How many times do you login from an internet connected device on a daily basis? The average mobile device user checks their phone more than 96 times per day!
With smartphones, smart homes, and everything in between – it’s no surprise that cyber threats are also growing in frequency during this tech boom.
As we head into the new year and a post-pandemic landscape, it’s important to know that kind of attacks are out there to keep our online information secure. Take a look at the top digital security threats to be aware of in 2021.
You’ve probably heard of the classic wooden horse ploy, but the same ideology is applied digitally to infiltrate your personal and corporate devices. This technique relies on unsuspecting victims to download their infected software while masquerading as a legitimate program.
Trojan horse attacks have been around for nearly as long as the internet itself. But, as technology becomes more sophisticated, so does the nature of this popular hacker strategy.
Since trojan files appear to be regular documents, images, and even links that exist on the users’ device – they can be difficult to spot before it’s too late. In this case, prevention is the key to protection from trojan horse attacks.
The best protection against this type of online attack is a comprehensive virus protection software, and proper user education.
Just like trojan horse attacks find their way into your emails and other files, ransomware can be employed in similar methods. However, this type of virus or attack comes with the explicit purpose of extortion.
By withholding files or information, the attacker will request a certain amount of money by a set timeline or threaten to wipe the device.
Ransomware attacks have increased by more than 40% in the last year alone. IT experts expect this number to continue to rise as the adoption of wearable and smart technology increases. Artificial intelligence systems could also be used to transmit this type of cyber attack.
This segment of the cyber crime industry was responsible for demanding more than $170 billion in 2020, and this number is also expected to climb following the new year.
Those who are more likely to read the terms and conditions can still fall victim to more stealthy attacks, including logic bombs. This method uses a specific set of instructions that, when completed by the user, will trigger a harmful outcome such as:
- Device malfunction
- Transfer of information
- Unauthorized sync
- Full memory wipe
Those who are faced with this type of threat should take care to verify every program, file, or link they access from personal or company-owned devices. Additionally, like other viruses and malware, a fully stacked software protection and cloud based employee monitoring program will provide the highest level of security.
During the pandemic, email continued to be one of the most widely used methods of communication across personal and professional avenues around the world. As a result, attackers seized the opportunity to cast a wider net.
Email malware essentially relies on employee negligence or compliance. Common tricks might include:
- Spear Phishing
In general, email users should be aware of best practices within their industry or specialization to protect themselves from the most common threats.
A sharp eye for detail and staying alert can go a long way, as hackers typically use poor grammar or formatting to filter their victim pool.
Using the internet is easier than ever, but that also means we have more information online than ever before. From buying groceries to paying bills, the web helps us conduct virtually every aspect of our daily lives.
These are just a few of the most common cyber security threats individual consumers, residential managers, ISPs, and companies can expect to see in the next year.