You may not be surprised to know that one of the biggest industries in the world is porn. It is nearly $100 billion global industry. However, it may shock you to know that there is one industry even bigger than porn. It is online and clandestine. What is it?
It is astounding to know that cybercrime is worth $1.5 trillion worldwide. It is a massive economy. It is highly organized and connected. The perpetrators are highly motivated and very dangerous. If your business is connected to the internet – and let’s face it everyone’s is – then you are potentially only a few clicks away from being a victim.
Here are 8 internet security threats you need to watch out for this year.
1. Online Zombies
Do you like horror movies? Many people do but trust me you won’t like this how this story goes. The main protagonist is a master of evil unknown and unseen in a hidden stronghold. They control an army of slaves called botnets. These are software codes that carry out functions on your computer.
Botnets can be good and bad. The good ones do helpful things like finding answers to your questions on the internet. The bad ones do other things that you would not even know.
For example, they can send emails from your outbox with viruses to your friends for further infection. Botnet activity can be coordinated by a central master. Infected computers become ‘zombie’ slaves serving the will of the cybercriminal.
2. Traffic Jam
If you thought traffic jams are limited to the streets of the big cities you are mistaken. If you live in a city you will know what the real meaning of a traffic jam is. Being stuck in traffic means you are not at work and your not where you need to be. It is frustrating and time wasting.
That is the principle behind a traffic jam attack on your business website or server. The internet is an information highway with the most developed and complex highway system known to the modern world.
If a large amount of information is directed to your website or server from 1000’s or even millions of other computers, it will jam under the pressure to process it.
That means success for your cyber enemies. If your website crashes due to a traffic jam like this, then you are no longer open for business.
How do they do it?
DDoS or distributed denial of service. Multiple computers are controlled by botnets that direct traffic to your site. Clever and destructive.
3. Open a Backdoor
Have you ever gone out and left the back door unlocked? If you have, it is a relief to come home and find everything where it should be. You will not be so lucky with a cyber attack on the back door to your computer. What does it mean?
Someone can hack your computer by overcoming your password security and install something called a Trojan horse. Just like its Greek predecessor, you are not intended to know what is hidden inside.
Someone who has gained access to your computer can download a cyber army that will secretly open an access portal to your computer that will allow that person to access your sensitive information and steal from you. Silent and ruthless.
4. Big Bad Wolf
This strategy relies on human nature and our superficial understanding of cyber dangers. Most people are aware of cybercrime even if they are not aware to the full extent as to how dangerous it is.
Therefore this approach preys on that fear by infecting the computer with software or malware that causes a security message to pop up on the screen.
The message warns that the computer is infected and they need to take further action by clicking and following further instructions. Human nature is to do what we are told especially in a crisis and when under pressure.
This tactic intimidates the naive into surrendering further access to their computer. It is a little bit like the fable of the big bad wolf who said open up or I will blow your house down.
This is clever. This is software that will redirect your web browser away from the website you think you are accessing to a fake or spoof site. It will look the same as the site you are expecting. The pharming software will wait for you to input your personal details and then it will reap a rich bounty by stealing your personal details.
6. Stand and Deliver
If you think the old fashion highwayman has long disappeared, you are in for a shock. The internet highway is just as vulnerable to virtual highwaymen. This relies on software called ransomware.
The software takes your computer hostage and you need to pay a fee in order to get it back. Sometimes the software may suggest illegal activity has been spotted on your computer and you need to pay a fine. Another clever pull on human nature. If you lose your data it can be disastrous. Check out this article to help you get your data back.
7. Nosey Parker
Sometimes you know when someone is listening in on your conversation being a nosey parker. Trying to hear something that does not belong to their ears. A virtual nosey parker is possible when using Wifi networks that are not secure.
It is possible for nosey parkers to collect information sent over the network and then use that information to access your personal information. For this reason, it is vital to make sure you only ever use encrypted and secure networks for your business. Managed IT services can make a big difference in reducing some of these cyber threats.
Make sure you read more here.
8. Internet Security Threats and Spyware
You have heard of spyware, but what does it actually do, and how is it an internet security threat?
Once again, this software preys on the human desire to get something for nothing. In this case, it is usually free software. The software may even be good and appear very useful.
The adage nothing is free is true. When you download the ‘free’ software it will also come with a little surprise. Hidden software that searches your computer for valuable personal information.
Now you know the threats you definitely need to do something about it. Check out this articles on cybersecurity basics you need to know.