Cyber Security Essentials 2019: Are you secure?
Information security is a must for 2019, a whole host of new and evolving cyber security threats have begun to emerge and the industry is on high alert.
We are continually seeing more and more sophisticated modes of cyber attacks. Cyber criminals are making use of malware, phishing, machine learning, cryptocurrency and even artificial intelligence, putting the data of individuals, businesses and even governments at increasing risk.
What are the threats?
Meaning: “the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers”
Most people have experienced phishing emails before, whether thats on a personal or work email account. Now that more people are beginning to recognise these phishing emails, they usually appear to be from someone we know but with subtle differences, the cyber criminals have begun to change the game. Using machine learning they can now quickly create and distribute fake messages or fake news in the hope that users will click these links, potentially compromising their or their organisations networks and systems. Phishing attacks can gain access to user logins, personal information and databases.
Meaning: “a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid”
Ransomware attacks cost victims billions of pounds every year. Cyber criminals use technology that literally allows them to hijack the victims systems, databases and personal information and hold them to ransom for it. The rise of the cryptocurrency has been accredited with leading to a rise in these attacks as it allows the ransom to be paid to the attackers anonymously.
IoT (Internet of things)
Meaning: “the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data”
If this is the first you are hearing about the Internet of things then I suggest you go Google it now. The internet of things is growing by the second! By 2020 it is estimated that over 31 billion devices will be connected to the IoT, this includes everything from smart meters to the Amazon Echo and even your smart watch!
Creating a network of connected devices is handy for both businesses and consumers, they can gather immense amounts of data that can be very useful and insightful for a business. However, the more connected devices the greater the risks and once cyber criminals have control of these devices the fallout can be crippling as they wreak havoc for financial gain.
Third Parties (Contractors, Partners, Vendors)
What security protocols and practices do the people and businesses you work with have in place?
The third parties that we work with can pose huge security risks to our businesses. It’s more than worrying to learn that the people/businesses we work with have very basic or even no secure systems in place.
The growing use of APIs is a great example of this. APIs allow users access into another company’s systems using a set of protocols to access information within that system, for example the Google Maps API allows developers access and more control over embedding maps within a website. Should these APIs ever be hacked by cyber criminals it could potentially open up a pathway into the networks of all the users of those APIs.
Are you secure? Get checking now!
We have an experienced in-house web development team who would be happy to talk through any concerns or queries you may have.
By Ryan Colley, Web Developer