You don’t have to be an IT student or graduate to know that cybersecurity is a topic that is constantly transforming and becoming increasingly complicated. Keeping up with trends always gives you a significant advantage. It is specifically evident with information security trends, as you realize nothing is sacred on the internet. Several years ago, you may have heard about phishing websites, and they are still a thing.
When surfing Google, you don’t think about fake websites or the amount of data transferred by your requests. Many people fail to notice distinctive red flags when using the internet, which is where problems start.
You are less likely to get in trouble, for example, by typing “help me write my essay” than looking for a loan online. You could further reduce the risk when looking for academic writing services on Google by typing in something like “EssayPro”. So, why should you care about any of the cybersecurity trends?
It is essential that you are prepared to defeat a cyberattack anytime and anywhere. Even if you didn’t study computer sciences, this topic reflects how technology impacts our everyday life. Here’s how knowing cybersecurity trends can benefit you:
- Being informed about data and your network makes it easier to prevent the repercussions of being hacked
- You contribute to the security of your workplace and save sensitive data from leaks
- Understanding of changes can help you to educate your family and close ones to ensure their security
- Recognize the signs of data breaches and attacks saves you and your organization money
Social engineering refers to a broad range of malware attacks designed to imitate or spread through human interactions. It heavily relies on psychological manipulation and deception to trick people into giving away their data. There are several different types of social engineering attacks:
- Braining attacks use false promises of quick wins and cash rewards. Back in the day, physical hardware was used to bait victims. Now you can see suspicious links and giveaways almost everywhere.
- Pretexting is where a hacker gathers information on you through lies. It is a scam when someone pretends to be your co-worker, police, or officials who have the right to ask you questions.
- Phishing is the most common technique to deceive a user and get access to their passwords and usernames. Offenders create duplicate websites to capture information as it is input.
One of the best ways to avoid social engineering attacks is ignoring and reporting suspicious links, websites, and other outlets. Remember that authorities and businesses never demand you give them all your information via a phone call. But the problem with this type of exploit is the human factor.
Each year social engineering becomes more and more sophisticated and hard to spot. Therefore, it may be one of the most significant trends to look out for.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is a network of connected devices from computers to sensors that collect and share information about how they are used and the users. One example is a fitness device that collects and transfers data to your smartphone. Another example is the phone itself which collects location data and shares that with apps and companies.
Cybercriminals are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in these devices. As the number of IoT devices in use increases, so does the risk. Many of these IoT devices have limited storage and processing capacity so installing security systems is not possible.
More elaborate ransomware attacks
Ransomware is a damaging attack that causes problems for both individual users and organizations. It has been around for over three decades and continues to evolve and cost companies large sums of money to fix. Ransomware encrypts your data and locks you out of the system unless you are willing to pay for it. At the same time, the stolen data is increasingly used for blackmail and data breaches that undermine users’ security.
Many of these attacks are sophisticated and hard to spot. Additionally, cybercriminals coordinate their attacks and rent exploits through the dark web. Using cryptocurrency payments for the ransom makes it harder to trace criminals. Since the rise of remote work and less secure connections, we can expect it to grow exponentially.
Cloud storage and services attacks
Cloud storage is convenient and provides a way to keep a copy of your files and backups in case of a computer failure. However, cybercriminals are not exploiting vulnerabilities in both cloud storage and services. As employees continue to work from home, there has been a significant increase in the use of these services.
Ways that cybercriminals access cloud services include:
- insecure application user interfaces (APIs)
- accounts hijacking
- misconfigurations in storage
- data deletion or alteration
- compliance violations and regulatory actions
Multi-factor authentication bypassing
Many companies implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) as a way to ensure account integrity. It helps to protect the user by providing an additional layer of security. However, weaknesses in how some MFA schemes make it possible to circumvent them. For example, SMS and voice authentication are easy to hijack and get access to your account.
MFA is still an important step to increase security. An increasingly popular approach to avoid SMS and voice issues is the use of app-based authenticators. The codes are dynamic and change continually, making them hard to break.
There is an increasing push to teach cybersecurity in companies, schools, and higher education institutions. It is important to know that with every positive change brought by technology, there are downfalls that we should consider.
Yet, we must avoid scaremongering and hoaxes associated with the information security industry. Painting information security as an anti-utopian scenario is counterproductive. If we want to continue using tech in our everyday life, we must hold accountable big companies who collect and process our data. Otherwise, it would be easier to give up on the progress and come back to basics.
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