Security blogs

CyberCrimes! Listen Up and Protect Yourself

Have you ever had your house burgled? Try putting into words how you felt (or would feel) when you returned home to the find every valuable possession made away with! The reality today is that the chances of being attacked are more than you could possibly imagine, especially ONLINE!

Let’s put things in perspective with some facts;

  •         In 2003 alone, 3 billion Yahoo! accounts were hacked. 3 billion! That’s about half the current world population
  •         On 20th April, 2011, 77 million accounts on Sony PlayStation’s Network were hacked
  •         In 2014, 145 million eBay accounts were hacked; that’s roughly 245 accounts per minute

You get where I’m going with this, don’t you?!

These cybercrimes take different forms: malware, denial of services, phishing and social engineering, compromised and stolen devices, malicious insiders and codes, ransomwares and botnets.

But protection from cyber-attacks begins with you!

Set strong passwords on your online accounts and do not share them. Also, get a good antivirus program for your computer. A good antivirus program protects your computer from computer viruses, rootkits, bots, worms, Trojans, spywares and dangerous attachments/links in messages or emails.

Within the USA, for example, businesses are the most vulnerable to these cyber-attacks (40%), closely followed by medical and healthcare facilities (35%). Majority of these attacks (80%) are carried out by sophisticated criminals. In the UK, the average annual security breach costs a large firm £36,500 and globally, cybercrime costs are estimated to reach £2.41 trillion per annum.

It has been found that malware attacks are the most common cyberattack with an average cost of $2.4 million for companies. Even worse, when ransom demands are placed, the average ransom is now $679. Worse still, ransomware hackers earn over $90,000 per year, that’s about twice the pay of a high-school teacher in the US. In Q1 2016 alone, $209 million were paid to ransomware criminals.

This predicament has therefore led to increased spending on Cybersecurity which continue to increase annually at about 23%. It was estimated that total IT security was already around $100 billion in 2017 and is expected to exceed $815 billion by 2021. This has created a surge in the need for cybersecurity experts, making the wages of cybersecurity specialists approximately 9% higher than those of other IT workers.

A quick look at the vulnerability to mobile malware infections by countries shows that Iran, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Algeria are on the high end while Russia, Australia, Turkey, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are the most susceptible to mobile banking threats. The top 5 countries where users face the greatest risk to online infection are Algeria, Albania, Belarus, Qatar and Ukraine.

Judging from current trends, it is estimated that the global annual cost of cybercrime will reach $2 trillion by 2019 and 200 billion internet-compliant devices will need securing by 2020.

Know that social networks are favoured access paths for cyber-attacks. In 2015, 160 000 Facebook accounts were compromised per day.

Surf safely!

However, instead of writing a tract of tedious length, here is an infographic that outlines the most important cybercrime facts all of us should be aware of in 2018.