Interesting Facts About Cybersecurity
Sometimes, when discussing cybersecurity, it sounds more like the old west, with talk about black hats and white hats. As can reasonably be assumed, the black hats are the “bad guys” who attempt to break into computer systems in order to steal data or infect them with damaging software. The white hats, conversely, are the “good guys.” They are the cybersecurity experts—like the town sheriff—who work hard to keep systems safe and catch hackers.
Now that you have that image in your mind, what are some of the other interesting facts and bits of information from the world of cybersecurity?
More than 90% of Cyber Attacks Start with a Phishing Email
Phishing is basically what you might think, based on the name. Hackers lure their intended catch in with something enticing, such as a fraudulent email that looks legitimate. The unsuspecting victim clicks on a link and accidentally, or even voluntarily, divulges passwords, credit card information, or other sensitive information. Fortunately, there are two very simple ways to protect yourself from phishing email: never click on a suspicious link and never send private and confidential information that someone requests of you via email.
Among Modern Cyber Security Threats, Ransomware is in the Lead
A type of malicious software, ransomware holds the victim’s data hostage. Rather than selling the information on the black market, the hacker makes his money directly from the victim by holding it until a ransom has been paid. The hacker may threaten the victim with doxxing. Coming from the word documents (docs), doxxing is the act of publishing personal date online. In other cases, the victims may find themselves locked out of their own accounts until they pay the ransom.
Cyber Attacks are Increasing in Frequency
Attacks are on the rise, especially malware. In 2018, the number of groups using destructive malware increased by 25%. This type of malware targets systems with the intent of destroying them, making them unusable.
One notable attack involved the Thrip group (a group that targets satellite communications, telecoms, and defence contractors) compromising a satellite communications operator. From there, they began looking for and infecting computers that monitor and control other satellites, such as those belonging to Garmin and Google Earth.
By 2021, Global Cyber Crime Will Cost $6 Trillion Annually
The cost of cyber crime is staggering, expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021. This is being called the “greatest transfer of economic wealth in history” (2017 Cybersecurity Ventures). This is an increase of $3 trillion annually, compared to 2017.
Americans are More Worried About Cyber Crime than Violent Crime
Violent crime includes terrorism, sexual assault, and even murder, yet according to a Gallup Study, Americans are more concerned about becoming the victim of cyber crime. More specifically, they worry about identity theft (67%) and having their personal or financial information hacked (71%). By comparison, only 24% worry about being a victim of terrorism, and 17% fear being murdered.
Financial Organizations are the Biggest Targets
The finance industry is the number one target, followed by healthcare, retail, and then the public sector, with the number one target overall being mortgage companies.
Of all the breaches taking place, 93% could be avoided by taking simple steps such as updating software regularly or making use of cloud-based solutions.
With cyber crime growing at such a rate, it is more important than ever for your company to take steps to stay safe. Consider making use of such methods as multi-factor authentication and cloud-based data systems. By setting up proper security mechanisms, you can make your company a much less attractive target and keep your data (and customers) safe.