own, but a well-designed small business firewall can do it for you. This is also the best way to avoid data breaches; these firewall systems are sophisticated enough to fend off hackers before they can actually break into your network.
Malware is the new age of computer viruses, more advanced than its predecessor and not nearly as obvious. A good example is malvertising. You load a website and there are a bunch of ads there. Go figure. What you don’t realize at first is that some of those ads are malware, and you don’t have to click on anything to get your commuter infected.
Just by loading the website, you’ve fallen into a well-placed trap. So what can you do? Nothing really, unless you have proper cybersecurity measures in place. Anti-malware software can prevent such attacks. A good firewall can do the same. To completely avoid these pests, you’ll have to stay away from suspicious websites and have real-time protection that can spot malware where you cannot.
Another type of malware, ransomware, can cause real trouble for businesses. So what does ransomware do, exactly? First, ransomware gets into your system and encrypts all your files and data. After that, the hackers will contact you with the list of demands, which usually involves paying them a hefty sum in Bitcoin so that the transaction cannot be traced.
Once you pay them, they may release your files, or they may not; they’re criminals after all. This type of attack can cause significant downtime for businesses. The more you stay offline, the more money and reputation you lose, aside from having to pay the file kidnappers.
There isn’t much you can do to avoid ransomware, but you can prevent it. A systematic and up-to-date data backup can be of great help in such cases. You can simply recover data instead of paying the hackers. Moreover, use multi-layered security solutions as much as possible to prevent such attacks in the first place.
Cybersecurity threats are everywhere these days, and you can easily fall victim to them if you’re not careful enough. Avoiding such threats is simple enough, but avoidance alone is not the answer. You have to have proper cybersecurity protection at all times if you want to roam the online world.