In a society where technology dominates, cybercrime is already a big problem, and growing continuously. Cyber-attacks are particularly dangerous because they can be done from anywhere in the world, and the perpetrators are rarely caught. Many of these take place against large companies, or financial institutions, that have detailed information about their clients. Once their data is accessed, individuals may have difficulty getting their lives back on track. Organizations are becoming aware of the need to keep their customers’ information as safe as possible, by putting as much cyber security in place as they can.
Cyber-attacks require extensive knowledge of an organization’s systems, and between 50 and 80% of them have access to insider information. A significant percentage of cybercrime is accomplished by phishing emails, of which the most successful are Spear Phishing. These emails are careful crafted to appear like they are coming from a legitimate source, such as known company executives, and may include detailed information about the person and their job. These sophisticated attacks often require multi-pronged responses. After a cyber-attack, major companies have suffered reputational damage which can be just as devastating. Companies are finding that as their technology increases, they also have to employee increasing cyber security measures which may offset profits.
Cyber-attacks may also extend further than personal information, compromising the national security of the country. Governments have also begun taking extensive measures to ensure that attacks do not get passed their security. Methods that were previously reserved for authoritarian regimes, such as a ‘national firewall,’ are being employed. Governments, large corporations and advanced academics are also combining forces to increase cyber security. In addition to businesses and governments, there are other potential cyberthreats, including evidence of hackers aiming attacks directly at the companies that provide critical internet infrastructure, putting the entire internet at risk if they are successful.
Most cybercrime takes place using malicious software that attacks computers, through various methods, which includes:
Viruses – This software is found in file downloads or email attachments and attaches itself to another file or program and reproduces. When the attachment is clicked, or the download started the file duplicates itself and is sent to all contacts.
Worms – This type of software is capable of being spread without the help of another file or program. It can also collect and send data to a specified location using information about the network it’s on. Worms are often the cause of cyber attacks on a large scale as they spread through the entire network.
Trojan Horses – An attack that normally looks perfectly legitimate, so many aren’t aware of the breach, until it goes into action.