As cybercriminals continue to evolve and switch up their tactics with a view to stealing and compromising data, it is crucial to stay ahead of them. This is why DotCom Magazine has decided to compile a list of the top five cybersecurity threats we feel you should be aware of and how to avoid them, if possible.
Smartphones Shipped Preloaded with Malicious Apps and Malware
One of the most prevalent forms of malware is found on mobile handsets. As smartphones have become partial or full replacements for laptops and desktop systems for a large percentage of people, cybercriminals are very interested in the data they contain and collect. There has been many that have made it onto the App store and the Google Play Store. The problem is so bad that in 2017, it is believed that more than 70,000 of the 3.5m apps on Google Play Store were in some way problematic.
The best advice is to avoid cheap and unknown brands of smartphones. Update your apps regularly when you receive notifications or set them to do it automatically, review the permissions settings, read reviews and back your smartphone data at least two times a month.
Scams Utilizing Cutting-Edge Social Engineering Techniques
It is wise to stay abreast of the more creative and popular online scams and the different types of social engineering tactics. However, because of the evolution of machine learning and AI technology, criminals can effectively setup automated attacks to throw a wider net out. Modern machine learning models now have the ability to match humans in concocting convincing albeit fake messages without much hassle.
You can stop yourself or your business falling prey to these attacks by learning how to effectively spot phishing links and understand other techniques used such as spear phishing and vishing. You can also install traffic canners that will block links from malicious sources and any attempts made to connect you to dodgy domains.
IoT Devices like Smart Assistants and Smart Locks Being Hacked
There has been growing concerns within the industry about the safety of smart devices and assistants on IoT devices. Researchers at Berkley were able to attack Amazon Echo's Alexa, while Its important to realize that there is no such thing as an unhackable device or software, even with the security measures Amazon may have in place. Give careful consideration as to whether you need smart devices in the first place. If you do, connect with them via a secure Wi-Fi connection, take care when sharing credit card information and also with the friends and relatives that have access to these devices.
Cloud Services Ransomware Attacks
One of the biggest cyber threats facing both organizations and home users is ransomware. These are incredibly profitable for criminals. The bad thing is that the damage and threat of these attacks can be dramatically minimized if back-ups are made regularly of data. However, these backups are now made and held in the cloud, where ransomware can be utilized.
To prevent this, keep all valuable data backed up both in the cloud and locally and at various locations.
Data Compromised in Leaks
Data leaks are by far the biggest threat to cybersecurity. While you can't do much to stop big service providers from being hacked, there are things you can do to protect your own data. Avoid signing up for signups, promotions, newsletters and other non-essentials on a main, important email account. Check the Have I Been Pwned or Firefox Monitor to check your email address and utilize two-factor authentications for all logins.