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The Basics of Cybercrime and Cybersecurity

by | Sep 9, 2019 | Cyber Security

These days, it takes more than a password to keep our data safe.

As the world of cybercrime continues to evolve into a more sophisticated and challenging landscape, it is becoming extremely crucial to stay educated on the multitude of threats that lurk the web. As we continue to rely more heavily on the internet for staying connected, processing transactions and storing data, we open ourselves up to higher potential for vulnerabilities and breaches. And sadly, everybody is at risk – from individuals to small business to large organizations.

This makes cybersecurity one of the most important aspects of running a business today.

What is Cybersecurity?

Cybersecurity consists of the measures that are taken to protect sensitive data, programs, networks, and software applications from cyberattacks. Cyberattacks, or cybercrime, refers to the criminal or unauthorized use of electronic data. To understand the need for cybersecurity, it’s important to understand the different types of threats that lurk on the web.

Types of Cyber Threats

  • Ransomware: This is a file encryption software program that encrypts files and generates unique decryption keys. This prevents users from accessing their own files. The creators of Ransomware demand ransom for the decryption code but there is never a guarantee of data recovery after the ransom is paid.
  • Malware: Also known as malicious software, malware broadly consists of any kind of computer software that holds malicious intentions. Most online threats can be categorized as malware.
  • Adware: This is a form of malware that comes in the form of advertisements. Some adware monitor online behaviour to target individuals with personalized ads, increasing the chances that someone will click on them.
  • Phishing: Perhaps one of the most common cyberthreats, phishing occurs when spam emails are imitating legitimate sources. Phishing scams often aim to steal sensitive data by asking for login credentials, credit card information, banking information, and more.
  • SQL Injection: This type of attack exploits the SQL programming language that manages data across websites. Attackers use code to access the target server and gain access to critical data such as passwords, usernames, and credit card information.
  • Denial of Service (DoS): This type of attack attempts to flood a website with high levels of traffic resulting in a server overload and access shutdown. DoS attacks often aim to destroy data rather than steal it.
  • Session Hijacking/Man-in-the-Middle (MitM): MitM attacks are a type of session hijacking whereby attackers take advantage of the unique session IDs that are assigned whenever websites exchange information. This allows the hijackers to create fake IDs and insert themselves into transactions where they can gain access to unauthorized data.

With an ever-growing dependency on computers and online transactions, neglecting your business’ cybersecurity is extremely risky and potentially detrimental to you, your business, your employees, and even your customers.

Cyberattacks hit businesses everyday. Don’t be next.

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