Cyber-attacks are of no surprise to targets for individuals and corporate businesses, especially when we connect everything to the internet, increasing the chances of vulnerabilities, breaches, and flaws. It is important for us to take a step ahead and focus on adopting all possible measures to deal with potential cyber threats with Cyber Security courses online.
Cyber-attacks covers many topics in general, such as:
- Tampering systems and data that are stored within these systems,
- Unauthorized access to the systems and accessing sensitive information,
- Disrupting normal functioning of the business and its processes and,
- Using ransomware attacks to encrypt data and extort money from victims.
How does phishing affects you?
Phishing is one of the most common types of cyber-attacks. It sets a target via emails, telephone, or text messages by imitating an identity as a legitimate source to lure individuals into providing sensitive data such as personal login credentials, credit card numbers and bank account information. With this information obtained, they are then used to access important accounts. Thus, resulting in identity theft and financial loss.
It is always important to be aware on the preventive measures that most cyber security courses online covers such as:
- Activate spam filters on email – this function assesses the origin of the email, the software used to send the email, and the appearance of the email to determine if it is spam. However, this may not be 100% accurate as spam filters may block emails from legitimate sources as well.
- Change the settings of your web browser to prevent fraudulent websites from opening – web browsers consisting of fake websites will be blocked with an alert message shown.
- Update your password on a regular basis and never use the same password for multiple accounts – corporate websites may consider using CAPTCHA system for added security.
- Hover over to the URL first, should there be a link in an email – secure websites with a valid Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate begin with “https”. Eventually, all websites will be required to have a valid SSL.
Am I getting eavesdropped?
Eavesdropping is also a part of cyber-attacks. It takes advantage of unsecured network communications and through the interception of network traffic, allowing the hacker to obtain personal passwords, credit card numbers and other confidential information and credentials that the victim might be sending over the network. This attack can be passive or active with the following definitions:
- Passive Eavesdropping – the hacker detects the information by listening to the message transmission in the network.
- Active Eavesdropping – the hacker actively grabs the information by disguising himself as a friendly unit and by sending queries to transmitters. This is widely known as probing, scanning, or tampering.
It is more important to detect passive eavesdropping, as active eavesdropping would require the hacker to gain knowledge of the friendly units by conducting passive eavesdropping before.
Another typical example of eavesdropping would be an electronic listening device that is a concealed bug physically placed in a home or an office. This could occur by leaving this bug under a chair or any other furniture, or a concealed microphone within an unsuspecting object such as a pen or a bag. These concealed microphones can be placed within lamps, ceiling lights, books on a bookshelf, or even in picture frames on the wall.
These hackers can send signals down the telephone line and transmit any conversations that take place in the same room, even if the device is not active which can be carried up to a few hundred feet and extended further through cables and telephone lines such as antennas. Likewise, computers have advanced communication tools that enable eavesdropping hackers to intercept communication activity simply from voice conversations, online chats, and even bugs in keyboards to track what has been typed.
Are you clear on brute-force attacks?
Brute-force attacks are one of the most reliable and simple for hackers as it requires not much of a work. All they need are just a set of instructions to perform a specific task such as an algorithm, or any available brute-force attack programs to automatically run a different series of username and password combinations until the right combination comes in. In layman terms, this attack involves the guessing of personal login credentials to gain unauthorized access and as primitive as they are, these attacks are effective.
Such attacks are accountable for up to a rough five percent of all data breaches in the world, as it takes one data breach to create severe unfavorable implications for any individual or a business.
Majority of hackers use bots to commit such attacks. They will generally have a list of real or commonly used credentials and assign these bots to attack websites using these credentials. Apart from bots, there are hackers who use manual brute-force cracking. As this manual attack can be time-consuming, these hackers may use brute-force attack software and tools to aid them.
Hence, this is the reason why most online systems would require a password that is at least eight characters long with a mix of numeric and alphabetic (case sensitive) – which is 62 possibilities for a given character in an eight-character password. This will result in 2.18 trillion possible combinations, which is too much for a hacker to even try. Even if a hacker does try to crack an eight-character password with one attempt per second, it would roughly take them at least seven thousand years to do so.
So why should you learn Cyber Security?
Gain a comprehensive overview of the cybersecurity principles and concepts, even as a beginner with our cyber security training.
Gone are the days of simple firewalls and antivirus software being your sole security measures. It is important to understand cyber security as it protects all categories of our data from potential theft and damage. This includes sensitive data, personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), personal information, intellectual property, data, and governmental and industry information systems. Without cyber security, an individual or a business will not be aware of how to defend themselves against data breach. This makes them a more vulnerable target for cyber criminals.
Potential cyber threats can come from any level of your organization. It is important to educate your employees about simple social engineering scams such as phishing, eavesdropping, ransomware attacks or other malware designed to steal intellectual property or personal data.
If you are not yet worried about cybersecurity, you should be.
Looking into something more advanced? Check out our Post Graduate Program in Cyber Security self-paced E-Learning course. Learn at your own pace anytime, anywhere!