Window Snyder of Fastly says, “One single vulnerability is all an attacker needs.”
Stanford University research proves this by analysing that human errors cause 88% of data breaches.
These numbers themselves prove the Importance of Cyber Security Awareness for us.
The quintillions of data we create everyday can be breached with one loophole or security gap caused by you in your system, endangering yourself financially, mentally, physically, or socially.
With this background, this blog will help you understand all the cyber threats, cyber hygiene best practices, benefits of cyber awareness, and more.
- Learn the meaning of Cyber Security Awareness.
- Know about Cyber Threats.
- Understand the Importance of Cyber Security Awareness.
- Learn more about Cyber Hygiene Best Practices.
What is Cyber Security Awareness?
65% of the world’s population has access to internet services today.
Every second, they share their personal data, like location history, messages, photos, bank transactions, online search history, fingerprints, addresses, and many more.
This data is very sensitive to people and businesses. Its leakage may threaten their security, finances, assets, privacy, etc.
Cyber security awareness is about securing and defending your private data against attackers and fraudsters.
It can be done by preparing in advance to anticipate future threats, preventing cyberattacks, educating and training everyone on cyberspace hygiene, detecting cyber threats and gaps, reacting quickly to a cyber attack, and creating a resilient information security system with mitigation and recovery plans in place.
The safety and security of companies and people against the potential risks is the understatement of Cyber security Awareness.
Let us now learn about the cyber threats that a system may face in this next section.
What are Cyber Threats?
Cyber threats are lurking threats that aim to harm the network system, steal data, and misuse information.
The picture below shows the biggest data breaches in various sectors, highlighting the data records lost to attackers and fraudsters.
Knowing how much data gets lost to cyber attacks each year, let us understand the cyber threats using the examples of the Top 7 Cyber Threats in 2022:
Understand the major malware attacks below:
This malware disguises itself as necessary codes and links. Ex. SOVA Android Trojan.
They launch exponentially increasing attacks on multiple networked systems for spying, stealing data, or a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack. Echobot.
Cybercriminals trick and dupe humans to access secured information and unauthorised places, relying on the ease with which humans commit errors more easily than a security system. Ex. phishing, spear phishing, baiting, pretexting, scareware, tailgating, Vishing (Voice Phishing), and many more.
Illegal crypto mining through crypto hacking was valued at $30 billion in 2021, as per Cyber Security Ventures.
In this emerging cyberthreat, AI/ML technology is used to develop believable and realistic photos, videos, audio, and texts of events that never occurred. Ex. the Nancy Pelosi slow-down deepfake video in 2019.
More data on the IoT-system network with security loopholes means more potential hacking and spam attack opportunities.
Entering through the security gaps in an organisation’s network to attack and leak the elements of Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), third-party softwares, open source platforms like WordPress and Magento, internet service vendors, cloud services etc. Ex. DragonFly cyber-espionage of 2011.
Importance of Cyber Security Awareness
Reports say that cybercriminals can crack 93% of the company networks.
There was a 50% weekly increase in cyberattacks in 2021 as compared to 2020.
Also, as per the FBI, in the USA alone, since 2016, $43 billion has been stolen by online thieves.
Knowing these stats, the Importance of Cyber security Awareness has escalated for every internet user.
There are various advantages of cyber security awareness; the most important ones are mentioned here as follows:
- Keep Vulnerability in Check: The network systems of innocent public and organisations are vulnerable to attacks by cybercriminals. Cyber-awareness can prevent that.
- Human-based Error Factor: Human errors form the big 80% element in data breaches. So raising people’s awareness about cyber security will strengthen the system much more.
- Prevent Becoming Easy Targets: Cyber security awareness helps make people aware of the malicious methods that criminals use. This will prevent them from becoming easy targets and potential threats.
- Timely Flagging of Potential Risks: It offers timely knowledge to prevent and flag potential threats from creating any severe damage to the network and data.
- Avoid Facing Difficult Circumstances: Not undergoing proper cyber security courses and training. If it leads to a system breach, then it may lead to the following difficulties:
- Threaten the reputation of an organisation.
- Misuse of crucial data and financial loss.
- Legal actions and penalties may be charged by courts against such companies.
- Escalation in cost of remedies.
- Loss of intellectual property and hard-earned research work.
- Loss of customer trust, and many more.
Cyber Hygiene Best Practices
Research shows that training employee about cyber security awareness reduces cyber risks by 70%. So it is crucial to educate them on proper cyber security practices and tools.
Let us understand the most important Cyber security Training Methods under various categories:
Cyber Security Awareness for Internet Users and Employees
- Know the Latest Security Attacks: Be aware of the latest security breaches and attacks.
- Vigilant Against Sharing Sensitive Information: Be vigilant when disclosing private and sensitive information while interacting online
- Change Passwords Frequently: Keep changing the passwords of your accounts with a minimum of 8-digit long alphanumeric code.
- Apply Two-Factor Authentication: Use two-factor authentication for account information changes in any network system.
- Cross-check URLs: Check the website URL of misspellings for the authorised company before clicking it.
- Don’t Share Important Information: Don’t feed account login credentials or bank details, or transfer money online via email or websites, even if the platform looks legitimate.
Cyber Security Awareness for Organizations, Companies & Businesses
- Tighten Security Policies: Tighten the IT system security policies of your organisation or company.
- Updating Antivirus & Firewall Software: Install malware and antivirus firewall applications and keep them updated with the latest versions.
- Extended Detection and Response (XDR): A holistic SaaS-based approach for vendor-network systems in real-time. It detects threats and responds to cyberattacks, data misuse, and unauthorised data access. This is done by the seamless integration of various platform-specific security products into one secure operating system.
- Enhance Desk Policies: Tighten the desk security policies for the employees in the company.
Types of Cyber Security Awareness Based on Platform-Type
- IT Security Awareness
- Keep Data Backups: Always make frequent backups of critical and sensitive data to protect against malware attacks.
- Update Antivirus: Ensure updated firewall and antivirus software is installed on the employees’ systems.
- E-mail Security Awareness
- Avoid Clicking Malicious Links: Understand the risks of clicking on a malicious link, infected files and attachments, or dangerous websites.
- Don’t Share Restricted Information: Employees should not share email addresses with unauthorised persons. Always use BCC’s benefits and cross-check if the sender’s email is the same before sending emails.
- Social Media Security Awareness
- Avoid Sharing Personal Information: Don’t share your personal information, like live location, photos and future travel plans to social media platforms, as this may help thieves to keep your movement in check.
- Help Prevent Cyberbullying: Ensure to always acknowledge, report, and prevent any cyberbullying.
Every person and employee must be mindful of their network security strength in their day-to-day system access.
Now that we have understood cybersafety in-depth, we will agree that appropriate cyber security training is vital.
It must be delivered to children, students, employees, or any internet user with the goal of driving a behavioural change in them.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the 5 C’s of cyber security?
The 5 C’s of cyber security are as follows:
1. Change: Companies must change their security along with technological changes.
2. Compliance: Corporate governance, risk management and standards compliance must be strictly followed by all organisations.
3. Cost: develop infrastructure, operation, products and services as per the cost of the security management it will demand.
4. Continuity: Always establish database backup and disaster recovery plans in place.
5. Coverage: Always plan to expand your business while keeping the coverage of its network security in check.
What does it mean to be cyber-aware?
Becoming cyber-aware means: preparing in advance to anticipate future threats, preventing cyberattacks, educating and training everyone on cyberspace hygiene, detecting cyber threats and gaps, reacting quickly to a cyber attack, and creating a resilient information security system with mitigation and recovery plans in place.
What are the 3 main pillars of cyber security?
The 3 main pillars of cyber security are as follows:
1. Confidentiality: Keep important information confidential to authorized parties so as to not get data compromised.
2. Integrity: Always ensure before submission that data is not tampered with and damaged during handling and transfer.
3. Availability: Proper demonstrations should be conducted so that data should be available by authorized personnel as and when needed.