In the UK and in the rest of the world, we live, play and work on the internet.
While the Internet has improved connectivity and efficiency, it also poses many threat;
The need for cyber hacking, online attacks, and cyber security.
According to UK Data Breach Statistics, 48% of UK organisations were hit by ransomware in the last year, according to Sophos. This is a bit lower than the global average of 51%. By 2023, cybercriminals are estimated to steal 33 billion records annually. There are a lot of platforms working to lower this figure such as Glasswall Solutions.
These cyberattacks target everyone, but trends show that small businesses are one of the most common targets. In fact, about 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses.
Fortunately, there are online security measures and software available to ensure family protection as well as your business from cybercriminals.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a buzzword, and when discussing it, people have different definitions in mind.
In its most basic form, cybersecurity is “protecting your computer system from theft or damage of hardware, software, or electronic data, and interruptions or inconsistencies in the services it provides.”
There are two most highlighted aspects of cybersecurity that are often not considered:
- First, when thinking about cybersecurity, few people think about the hardware and physical components of a computer. Why not? In today’s world, cybersecurity is generally related to attacks on the Internet and software, not the physical hardware of a computer.
- Second, cybersecurity used to be a threat before the Internet. Thieves have been trying to steal data since the first computer began storing data, and while it was harder before the internet, it happened.
Top 4 Cybersecurity Threats in UK:
So what are some of the most common cyber attacks? While there are many, let’s look at four of the most common.
Malware is one of the broadest terms used in cyberattacks. This is any type of malware that aims to damage a computer system. When malware enters a computer, it performs malicious functions such as stealing, deleting, or encrypting data, monitoring the activities of computer users, or hijacking basic computer functions.
Common malware includes worms, viruses, Trojans, and spyware.
Malware is designed to steal data, encrypt or delete data, modify or capture basic computer functions, or track
As the name suggests, ransomware is a hacker that locks a victim’s computer or files and stores this information for ransom. Usually the victim has to pay a fee before the hijacked files and the system are unlocked. Ransomware is spread through phishing emails or unwanted visits to an infected website.
Ransomware is also considered highly malicious as it is difficult to recover damaged data.
Although some victims choose to pay a ransom, there is no guarantee that the hacker will return control of the computer or files to the victim.
Social Engineering Attacks
These attacks rely on human or social interaction, not just robots intruding computers over the internet. And because people are prone to error, social engineering is the greatest security risk today.
You’re probably wondering how much risk? Some reports suggest that 93% of corporate data breaches are employees who accidentally perform a social engineering attack!
Social engineering attacks occur when a hacker tricks someone into giving them information or accessing programs or data. Hackers then try to manipulate people into violating standard security standards. One of the most common tactics is getting someone to help someone in need. As the most common example, an attacker could pose as a friend or family member and request access to certain documents, bank accounts or sensitive data.
So how do you protect from combat social engineering attacks?
Many companies regularly train their employees to recognize social engineering attacks and their strategies. It is also important that companies have guidelines for handling sensitive data.
For example, a general rule for employees is not to electronically disclose the company’s username or password. If an employee forgets their password, they should contact their colleague instead of emailing them.
Phishing is a social engineering attack that has become one of the most common and destructive cybersecurity attacks today. In its simplest form, phishing occurs when a hacker uses a fake identity to trick someone into providing sensitive information, downloading malware, or visiting a website that contains malware.
What makes phishing so common in the UK?
Extensive use of electronic communications, including email, text messaging, instant messaging, and social media accounts.
What are some common phishing scams?
One of the most common phishing attacks is targeted at people via email. An attacker created an email that appeared to be issued by your bank or local government asking you to go to a website and enter your username and password, sounds phishy right?
In a world where the internet connects everything, cybersecurity has never been more important. While updating IT services, software, and hardware is important, it is important to understand that hackers today attack human behaviour through social engineering hacks.