Cyber security: An Ever Increasing Dangerous World

Statistics on Cyber crime

The pandemic moved many activities online and as such led to an increase in cyber threats. For example, the damages from data breaches went from $3.86 million to $4.25 million in 2021. Work from home means a bigger number of attack vectors for hackers. This is due to the fact that employees are no longer in the relative safety of the office. Cyber crime during the pandemic went up by 600%, which is huge.

Two Types of Threats

One of the most common is social engineering. The best example is the famous ‘Nigerian prince’ scam e-mails. This is when you receive a suspicious message in which your are informed that you can get money if you follow several steps. The hackers will usually ask for personal information, either from your ID Card, an account number or a password. Often enough, they pose as representatives of banks or other financial institutions. In order to force the victims to comply, the e-mail might hint at negative consequences if the instructions are not followed. This practice is also known as ‘phishing’. The hackers are essentially fishing for your information.

DDos Attacks

It comes as little surprise that websites are some of the most common targets. Hackers usually use ‘botnets’ to spam the bandwidth of the website. Since the traffic is artificially overloaded, the target usually crashes. Such attacks are very difficult to trace as they come from multiple computers.

Some Security Advice

Firstly, keep your software up to date. This ensures that your antivirus can protect you by using the latest patches. Cyberspace evolves at an ever increasing pace and this means there are always new threats. The software you are using needs to be aware of these changes so it can deal with them properly.

Conclusions

We are now fully in the digital age. We are both surrounded by and consume large amounts of information. Temptations will arise at every corner and there will always be individuals willing to exploit this fact. Consequently, we owe it to ourselves to be prudent. Humans are the weakest link in the security chain, but this can be eased up by a better understanding of cyber threats. Take the extra-time to analyse an e-mail before opening it. Take the extra-time to properly set-up the security on your device. Avoid the big bad wolf on the internet.

Further reading

  1. George Mack, Alarming cyber security facts to know for 2021 and beyond.
  2. 2021 Cyber Security Statistics: The Ultimate List of Stats, Data & Trends.
  3. 15 Important Cybersecurity Statistics in 2021.
  4. Tips on how to protect yourself against cybercrime.
  5. Interpol page on cybercrime.

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