COMMON CYBER SECURITY THREATS
Do you remember how the Internet looked like 25 years ago? I was a child then, but my parents told me that it was a nice, safe place. You could only access a few hundreds of websites back in 1993, after all, but most of them were of the highest quality. Think IMDB, Wired, and so on.
It is true that people didn't have access to a search engine, but who needed one anyway, when all those sites were neatly categorized in human-maintained online directories? Those days are gone forever, though; today, there are close to two billion websites, and their number is constantly growing.
We've got so many choices today, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. However, we have also gotten lots of script kiddies, who do their best to make the way we interact with the online world a poor experience. So, let's discuss the most frequent cyber security threats.
1. Social engineering
Hackers who employ this tactic try to make you click a link that promises to lead you to desirable information. Who wouldn't want to watch these cute kitten movies for hours in a row, right?
Let's be honest and admit that you are tempted to click that link. Maybe you have already clicked it, because you simply love cats. Okay, you can go ahead and click it now; it's a YouTube link, so your device should be safe. You should trust me, because I am a security researcher.
So, cyber criminals make use of this tactic by sending you emails which include links that lead to infected websites. Some of them will take things even further, by hacking your friends' emails accounts or social media accounts, and then use them to send you "trustworthy" infected messages.
Very few people will resist the temptation to click what appears to be a promising link, especially when it was recommended by a friend, right? Therefore, it is not a surprise that Facebook phishing is so widespread; the platform allows hackers to send links to fake videos and fake news, and those links lead to infected sites that will quickly download malware onto your device.
2. HTTP websites
Many industry giants (Microsoft, Google, etc.) have asked website owners to switch to the secure HTTPS protocol for quite some time now. Actually, Google Chrome has already started to display "Not secure" messages when you try to access a website that still uses the outdated HTTP data security protocol.
Why is this happening? HTTP websites that require visitors to give away personal information are vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks. This means that a hacker can easily intercept the data that is sent to the website, and then use it to access your account.
Therefore, banks have quickly made the change to the encrypted version of the protocol. However, some e-commerce websites are still utilizing the outdated HTTP protocol, and this means that your credit card information can be intercepted by a hacker.
The conclusion is simple: stay away from poorly secured websites, which don't display the green HTTPS padlock in your browser's URL bar.
3. IoT infections
Lots of companies utilize IoT devices these days, and that is okay. Still, many of these devices run using apps that have been poorly coded, and the data that they are storing on the manufacturer's servers is often unencrypted.
This means that a hacker may be able to take over an app that is installed on a company phone, and then connect to the local network and access its resources. It's a very serious threat, but fortunately we provide a service which verifies the security of all the apps that are utilizing the iOS or Android mobile operating systems.
To fight these common cyber security threats, be sure to keep all your software patched. It also helps to teach people to use their common sense when they are dealing with unexpected emails and social media messages.