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Sunday, May 28, 2023

    Are Hackers Becoming More Sophisticated?

    Photo by Max Bender on Unsplash

    We hear about hacking more and more these days. It’s not just niche sites like MySpace or Edmodo; websites that should be immune to attacks, such as Facebook and Wattpad, suffer breaches. We’re all aware that we are at risk. Are hackers getting even more sophisticated? What can we do to prevent hacking today? Let’s take a look at this.

    • It takes teams 277 days to notice a breach

    Do you ever get spam emails and texts with no idea where they’re coming from? Maybe you’ve even had spam messages sent from your email address or social media account, but you don’t see anything when you check for news of breaches on sites such as Have, I Been Pawned.  

    This may be because today’s hackers are so sneaky that it currently takes security teams about 277 days to notice, report, and stop their data breaches! The less time it takes to spot a data breach, the better, for sure. When data breaches get contained in even just 200 days, organizations can prevent a large amount of money from being lost.

    • Ethical hacking spots more vulnerabilities than ever

    Have you ever wondered how people spot all those minor problems that leave you needing to install all these small updates and security patches? How do they come across these vulnerabilities? Part of the reason is ethical hacking. Vulnerability scanning software helps but can only go so far. The human touch is what’s genuinely needed to find those loopholes.

    Some companies hire ethical hackers to try to infiltrate their systems. They’ll try to connect to the company’s internet connections, access private networks, use the company’s software, even just bash the keyboard, and report on what happens and what needs fixing. Ethical hacking is a valuable sector – you’d sooner have ethical having than deal with the alternative!

    • Identity fraud is a growing threat

    Despite all our best measures, our information is sometimes simply stored in vulnerable databases. We have more online accounts than ever, and our data is kept on sites across the world wide web. So even if other countries that store your data don’t have drastically different laws from you, there’s still a big chance that your info is on a vulnerable database or two somewhere.  

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    You do your best to keep your card details and identity information safe in the real world, but what can you do to prevent fraud online? One suitable line of defense is having your banking app installed on your phone. This way, you can get notified of activity right away. You can immediately tell your bank that this wasn’t you and block your card from being used for online transactions at any point. Check out the life insurance choices at OneChoice and avoid online scams.

    • The rewards of hacking vary drastically

    Hackers must always get a big payout when they successfully infiltrate an organization or business, or else why would they do it, right? However, hackers actually obtain widly varying amounts from their exploits.

    One particularly prevalent hacking threat this past year is crypto jacking. Though crypto jacking has existed since Bitcoin began, the rate of this type of hacking has more than double in 2022. There are various ways to carry out the act of obtaining other people’s digital money. Not only do cybercriminals simply extort people’s digital cash in the traditional way, but hackers can also mine crypto using other people’s devices, much like a botnet. All they need to do is install the mining software on other people’s computers.

    • There are more internet crime complaints than ever

    This year, with ith more people coming online and relying on being online than ever before, there were 847,376 internet crime complaints in 2021, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. This statistic was made up of a greater array of online crimes than before, including business email compromise schemes, ransomware, and illicit use of cryptocurrency as common complaints. Does this mean there are more internet crimes than ever or are people now better at spotting and reporting internet crimes than ever?  

    • Stolen credentials are the most costly breach

    Though stolen or lost credentials are the most common kind of data breach, they are also the most expensive violation to deal with. Why is this? Well, one of the big reasons is that stolen credential breaches are also one of the most difficult to identify. This delay in realizing that a breach has happened – a whopping 327 days, on average – means that stolen credential breaches typically cost an organization $150,000 more than an average data breach.

    Businesses are working hard to decrease this delay. But in the meantime, you can take simple steps to reduce the likelihood of your credentials getting stolen. When you shop online, don’t check out while connected to an insecure network like a public cafe or an open network. Only submit your card details at home or on a secure network. Opt not to always make accounts and store details with online retailers, either, and consider deleting accounts on old websites you don’t use.

    • The human touch is the biggest threat

    Yes, hackers may get more sophisticated in their phishing and hacking methods. But there’s one thing all the most major attacks have in common – the human factor! From the earliest days of email phishing to the biggest company breaches, there’s one thing they all have in common: some let the hacker in. Though software and filters have failed to filter out the email or message that caused the breach, someone in the company always opens the email and exposes the business to the threat. You might get tricked into clicking on a dubious link or just replying to the email with information that compromises the company.

    This is why training is so necessary. Teaching staff how to recognize when they can’t trust an email and how to spot a scam should always be your first line of defense against hacking. Of course, software and antivirus are crucial things to invest in, but the human element is paramount.

    • Advance fee fraud scams are on the rise

    Hackers are indeed becoming more sophisticated these days by developing new ways to attack. For example, advance fee fraud scams, in which an unsuspecting user is promised to get a large sum of money just as long as they pay a smaller advance fee upfront, are thought to have risen by over 1000% in 2022! The scenario presented might be a romance scam, the promise of a foreign job or that you’ve won a competition! All you need to do is send over some money or confirm your bank details. The most important thing is to be aware of this type of scam. The business or person with various social media or LinkedIn profiles can seem genuine. They may even have phone calls with you. But do not send over any money or documents unless you are sure they’re authentic. A reverse profile image search or a Google of the company should give you a better idea of how for-real they are.

    • DDoS attacks now have more bandwidth

    Have you heard of Distributed Denial of Service attacks? If you’ve ever had to complete an “I am not a robot” captcha to access a website, chances are a distributed denial of service attack was what the site is trying to prevent. DDoS attacks are decreasing worldwide, though they’re growing a little more frequent in North America. However, a DDoS attack’s maximum attack bandwidth increased to 57% in early 2022.  

    So, what exactly happens during a distributed denial of service attack? Well, as the name suggests, DDoS attacks occur when multiple systems overwhelm the resources of a website or system, causing it to crash. So, it’s like everyone is logging on at the same time.  

    2022 was also the year of more ransom DDoS attacks, according to the leading preventer of DDoS attacks – Cloudflare. Ransom DDoS attacks are the same as standard DDoS’es, just with the attacker saying they will only stop their attack if they get paid a ransom.

    • Small and medium businesses are prime targets

    Are you prepared for future hacking? Small and medium-sized businesses are the main targets of most hacking. They have tons of tantalizing customer information and financial details but need more security to protect themselves. Though 43% of cyber-attacks are aimed at small businesses, only 14% can defend themselves, according to Accenture.  

    Staff may have the training to protect the company against phishing emails, and they may have strong passwords, but it’s the law to protect your customers’ data adequately. Many companies go bankrupt within six months of a cyberattack! So, it’s imperative to protect your business. Even a limited cybersecurity budget will go a long way. Training your employees to always communicate via secure channels, as well as taking care to shut down all old accounts right away and always keeping your software on the latest versions, will go a long way in the fight against cybercrime.

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