Security has always been a concern in people’s lives, nobody wants to be vulnerable to the malicious attacks of third parties and in an interconnected society like the one we are living now, this concern affects the digital world too.
New technologies have put into operation hundreds of tools and digital platforms that, while facilitating daily life, are also ideal targets for criminals. The digital migration of financial, educational, health, energy and production systems, as well as many other industries, makes virtually vulnerable all actors in society to cybercrime.
Essentially no one is exempt from being a victim of cybercrime since some of them can even affect entire nations. That is why, it is so important to know about cybersecurity or computer security and how to protect information on the web.
What is cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a discipline that is part of computer security, which is the implementation of strategies and tools for the prevention and response to attacks on computer systems.
All people must take responsible measures to protect their information on the web, but especially companies and entities that handle large volumes of data. At an individual level, identity theft and data theft crimes are common, while corporate hacks can vary from blocking systems, millionaire robberies and platform hijacking, to threats to national security.
Common threats to cybersecurity
There are various types of threats to electronic platforms. However, they are usually classified into three types.
Cybercrime: It is the most common type of threat and can happen to any person. These are attacks that are carried out at the user level and can range from phishing to confidential information access or financial scams. In general, those who commit these crimes attempt to obtain a monetary gain.
Cyberwar: War conflicts have evolved and now electronic systems are the main objective of war. These types of attacks respond to political motivations, so they are usually about the theft of confidential information with the purpose of extorting or controlling a particular political movement. It also falls into this category, the manipulation of information to influence public opinion or the result of elections.
Cyberterrorism: Unlike cyberwar, in this case, attempts are made to create panic among the citizens of a region, attacking fundamental systems such as power grids, Smart grid, government platforms, and even health systems that can directly compromise people’s lives.
The concern of corporations and government entities to protect the cybersecurity of citizens is increasing more and more. As society evolves and new technological devices are adopted, as well as smart cities are developed, vulnerability to computer attacks grows.
What does an attack on cybersecurity consist of?
Cybersecurity attacks are diverse and depend on the system that is intended to be damaged and the objectives pursued. Typically, criminals look for flaws or vulnerable points in the program’s code, through which they can access the systems and gain control of them.
However, there is another much less technical but just as effective modality to commit computer crimes: It is identity theft, phishing and electronic fraud. In these cases, the attacker relies on social engineering strategies and user ingenuity to obtain passwords, bank details and others, posing as a legitimate entity. In this way, the person provides their data, without knowing that they are being victims of fraud.
Cybersecurity depends on cryptographic protocols that are used to encrypt emails and files, making it difficult for them to be intercepted by criminals; but it also depends on the usage of programs for the detection of malicious code, viruses and Trojans that can compromise the systems. However, no matter what type of security measures are taken, in the end, much of the responsibility of computer security depends on the user.
How to protect yourself from a cyberattack?
The main measure of computer security is to stay informed. The modalities of electronic fraud are constantly changing and criminals are becoming more and more clever when it comes to introduce viruses and steal information. Updating cybersecurity standards will give you the confidence of being protected against any threat.
It is also important to keep the programs and software of your equipment updated and to have a reliable antivirus. Just as hackers are modifying their malicious codes, software programmers and companies are responsible for creating security “patches” to cover those vulnerable gaps in the code that are used by criminals.
Finally, one must be cautious and be aware when browsing the web. When it comes to access to platforms (especially banking) avoid entering your data through links. Write yourself the URL you want to enter and check that it has an SSL certificate, in this way you will know it is a safe place. When a URL is secure, most browsers highlight it with a lock or a green symbol to identify valid websites.
Avoid opening links that come from unknown senders through email or social media chats, and even if they come from a known contact, make sure it is not a fake URL. Do not provide data through these means and avoid downloading files that may seem strange.
Organizations are increasingly aware of the importance of protecting the user’s data on the web. However, it is always worth being prevented and taking the necessary precautions. It is not about fearing technology, but understanding how to protect yourself.
In a world where smart cities are a reality and the systems’ efficiency like Smart grid, financial platforms, transportation and production depend on digital interconnection, it is best to adapt and move forward in the computer security field. If you found interesting this article, tell us in the comments, What cybersecurity strategies do you use?.