In my previous blog “Fear of the Unknown: Navigating Tools of the New Digital Age”, I touched on the speed and scale of technological change. It is quite remarkable how much sensitive information travels through computers, servers, mobile devices, etc. While cybersecurity is often a priority for many companies, alongside growth and customer satisfaction, it’s important to note that these systems are far from prefect and there are everyday threats to be aware of. There are multiple passages through which this type of information travels, and contrary to popular belief the C-level executives aren’t the only targets or points of vulnerability. Naturally, the techniques our adversaries deploy and the weaknesses they target are in a state of constant evolution. That said, the best way to assure cybersecurity is to be aware and knowledgeable about the basic types of attacks companies, on all levels, are likely to confront.
The most common security breaches come from what is known as Phishing. According to Wombat Security’s State of the Phish 2018, 76% of companies experienced phishing attacks in 2017. Increasingly, attackers are focusing their attention on people and not technical defenses. Basic phishing attacks simply involved asking the user for information – whether that be via a fake email, website or a phony phone call. These phishing attacks however have been further advancing as hackers have begun to gain access through malicious files. Those who are unaware of these types of attacks open an attached file or link and in turn then expose the vulnerabilities in the systems’ where data can be extorted.
While phishing is the umbrella term, it’s important to understand some of the more specific and technical tactics. Increasing cybersecurity also requires a basic understanding of the vulnerabilities that do exist within an organisations systems.
While cybersecurity teams are doing their best to improve their systems, there are ways individuals are able to further protect sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands. By simply staying informed and informing others of the common, yet most effective cyber-attacks, people will be able to create extra levels of security from behind their own screens.