Improvement and development of new techniques are visible in all spheres of the digital world. It’s no different with internet security, both in terms of threats and protection. New cybersecurity threats appear on a daily basis and influential strikes are occurring more and more frequently.
Hackers attack companies’ systems, personal computers and find different ways of exploiting them. In order for you to be safe, you need to be aware of the internet security threats you’re most likely to encounter. Therefore, don’t wait up and learn more about cyber-attacks.
Cybersecurity Threats for 2019
Take a look at our list of the 5 cybersecurity threats you definitely need to be aware of in 2019.
Protecting your data is one of your top priorities, especially if you’re running a business. Companies value their data and classified information more than anything else. This is exactly why ransomware attacks are becoming more and more common.
Experts predict that ransomware will hit its record number of attacks in 2019.
But, what exactly is a ransomware attack?
If you’ve never heard of it, the name suggests the answer. Ransomware is “a type of malicious software from crypto virology that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid.” (Wikipedia)
This means that it affects your data and, unless you pay the ransom, it could potentially destroy it.
Advanced threats require advanced measures of protection. Stay up to date to the latest protection systems and software updates to protect your data.
Hackers put in a lot of effort to perform strategic cyber-attacks, and they’re not doing it for fun. Their primary goal is almost always the same: earning money.
This is why they tend to focus on finding ways of either directly stealing from you, or doing something even sneakier: exploiting you as their workforce.
That’s exactly what crypto mining or crypto jacking is all about.
It refers to “software programs and malware components developed to take over a computer’s resources and use them for cryptocurrency mining without a user’s explicit permission.”(Webopedia)
Let’s break it down a bit:
- a hacker tricks you into downloading/installing a crypto miner
- they use your PC’s processing power
- your PC becomes a miner for cryptocurrencies
- you have no idea what’s happening
- the only symptom is your PC is being slowed down
This is how your computer becomes a money machine for the hacker and you’re completely unaware of it.
To protect yourself from crypto jacking, keep your antiviruses updated and functioning and enable ad-blockers in your browser.
You might be interested | Web Security: how to secure your database and web servers
3. Phishing Attacks
One of the most successful ways for a hacker to steal confidential information from you is to pretend he’s someone who he’s not.
Phishing is “the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by disguising as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.” (Wikipedia)
In other words, the hacker sends you an email or a message pretending to be:
- your CEO
- another company
- a trusted website
If you don’t realize the message is a scam and you click the link they sent you, open the attachment or, in most cases, just open the message, you’ll trigger the attack. That means that the hacker can gain access to your:
- credit card details
- user logins
- business information
- personal information
In order for you to avoid becoming a victim of phishing attacks, you need to be well aware of the circumstances they occur in. Learn about the ways of recognizing them and protect yourself and your business of potential financial and business losses.
Hackers have another way of using your PC as their slave and exploiting its power to perform massive-scale attacks and scams. Here’s what Botnets are and how they work.
As defined by the Oxford Dictionary, a botnet is “a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge.”
Here’s how it all works:
- a hacker creates a malware to take control over thousands of PCs
- it enslaves your PC and thousands of others, using their power to perform large-scale attacks
- this network of compromised machines is being controlled remotely by Command & Control Networks (C&C Networks)
Once the hacker creates this powerful tool of compromised machines, he starts attacking systems, stealing information, threatening to bring the systems down and asking for money. It’s one of the greatest cybersecurity threats today.
The worst part is, it’s hard to detect that you’re being a part of the botnet machinery. You’ll notice your PC is slower than usual but that’s the only clue you’ve got.
To protect yourself from becoming a part of the Botnets scam, make sure your anti-viruses and security software are functioning properly at all times.
5. Viruses & Worms
Even though viruses and worms have been around for a long time, breaching security and performing internet attacks, they still represent a great threat for everyone who owns a PC.
With each year to come and each new security software that bring innovation and improvement, viruses and worms become more dangerous and resistant than ever.
Computer viruses and worms are harmful, malicious and destructive programs designed to infect systems, destroy data and prevent the proper functioning of networks.
Both viruses and worms work the same way:
- they are attached to a host file, a document, a system
- they enter your system
- they start replicating themselves
- they infect your system
If your system is unprotected or inadequately protected, you can easily become a victim of computer viruses and worms. Consequently, you could become the victim of a much more powerful cyber-attack.
Make sure you protect all your devices by installing anti-spyware and keeping it updated at all times. This will help protect your systems and disable viruses and worms before they get to you.
2019 is definitely bringing some serious cybersecurity threats. You’re constantly under risk of being tricked, scammed or exploited by hackers. Make sure you secure your system and your PC to ensure you won’t become a victim to an internet attack.
Hopefully, the list of threats above will help you to detect possible scammers or hackers in the future. However, hiring a cybersecurity specialist could help you to keep possible attacks away. Prevention is still better than cure.
Author Bio: Christopher Mercer is a blogger and founder of Citatior. Web developer by day and writer by night, Chris enjoys the ever-changing world of web content. His in-depth articles have been featured in a variety of online publications.