Cyber-attacks & data breaches; major crisis that supress economic growth!

cyber-attacks

Reports about cyber-attacks and cybercrimes are increasing day by day. Even if a proper security system is introduced, hackers somehow manage to break into the system with modern tools and techniques. Major organizations and computing systems of government agencies are being shut down due to ransomware attacks.

Ransomware attacks were seemed to happen uniformly across different cities in India. As per the records, 85% of organizations were hit in Delhi, 83% in Bangalore, 81% in Kolkata and Mumbai, 79% in Chennai and 71% in Hyderabad.

Apart from organizations, individuals were also targeted by cyber criminals. When a CEO of an organization could afford to set up a strong cyber security policy, an average person is on his own when it comes to securing his device and systems.

This marks millions of users vulnerable to security risks that aim in achieving personal benefit or simply to cause chaos or distress.

When it comes to cyber-attacks we must ensure that every class of people are equally protected.

People aren’t really aware of cyber risk

According to a report published by Norton, many people are vulnerable or in the verge of cyber-attacks, but they are not aware of this fact.

About 44% of people who were surveyed believed that they are not ‘worth’ for a cyber-attack. 86% of respondents has experienced Phishing attacks, 40% of people could definitely recognize a normal email from a scam email.

Reports from Kaspersky cyber security team points out that, mobile devices are also being targeted by the hackers, basically in the form of Trojans. Trojans can spread through official app stores when it blends seamlessly with legitimate apps.

Cyber-attacks and data breaches, how do they differ?

A cyber-attack takes place when a hacker tries to gain the access of a system or device to steal the personal information in them.

The intention of this type of attack can be a personal gain, inflict reputational damage or harm to business or a person

Cyber-attacks can target individuals, organizations, group or government.

A data breach on the other hand is a type of security breach or incident when someone’s information is accessed without their authorization. The data can be social security numbers, passwords and even financial security numbers.

A cyber-attack can always lead to a data breach. Both these will result in repercussion.

How to safeguard from cyber-attacks or data breaches?

 It is always important to cultivate strong cyber security habits to withstand a cyber-attack.

  1. Protect your files and system
  • Keep your system up-to-date: Update your security software, web browser and operating system on a regular basis. Check they are at their latest version Try finding patches in the system that could exploit vulnerabilities.
  • Secure your files: Always keep a back-up of your files. These includes external hard drives, flash drives, backup services and in the cloud.
  • Use multi-factor authentication: Two factor identification helps you to secure your data from unauthorized access. Here, a security code will be sent to your device to complete the log in process.
  • Encrypt your devices:  Encrypt your personal devices like laptops, tablets and smartphones. Encryption helps to scramble the readable data so that someone with a decryption key can only access and read the information.
  • Protect your wireless network
  • Secure your modem/router: Default password of the router helps the hackers to sneak through. Change the password to a stronger and unique one.
  • Use encryption: When it comes to wireless networks, router offers WPA 2 or WPA 3 encryption. Both give strong security. Encryptions looks at the information sent through the network so that an outsider could not read them.
  • Practice smart cyber security habits
  • Use strong passwords: Make sure you maintain a strong and unique password with at least 12 characters including letters, symbols and special characters.
  • Use VPN: A Virtual Private Network can protect you from private threats. It gives more online privacy by converting public internet connection to private one.

What to do after a cyber-attack?

  • Confirm about the breach and check whether your information was compromised: It is important to adapt a quick response plan. If your data was stolen, contact the breached organization and pay attention to the affirmation statement from the organization.
  • Find out what type of data was hijacked or affected: Enquiry on the type of data stolen helps you to take appropriate steps in recovery process
  • Change and strengthen login credentials and passwords: Once you are a victim of cybercrime, change your credentials and passwords in order to safeguard your account from further breach.
  • Stay alert, monitor your accounts: The steps you take after a cyber-attack depends on the category of the targeted organization and the extent of damage done or information disclosed. Also, be alert about phishing attempts from hackers who may contact you through phone or email claiming to be from the breached organization, to trick you and reveal personal information.

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