Cybersecurity is a top concern currently for businesses and individuals. Not exercising the property cybersecurity measures can be one of the biggest issues businesses face, as well as individuals regarding their privacy and personal finance.
When it comes to threats to businesses, compliance software company Reciprocity put together a list of some of the top regulatory issues they see when working with clients. The list of threats a tech provider might be exposed to is seemingly growing and can include things related to HIPAA and the storage of health information and financial reporting breaches. Any company that stores or processes personally identifiable information may be a target for hackers and cybercriminals.
Businesses are having to work harder than ever to keep up with the growing, evolving cybersecurity threats facing them. What about individuals, however?
If businesses are spending millions to protect their data and information every year, what can individuals do to have a similar level of protection?
Knowing what threats exist can be a good place to start. The following are some of the top cybersecurity threats of 2018 that can impact individuals.
Cloud Data Breaches
We discussed the information from Reciprocity Labs regarding the fact that data breaches of personal and health information are some of the biggest threats businesses face, and data breaches of cloud systems are a huge threat for individuals as well.
A lot of times, there is an overlap between business IT security and threats individuals face. The Equifax scandal of 2017 showed that to be the case.
The Equifax data breach affected at least 143 million people, making it one of the most massive and in many ways frightening cloud data breaches seen so far.
Research shows that more than 1.4 billion records were lost to data breaches just in March of 2017 alone.
Ransomware isn’t new on the scene when it comes to online and IT security, but it remains a pervasive threat. Ransomware is what’s responsible for locking people out of their computers and issuing them dire warnings flashing across their screens in the process.
The cybercriminals then ask for money to unlock the computer and its files, however, what many people find is that even if they do pay, there’s no guarantee they’re going to regain access to their data and information.
There are software platforms that can help prevent against ransomware, and it’s also a good idea to regularly backup files and data to an external drive, or to the cloud.
Phishing is by no means a new cyber threat, but it continues to be problematic and the strategies are increasingly sophisticated and difficult to discern.
Phishing is when you’re clicking on things, like a link, and then it can cause serious problems related to security breaches. Many phishing schemes are going after bank account information, or credit card information.
Phishing cyber criminals hope to get access to various accounts, and to avoid this risk it’s important to make sure you use complex passwords, don’t use the same password for every account, and that you regularly change all of your passwords.
The man-in-the-middle attack is currently one of the most technologically advanced cyber threats to individuals.
With these threats, malware is on a persons’ computer, and then once someone enters their login information for whatever they may be accessing, the server is swapped out. It’s very difficult to know this is happening, and one way to avoid this is by being careful about what you’re downloading to your computer.
Virus software isn’t helpful to protect against these kinds of attacks, and the nature of these attacks changes very quickly.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT is becoming an increasingly relevant part of many of our lives. All of our electronics are capturing data. This can include personal wearables like FitBits and Apple Watches. This technology is taking in our details and personal information at all times.
As the popularity of the Internet of Things grow, hackers and cybercriminals are looking for new ways to gain access to information and networks by using these devices.
Even beyond the specific ways you can protect yourself for individual cyber threats, the best thing you can do to keep your personal finances and your information safe is to stay on top of what the threats are. A lot of people don’t know what the threat landscape is like, so they don’t know what to look for or what the red flags are. Just by checking in on the world of cybersecurity from time-to-time you may be able to remain more protected.