Cyber Security and it's Shortcomings

Look around today's world, and you'll see that daily life is more dependent on technology than ever before. The benefits of this trend range from near instant access to information on the Internet to the modern conveniences provided by smart home automation technology and concepts like the Internet of Things. With so much good coming from technology, it can be hard to believe that potential threats lurk behind every device and platform. Yet, despite society's rosy perception of modern advances, cyber security threats presented by modern tech are a real danger.

Cyber Security and it's Shortcomings


According to Forbes, 2022 will present us with a pack of diverse and terrifying cyber security challenges, everything from supply chain disruption to increased smart device risks to a continued cyber security talent drought. According to Cybercrime Magazine, cybercrime will cost the world $10.5 trillion annually by 2025.

With advances in technology, cybersecurity is not an option it has become a necessity. Cyber security is a discipline that covers how to defend devices and services from electronic attacks by nefarious actors such as hackers, spammers, and cybercriminals. A strong cybersecurity strategy can provide a good security posture against malicious attacks designed to access, alter, delete, destroy or extort an organization's or user's systems and sensitive data. Cybersecurity is also instrumental in preventing attacks that aim to disable or disrupt a system's or device's operations.

Maintaining cybersecurity in a constantly evolving threat landscape is a challenge for all organizations. Traditional reactive approaches, in which resources were put toward protecting systems against the biggest known threats, while lesser-known threats were undefended, are no longer a sufficient tactic. To keep up with changing security risks, a more proactive and adaptive approach is necessary. Several key cybersecurity advisory organizations offer guidance. 

For example, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommends adopting continuous monitoring and real-time assessments as part of a risk assessment framework to defend against known and unknown threats. Cyberthreats take many forms, some of which are:

1. Malware

Malware is a form of malicious software in which any file or program can be used to harm a computer user. This includes worms, viruses, Trojans, and spyware.

2. Ransomware

Ransomware is another type of malware. It involves an attacker locking the victim's computer system files -- typically through encryption -- and demanding a payment to decrypt and unlock them.

3. Social Engineering

Social engineering is an attack that relies on human interaction to trick users into breaking security procedures to gain sensitive information that is typically protected.

4. Phishing

Phishing is a form of social engineering where fraudulent email or text messages that resemble those from reputable or known sources are sent. Often random attacks, these messages intend to steal sensitive data, such as credit card or login information.

5. Spear Phishing

Spear phishing is a type of phishing attack that has an intended target user, organization, or business. Insider threats are security breaches or losses caused by humans -- for example, employees, contractors, or customers. Insider threats can be malicious or negligent in nature.

6. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are those in which multiple systems disrupt the traffic of a targeted system, such as a server, website, or other network resources. By flooding the target with messages, connection requests, or packets, the attackers can slow the system or crash it, preventing legitimate traffic from using it.

7. Advanced persistent threats (APTs)

Advanced persistent threats (APTs) are prolonged targeted attacks in which an attacker infiltrates a network and remains undetected for long periods of time with the aim to steal data.

8. Man-in-the-middle (MitM) Attacks

Man-in-the-middle (MitM) attacks are eavesdropping attacks that involve an attacker intercepting and relaying messages between two parties who believe they are communicating with each other.

Cybersecurity is continually challenged by hackers, data loss, privacy, risk management, and changing cybersecurity strategies. The number of cyberattacks is not expected to decrease in the future. Moreover, increased entry points for attacks, such as with the arrival of the internet of things (IoT), increase the need to secure networks and devices. One of the most problematic elements of cybersecurity is the evolving nature of security risks. As new technologies emerge, and as technology is used in new or different ways, new attack avenues are developed.

Due to the pandemic, millions have been forced into remote work all around the world. From education at schools and colleges to work at huge MNCs, everything shifted online, creating major opportunities for cybercriminals. The negative cybersecurity impacts of these online changes have led many experts to summarize the events as a growing “cyber pandemic.” Criminals quickly picked the ideal strategy to take advantage of the pandemic and the confused people: phishing, internet frauds, and spreading fake news. Already at the beginning of the pandemic, in May 2020 the number of coronavirus-related cyber-attacks increased from just a few hundred to over five thousand a day.

Healthcare organizations and banks became the major target of cyber-attacks. This is particularly problematic due to the significant functions performed by both institutions, and the amount of personal data stored in both institutions. Leakage or theft of such confidential information could end in a tragedy for the victims.

The business sector too experienced a significantly increased number of attacks with a shift to online mode. Not only that, cybercriminals have been trying to exploit people’s heightened levels of reasonable concern around COVID-19, trying to promote misinformation and scam people out of their
money or personal data.

Steps Needed to be Taken for a Safe Cyberspace

Nevertheless, cyber-attacks have been prevalent regardless of the situation in the world. Hence, cybersecurity is a must. Some steps that can be taken towards a safe cyberspace include:

1. Installing antivirus software on all devices connected to the internet
2. Choosing strong and different passwords for your email and social media
3. Reviewing the privacy settings of your social media accounts
4. Not opening links and attachments in unsolicited emails and text messages
5. Not replying to suspicious messages or calls
6. Not sharing your bank card details or personal financial information

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