It is an inescapable fact that when it comes to your privacy, there is always a bullseye on your back. Considering the comprehensive use of computer networks in the modern era of technology to maintain your privacy and your confidential data, this bullseye is actually on your computer system leaving you vulnerable to potential Cyberattacks.
What is a Cyberattack?
The encroachment into your system or network carried out by unauthorized personnel with malicious intent is what a cyberattack is. In simpler terms, a cyberattack is an offensive activity carried out by a cybercriminal over the internet, in which he gains unauthorized access to your personal data for a number of reasons. These reasons include an intention to expose, alter, disable, destroy, steal, or gain confidential information from your system. The magnitude of cyberattacks varies from as small as hacking a personal computer to as large as an attempt to destroy a whole nation. The growing need for cybersecurity indicates that no matter if you are an individual, a business, or a government, your data is exposed to an inevitable intrusion.
Over the years, a number of distinct cyberattacks have been identified which are Malware, Phishing, Man-in-the-middle, Denial-of-service, SQL injection, Zero-day exploit, or DNS tunneling. These attacks have had devastating effects on numerous people all over the world. Therefore, it is not a matter of “if” but rather a matter of “when” in terms of you being victimized by a cyberattack.
Why do cyberattacks happen?
These cyberattacks are not a random act of invasion but they are planned and carried out due to a specific and significant reason. Financial gain is the most common motivation behind a cyberattack which generates a need for cybercriminals to get the following kinds of information.
- Financial details such as credit card information.
- Business details such as trade secrets
- Confidential data such as login credentials
- Data records such as client information
- Access to infrastructure
But monetary reasons are not the only motivators for cyberattacks. Other prominent forms of cyber attacks are
- Hacktivism: For social or political purpose
- Espionage: Obtaining secrets by spying
- Black hat hackers: To destroy a secure network
The escalation of cyberattacks
Statistics from renowned companies reveal that cyberattacks have seen exponential growth in recent years and is expected to continue this growth in the coming years. Bearing witness to this fact is some of these statistics mentioned below and these reports are just the tip of the iceberg.
- A forecast by Gartner shows that the global investment in cybersecurity is expected to reach $133.7 billion by the year 2022.
- Accenture has revealed that 68% of business leaders are worried about being victimized by cyberattacks.
- Verizon has concluded that 86% of attacks are motivated by financial gains.
- There was an increase of 52% in the number of reported breaches from mid-2018 to the second quarter of 2019.
- IBM shows that the average time to identify a breach was 206 days in 2019.
There is an extensive list of domains that experience a frequent encounter with cyberattacks. Let’s look at the top trends in cyberattacks to identify the most vulnerable domains in the present time.
- Cyberattacks on cloud
Cloud has become the preeminent choice of businesses in modern times for various requirements in terms of compute, network, and storage resources. With the increasing use of clouds, threats have also increased. Misconfigured cloud environment and poor management have exposed the cloud resources to a number of external and internal threats. While public cloud infrastructure has been targeted the most, the evolution of breach techniques has equipped cybercriminals with the ability to bypass a typical cloud security system leaving your presumably safe data vulnerable to malicious intent.
- Cyberattacks on mobile devices
Cyberattacks in mobile devices and applications have seen a growth of 50% since 2018. This surge in mobile attacks indicates the inclination of cyberattackers towards infiltrating mobile systems. With the wide adoption of mobile-based banking activities, cyberattacks on mobile systems are prominently targeted for financial gains through the bank credentials of a user.
Deepfakes is the practice that involves the use of artificial intelligence to create fake images and sounds that seem to be real. Generally, Deepfake is used to impersonate politicians, CEOs, or celebrities to destroy their image. It can also be used to leverage the impact of such personalities on the public to serve the purposes of the hacker.
- Internet Health crisis
The last decade has seen unprecedented growth in the use of medical equipment as “Internet of Medical Things” or IoMT such as pacemakers, defibrillators, and insulin pumps. These devices are connected to the internet and serve a crucial purpose for certain medical conditions. Cyberattacks on such devices are targetted on individuals or the whole organization in order to leverage their position and eventually force them into fulfilling a ransom demand.
- Vehicle hacking
One of the most devastating applications of cyberattacks is the intrusion into the vehicle system. Apart from the self-driving cars which are an obvious target for hackers, most vehicles come with GPS devices, sensors, and in-car communication which can be hacked into and manipulated. The data collected from these devices can also be used for numerous malicious activities.
With the advancement in technology and security, the techniques for cyberattacks are also upgrading continuously. But, no matter how advance these techniques become, a cyberattack is always preventable provided certain precautions are taken. For instance, a cybersecurity analysis of your current infrastructure can help you identify the potential threats to your privacy. Furthermore, a complete and multilayered cybersecurity architecture will allow you to cover all the attack vectors and provide holistic protection. This infrastructure will not only defend your systems but also your network, mobile devices, cloud, and all other devices in your contact.
Your negligence towards cybersecurity will lead to inevitable damage. If you haven’t already been a victim, you eventually will be. Therefore, it is imperative to give utmost priority to your cybersecurity infrastructure and upgrade it regularly.