Cyber security is now a necessity since everyone is a target

By | 12th December 2015

Over the past decade, the landscape of cyber threats has multiplied in size but also transformed. Arguably, every computer with any kind of direct or indirect connection to the internet is now a target.

The greatest transformation occurred in the use of automated tools by cyber criminals, which allows them to operate at massive scales. In 2014, nearly a million new cyber threats were released on the internet every single day.

The automated attacks do not discriminate between a large or a small enterprise, or an individual. If your systems are vulnerable, you will eventually be found and exploited.

The most common attacks arrive in email attachment or as links to compromised websites. Other attacks will exploit weaknesses in your router, firewall, Wi-Fi or server.

You may not even notice that your computers have become compromised. Successful malware avoids detection while it carries out its mission. That could be stealing your credentials, your data files, anything you type, or even covertly using your webcam and microphone. Your network can become a launching pad for attacking others.

Detection often comes too late, after the evil mission is accomplished. The CryptoWall flavor of malware (aka ransomware) will announce itself to you after all your precious files have been encrypted and are useless to you unless you pay a ransom to get them decrypted. This process is often fully automated, with the attackers botnet infecting targets and harvesting ransom automatically. The choice of the target is purely down to its vulnerability to the attack. CryptoWall has been so successful that it is already on version 4, evolving continually to be more and more effective.

Being a small and insignificant target is no longer a route to avoiding an attack. If you are vulnerable, you will be found and exploited.

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