Common Types of Cybersecurity Threats and How to Avoid Them

In the present era, we are facing serious threats apart from war and terrorism. You might have guessed it if you are related somewhat to the IT field. Cybercrime is the major threat being faced by millions of people around the globe. From small households to individuals, and big corporations to home-based businesses, everyone is vulnerable to cybercrime that is continuously on the rise.

These crimes are usually meant to disrupt the system and steal important information. The information might include any confidential data such as credit card number, social security number, banking details, and other sensitive information. To deal with these types of threats, cybersecurity plays a vital role.

However, most people might not even know the concept of cybersecurity and its purpose. So here’s what you need to know about it.

What is Cybersecurity and its Purpose?

Cybersecurity is the practice or process of protecting programs, systems, and networks from potential cyberattacks. Generally, cyberattacks are meant to destroy sensitive information, disrupt business processes, steal money, or access information. In this digital era, it is the foremost responsibility of IT firms to implement cybersecurity plans and make them an integral part of individual training.

Cybersecurity Statistics

• Approximately 80,000 cyberattacks were reported each day in 2018, accounting for 30 million attacks per year.

• On average, $1.42 million of loss was suffered by businesses in 2019 due to cyberattacks, which represents 36% of the average cost.

• According to Gartner, approximately over $123 billion were spent in 2020.

• According to IBM, the healthcare industry was one of the most expensive industries, with breach cost costing up to $7.13 million.

• According to ZD Net, it takes normally six months for a company to detect a data breach.

The connected world offers so much convenience and eases individuals and companies. However, it also comes with a price that most people ignore in the form of cyber threats. Cybersecurity is the act of protecting data and sensitive information from any malicious attacks, hackers, Trojans, and viruses.

At the individual level, cyber threats can be in the form of loss of family photos, identity theft, and extortion attempts. If you are using the internet at your home or thinking of subscribing to a new connection, make sure to look at packages and plans offering a security suite without any additional charges.

While searching for the ISPs offering free security suites, we stumbled across Spectrum plans offering plenty of perks like no contract obligations, a modem, and free security suite.

Types of Cybersecurity Threats

Phishing

“Around 88% of big and small organizations experienced spear phishing in 2019”.

Phishing is the most common form of cybersecurity threat often faced by individuals and enterprises. Normally phishing involves some kind of fraudulent email that looks like an email from a reputable brand or company. But it is not, rather it is used to steal credit card numbers and sensitive information like login credentials.

To detect and prevent yourself from phishing attacks, make sure you are not clicking on any of the links that look too long or suspicious. Especially if you look at your spam folder, you might find emails sent by Google, Facebook, Amazon, Walmart, or Walgreens claiming to win big prizes by clicking the link.

Before you open the link, check out what the URL in reality is. In case of any attachment that contains malicious threats, you will be informed by the security software installed in your system.

Malware

“Approximately 5.6 billion malware attacks were carried out, as compared to 9.9 billion attacks in the past year”.

Malware is also one of the common forms of cybersecurity threats found in the form of malicious software including viruses, spyware, and ransomware. It normally breaks into networks through exposure to loopholes like installing dangerous applications or clicking suspicious email links.

Once it breaks into the network, it can extract all the sensitive information, produce harmful software in the entire system, and block access to business networks as well.

If you want to keep your system protected from malware, make sure to update your software and system regularly. Use a non-admin account whenever possible. Also, don’t click the link unless you are sure about its sender. Care must also be taken when downloading a file, attachment, or picture.

If you want to protect yourself from malware, install security software on your computers such as Norton Antivirus or Microsoft Defender. When visiting websites, don’t click the pop-up links if there are too many. Be careful when accessing external storage to prevent malware from getting into the system. The best way is to scan the virus before opening the folder.

Social Engineering

“Approximately $5 billion were stolen from all over the globe in 2013-2016 as a result of social engineering”.

Social engineering is more like a process, which involves manipulating people into revealing personal and private information. In simple words, we can also say social engineering is another form of phishing, in which hackers and scammers take advantage of a person’s lack of knowledge or high trust level.

For instance, someone may mimic the sound of your relative or friend asking you to share credit card information or bank login. Don’t ever send credit card details to anyone unless you are dead sure about it. The simple way is to call or email the person on his/her personal phone number.

To avoid any kind of scams and financial loss, it is better to use your brain and think twice before taking any action. For instance, if someone is asking you to send your credit card details or PIN of your account, you must have a clear picture that no one needs your personal information. Just make sure to delete any such message.

If you want to prevent you and your family from social engineering, make sure to install security suites on all of the devices and educate each individual about it. When accessing or making any transactions, just turn on the VPN on your device to hide your IP address. Avoid using public WIFI without using VPN.