Most of us wouldn’t consider leaving our front door open, not only do we close our front doors, but we lock them too. It provides us with a necessary barrier against any potential dangers and can also provide us with a feeling of mental security too. Why then are many people so much more relaxed with their digital security, do they not value their personal correspondence, their financial records, data on their health, and their private moments? Of course, each and every one of us would answer yes to this, however, many aren’t aware of how pervasive and destructive cybercrime can be.
At UMBRA Secure we want to educate and provide accessible security measures to everyone. First, let’s review a few statistics around cybercrime to fully understand the importance of putting preventative security in place.
- About 14.5 billion email spam campaigns accounted for over 45% of all email traffic. (Source: Statista)
- According to cyber attack statistics, email remains one of the most popular and successful means that hackers use in distributing malware to their prospective victims. When a target opens the attached file or clicks on the malicious link following an email, a type of malware is executed. It either steals user information or disrupts company operations, depending on what it was programmed to achieve. 90% of all data breaches are linked to phishing attacks suggesting a need for increased data security. (Cisco). The most common subject lines for phishing emails include words such as urgent, request, important, payment, or attention. (Tessian)
- Cybercrime, which includes everything from theft or embezzlement to data hacking and destruction, is up 600% as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- According to IBM, it takes a company 197 days to discover the breach and up to 69 days to contain it.
- Emails asking for urgent action – they are there to unbalance and distract you. Users are so keen to avoid the negative consequences they fail to study the email for inconsistencies or clues it might be bogus.
- Spelling/grammatical mistakes in emails – emails with spelling or grammar errors should at least be treated with suspicion.
- Unfamiliar greetings – emails from colleagues or friends usually start with informal greetings – if it’s not how they would usually greet you and are using a different language than normal, then treat with suspicion.
- Inconsistencies with the email address – hover over the sender’s email address, is it the same as previous emails from that sender?
- Inconsistencies with links and domain names – hover over to see what pops up – unfamiliar website? Different extension used like .zip .xc .scr? This could be phishing.
- Emails that seem too good to be true – usually are!
- Emails requesting login credentials, payment information, or other sensitive information – are always to be treated with caution.
Transferring data between business and personal devices is often inevitable as a result of the increasing amount of employees who work remotely. Keeping sensitive data on personal devices significantly increases vulnerability to cyber attacks.
Downloading files from unverified sources can expose your systems and devices to security risks. It’s important to only download files from trusted sources and avoid unnecessary downloads to lower your device’s susceptibility to malware.
Password strength is the first line of defence against a variety of attacks. Using strings of symbols that don’t have a meaning, regular password changes and never writing them down or sharing them is a crucial step to protecting your sensitive data. Use two-factor authentication which is a security system that requires two separate, distinct forms of identification in order to access something.
Software providers work hard on continuously making their software more secure, and regularly installing the latest updates and backing up your data will make your devices less vulnerable to attacks.
Regularly monitoring your data and identifying existing leaks will help mitigate the potential fallout from long-term data leakage. Data breach monitoring tools actively monitor and alert you to suspicious activity.
It is extremely easy for hackers to access your data through your wifi. When setting up your wifi for business be sure to set up two separate networks; one public and one private. The private wifi should be limited to employee use only.
If you would like to find out more about how UMBRA International could assist you in updating your security measures, please do contact us for more information.
From all at UMBRA Secure, we wish you a safe and secure digital experience!
Written by Kim Garrett