Cybersecurity threats are a fundamental challenge to growth in the digital revolution. Every year, stories break about huge companies suffering data breaches and new threats affecting daily users. And this problem isn’t going away, with new types of cybersecurity concerns appearing.
Thus, one begs the question, how do you reduce the risk of being caught in one of the many cybersecurity hacks currently doing the rounds on the World Wide Web?
What is a cybersecurity threat?
To answer the question, let’s first consider the quintessential definition of a cybersecurity threat:
Technopedia defines a “cyber threat as anything that has the potential to cause serious harm to a computer system… [Additionally] …it is… [an event] …that may or may not happen but has the potential to cause serious damage.”
In practice, cyber threats can often lead to online attacks on computer systems, including networks, computer servers, as well as mobile devices, laptops, and desktop computers.
To summarize, the cybersecurity threat is the potential for vulnerabilities that may result in an attack that results in the theft of data, destruction of global networks, and the theft of funds by the instigators of the attack or hackers as they are more commonly known.
2020 cybersecurity threats
Now that we understand the essence of a cyber threat, let’s consider several cybersecurity threats and then explain how to mitigate the risk of being hacked or caught in the specific threat:
Most WIFI networks, especially public networks, are extremely vulnerable to security breaches and are some of the most accessible systems for hackers. These networks are broken into by breaking down the network’s security protocols, allowing the hacker to gain access to any computers or devices linked to the specific network. Typically, once in, the hacker can see everything that you do online, including information processed on secure websites like online banking sites.
Therefore, a solution is needed for this potential crisis. A VPN or Virtual Private Network is, by its nature and design, an effective solution to combating WIFI hacking. Essentially, a VPN is a virtual tunnel or connection method that adds security and privacy to public and private networks. It is an ideal solution to combat being a victim of WIFI hacking. Additionally, the best VPN solution currently on the market is ExpressVPN, the VPN recommended by Komando, a top expert in the field.
One of the most prevalent threats currently is the ransomware attack. This fact is backed up by the American Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), who stated, in their online report on ransomware, that they have seen an increase in global ransomware attacks.
Effectively, ransomware is malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until the ransom is paid. Paying the ransom to regain access to your computer data is not a good idea for many reasons, although there is no guarantee that you will be able to access your files afterward.
It is most often spread via phishing emails or unknowingly visiting an infected website. Thus, the best way to prevent being caught in a ransomware attack is to ensure that your computer operating system is up to date with the latest security patches, not to click on the links in phishing emails, and not to install executable files downloaded for nefarious websites.
In essence, a deep fake is a person in an image or live media who pretends to be someone else. It is the twenty-first century’s equivalent of Photoshopping existing images. The concept of pretending to be someone else is not new. Most deep fakes are pornographic. Over 15 000 deep fake pornographic videos were found online in September 2019.
However, Artificial Intelligence, deep learning neural networks, and machine learning can leverage powerful techniques to generate visual and audio content that is very realistic and is designed to deceive the most computer-savvy person. It is challenging to distinguish between a real person and a deep fake image. And, as AI and machine learning algorithms improve, it is going to get exponentially harder to determine if a video or image is a deep fake or not.
Thus, it is about being tech-savvy and doing the research to determine whether a media clip is real or not.
Phishing is one of the most common and age-old cybersecurity threats. It has been around since the 1980s, and it is a fraudulent attempt to obtain an online user’s details such as usernames and passwords, identity details, and bank card or credit card details.
The most common phishing attack is in the form of an email that directs users to a fake website where the personal information mentioned above is gathered.