Halloween is definitely the scariest holiday in the United States. Horror stories, scary pranks, haunted houses, and costume parties are such an important tradition for this holiday.
In celebration of Cyber Security Awareness Month and Halloween, we decided to share some of the scariest cyber threats in 2020.
As a result of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the number of ransomware attacks has drastically increased this year. Hackers saw an opportunity and decided to use the public’s need for coronavirus updates. They made the public click on fake emails or websites infected with viruses and malware so they can later ask for ransom.
Many businesses that have fallen victims to ransomware attacks decided to pay ransom to hackers. Unfortunately, these businesses will face civil penalties since paying the ransom isn’t encouraged and is seen as a form of encouragement to hackers. As ransomware attacks aren’t damaging enough, now business owners will have to think about civil penalties as well.
Even though phishing attacks are not something new, they have grown rapidly in 2020. Hackers have expanded their level of sophistication and the complexity of their payloads. They have taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic and the weaker work-from-home cybersecurity in order to launch their cyber attacks. It’s important to note that phishing attacks are the most common source of data breaches nowadays.
Deepfakes are fake images or videos created with artificial intelligence methods. The main goal of these things is to cause damage. Unfortunately, deepfakes are becoming a huge cybersecurity threat in 2020 as well and can cause major damage.
Hackers use these fake images and videos to harass their victims. This is a threat to both the public and private sectors. For instance, deepfakes are used in the public sector as a political tool to spread false information. In the private sectors, they can be used to downgrade executives by making them look like they did something awful which can later impact the company’s stock.
Hackers are working smarter and harder
Another scary trending cyber threat is that hackers nowadays are actively taking part in malicious activities instead of using programmed scripts for cyber attacks as they used to. Even though this kind of style is usually demonstrated by nation-state-backed hacking groups, cybercriminals have also decided to incorporate it on a regular basis.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and remotely working, the number of hands-on hacking attacks have also increased. These criminals are exploiting remote workers around the world in order to gain unauthorized access to their devices and networks.
So, what can you do to protect yourself from any cyber threats?
Despite the fact that hackers are working harder and the number of cyber threats has rapidly increased in 2020, you can still protect yourself or your business by taking cybersecurity measures.
Investing in an antivirus software program is an important step in cyber protection. This program will protect you from any cyber threats and attacks.
For businesses with many devices, an antivirus program is a perfect solution to make sure devices receive the latest software patches and updates as soon as they are released.
Cybersecurity training is a must nowadays for both businesses and users. Since most hacking attacks begin with phishing emails, everyone should be aware of how to recognize these attacks and how to react properly.
Two-factor authentication requires users to present two pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism before gaining access to an account or device. This is a highly effective method that will block any unauthorized access.
Be careful of downloads and suspicious emails
Never download anything from unfamiliar sources and avoid clicking on links inside emails sent from strangers.
The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely changed our lives in 2020. Most of us are working from home, so hackers saw an opportunity to take advantage of the new situation. This only increased the number of cybersecurity threats and attacks nowadays.
Despite the challenges to our digital security, you can still protect your devices, data, and networks by following the cybersecurity measures mentioned above. These basic measures will definitely help you keep hackers away from your devices.