With how widespread the Internet has become, it’s no longer necessary for a criminal to physically be close to you in order to do you harm. Funds are kept in accounts that can be accessed online, and even more importantly, your personal and financial information is also often stored on the Cloud. This means that criminals can gain unauthorized access to this information if their tools and skills are good enough, and today we’re going to cover some of the ways this happens.
1. Social Engineering
Social engineering is by far the most common method of compromising your online data. This is a type of attack where the hacker tries to obtain a person’s information through a fraudulent website, email or text, often impersonating an official body such as the victim’s bank or account holder. The upside of this is that if you’re careful enough, social engineering is easy to spot. The emails often contain spelling and grammar errors, are weirdly formatted and are generally a poor impersonation of what is supposed to be a professional, serious message from the aforementioned official body.
2. Internet of Things Attacks
The Internet of Things is an amazing concept; anything can be connected to the Internet and manipulated remotely. A few years ago it was just your computer, but now you can use your smartphone to turn your power on and off, activate your A/C before you come home so you return to a cool room on a hot day, and much more. This also means that cybercriminals can exploit this technology to cause harm. IoT devices are typically less secure because they haven’t been around too long, meaning hackers can compromise them more easily. These days this is mainly used for large-scale DDoS attacks, but in the future, we might even see criminals getting direct control of these devices, which can be very dangerous.
3. AI-Driven Attacks
The evolution of artificial intelligence has made online attacks much more powerful. AI and machine learning are readily accessible to hackers these days, who use them to augment their attempts to compromise their victims’ online accounts and acquire their information. Fortunately, AI and machine learning can also be used to bolster security, and many anti-malware services are doing just that. Finding the best VPN service to protect yourself from threats has never been easier thanks to this technology.
4. Supply Chain Attacks
The definition of a supply chain attack is an attack that occurs when your system gets breached through a provider that has access to your system or data. These types of attacks are very tricky because you can’t really control what type of security your provider uses. This is why it’s very important to be wary of who has access to your data and whether that presents any sort of security risk for you. For example, if you use a Cloud sync service for storing your photos that is not really known for good security and privacy, it might be a good idea to switch to a different provider or look into alternative solutions.
While not as prominent as before, ransomware attacks are still present and they still represent a very real threat, especially for private citizens. Ransomware works by infecting a user’s computer in order to gain control of their files and hold them for ransom. Then, the owner of the data is presented with a choice: either have their data deleted or pay a certain ransom to the cybercriminal responsible for the attack. No one wants to lose their data in this manner and many people, for fear of having their files deleted will choose to pay ransom.
As information technology evolves, cyber-attacks become more and more sophisticated and we must remain ever vigilant if we are to keep up with them and keep our data safe. Always be on the lookout for the newest cyber threat to make sure that your flies are safe since it can be incredibly stressful when you’re the victim of a compromise. Hopefully, this post shines some light on the whole thing for you, so you know what steps you need to take to improve your own security and keep the chances of a cyber breach to an absolute minimum.