The cyber threat landscape has been growing at a staggering rate. Hardly a day goes by in which we don’t hear about cyber criminals conducting an attack on unsuspecting victims, from corporations, organisations, governments to individuals. In 2020, cyberattacks have even been rated the fifth top rated risk the world is facing now, and they show no sign of slowing down. The greatest challenge of cybercrime is that nobody can predict where it will happen next which is why we need to be aware that everyone is under constant risk. Truth is that cybercriminals do not discriminate against their victims, they can find profit everywhere.
Importance of cybersecurity
Luckily we have also begun to understand the importance of cybersecurity. Knowing what we are fighting against and how we can protect ourselves is the only way we can stay ahead of those threats, regardless if we are individuals, businesses or governments. Surprisingly, the country you are living in can make a difference. Global cybercrime results clearly show which countries have started to implement cybersecurity through legislation and technology, and which countries are still lagging behind.
If you want to live in a country that has strong cyber protection and legislation to back it up, you might want to check out Dermak, Germany, United States, Norway or the United Kingdom which are the five most low-risk countries. On the other side of the spectrum you have countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Honduras, Bolivia or Magnolia that have yet to implement legislations or cyber protection policies, which makes them the most high risk countries. This could be due to different reasons, but most often the reason is cybercrime not being recognized as the threat it actually is. It is essential that all countries start taking proactive steps towards cyber security as the safety of their citizens needs to be their priority. By implementing proper cyber security protocols and legislation they are giving a framework for businesses and individuals to follow to ensure their safety.
What cyber threats is the world facing now?
You might think they wouldn’t be able to gain much if you were attacked, but you would be surprised. Your data is a gold mine for them, they can use it to access your accounts, gain access to your confidential details like your credit card number, make various purchases or even sell those details on dark web. They can even use your account to launch a phishing or spam attack to some other unsuspecting target. Unfortunately, the possibilities are endless.
Businesses, organisations and governments are facing even a bigger threat. Not only can cyber attacks cause financial loss, damage to IT infrastructure or disrupt normal business operations but in most cases it will also cause a domino effect of consequences that will cause further damage to them, such as a blow to their reputation.
Cyber attacks that are becoming more and more common are:
- Malware – This covers any type of malicious software that is designed to harm or exploit a software, computer, network or server. This can be anything from viruses, worms to trojans and other harmful softwares.
- Phishing and pharming – With this type of cyber fraud, cyber criminals exploit people’s natural tendency to trust and convince them to reveal their sensitive information like passwords or even credit card numbers. It can be done through emails ( phishing), or over fake websites ( pharming).
- State-Sponsored Attacks – These types of attacks are funded by nation states and governments, and their goal can be infiltrating other governments, corporate espionage, spreading disinformation or performing attacks on critical infrastructure. According to the research, China is responsible for over two-thirds of state-sponsored attacks around the world.
- MitM (Man-in-the-middle) – Cyber criminals use this type of the attack to intercept communication between the visitor’s device and network. This can be exceptionally harmful in the financial industry where cyber criminals can get access to users’ confidential payment information and use it to their benefit.
- Ransomware – Ransomware attacks are often the most financially damaging type of the cyber attack. With this type of cyber attack, cyber criminals encrypt and block data so it can’t be used or accessed, which forces victims to either pay a ransom to get their data back or to risk losing it. In recent times, the healthcare industry has been experiencing a growing number of ransomware attacks with more than 1 in 3 healthcare organizations globally falling victim to it in 2020.