It is no question that occurrences of cyberattacks continue to rise—every week there seems to be another news story on a company that got breached. Big-name tech corporations such as Facebook and Solar Wind have not found themselves immune from cyber siege as the latter faced a data breach in 2021 exposing 533 million users. We often are faced with this stark reality—what can we possibly do if Facebook cannot protect its own data?
The digital realm is constantly changing and shifting. During the past couple of years, we have seen companies rise and fall because of technology. It is imperative as people living in a digital era, we must learn how to protect these companies and their crucial data.
Despite the cultural idea of the malicious, and super-intelligent hacker, most cyberattacks are relatively simple and easy to avoid. An interview with fellow Cybersecurity student, Larry-King Kang, explains how we may better protect ourselves online.
Understanding the difference between insider and outsider threats is crucial for understanding why cyberattacks happen, and how vulnerability was found and exploited. Insider threats are usually business-oriented; many times, they are disgruntled employees wishing to do harm or an accidental data leak from an associate. Most individuals do not have a large network of partners, associates or employees to worry about.
Outsider threats are attacks coming from the outside. They can be launched by organizations, groups or even could be state-sponsored. Outsider threats can take many forms, the most pervasive being phishing scams and different types of malware. Kang emphasized the dangers of malware and phishing, deeming them the biggest cause of concern when it comes to personal security.
Phishing attempts are a type of cyberattack that has become increasingly common in recent years. These attacks involve the use of fraudulent emails or messages that are designed to trick individuals into divulging personal information or downloading malicious software.
Phishing attempts can take many different forms, but they all involve some form of social engineering to gain the trust of the victim. The attackers will often use official-looking logos, email addresses or websites to make their messages appear legitimate.
Protecting ourselves is relatively simple. Taking basic precautions and understanding cybersecurity can protect us and our data and avoid unnecessary conflict. According to Kang, “Individuals best can protect themselves from cyber threats by using strong, unique passwords,
enabling multi-factor authentication, avoiding suspicious emails and links and keeping their devices and software up to date.
Regularly backing up data and staying informed about cybersecurity threats can also help mitigate risks.” The steps to protect ourselves from malicious attacks are quite simple, and there are many things we can do on our end to protect ourselves in this digital era.