Cybersecurity is important because of the major risk data breaches pose. Now more than ever, personal and confidential data such as banking information, addresses, or financial documents are being shared and saved online. Without proper cybersecurity, this data becomes an easy target for cyberattacks which can cause monetary and reputational damage to people and businesses.
Cyberattacks take on different forms. The best way to protect your confidential information is to better understand cybersecurity, the risks of data breaches and how to prevent them.
What is Cybersecurity?
Cybersecurity is a way of protecting networks, devices and data from cyberattacks that can gain access to confidential and personal information of people and organizations. The increase of online data has increased the threats and types of attacks cybercriminals use to gain access – making cybersecurity highly important for organizations and personal users.
Having proficient cybersecurity requires multiple layers of protection. These layers provide identification, investigation, and correction of cyberthreats to the organization. Employees, procedures and technologies are needed to form these layers in an organization’s cybersecurity strategy. Some examples of these layers are having employee training in place, implementing antivirus software and utilizing a password management system. It is important that all the layers work together so that the cybersecurity strategy provides complete coverage and lowers the risk of cyberattacks.
Reasons Why Cybersecurity is Important
There are many different types of threats and attacks cybercriminals use to gain access to your data and utilize it for their own benefits. Cybercrime has had a steep increase in the past few years with the rise of remote work and increased dependence on technology. Not implementing cybersecurity best practices can present different risks from monetary to reputational if data and confidential information are not protected.
- Cyberattacks can be costly. Cybercriminals can gain access to bank accounts or financial information. Cybercriminals can also gain access to confidential or sensitive information that they then request a ransom in return for not releasing the information.
- A cyberattack can have a big impact on consumer trust. Consumers and business partners trust companies to keep their personal information confidential. Having a data breach can highly impact the reliability and reputation of a company. This can lead to the loss of customers and partners.
Who is at Risk for a Data Breach?
Without proper cybersecurity, businesses are at a higher risk of suffering a cyberattack due to data breaches. A data breach doesn’t only impact businesses but also consumers as their data and personal information are also exposed.
Some recent credential stuffing cyberattacks happened to Dunkin Donuts, Nintendo and Zoom.
Dunkin Donuts Credential Stuffing Attack
- Dunkin Donuts was the victim of a credential stuffing attack in its rewards program. People’s personal information such as phone numbers, email addresses and account numbers was exposed.
Nintendo Credential Stuffing Attack
- In March 2020, thousands of users reported unauthorized logins to their Nintendo accounts. This resulted in compromised accounts and personal information such as email addresses, names and more. Nintendo reports that those credentials were stolen either via credential stuffing, phishing or a combination of both.
Zoom Credential Stuffing Attack
- Zoom grew exponentially during the pandemic, creating a huge demand for video conferencing services. The video conferencing platform has experienced several cybersecurity problems, including “Zoom Bombing,” where uninvited users enter and “crash” Zoom meetings. More than 500,000 Zoom usernames and passwords are being bought and sold on the DarkWeb. However, these are accounts affected from credential stuffing attacks, not a data breach on Zooms end.
How to Protect Yourself from a Cybersecurity Attack
One of the best ways to protect your company and personal information from cyberattacks is to be informed and learn the different ways cybercriminals can access your data. With this information, you’ll be better prepared to protect your business or personal life and keep your data safe.
- Some of the most common cyberattacks are:
- Phishing is when an attacker sends emails purporting to be from reputable companies to induce individuals to reveal personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. These attacks are considered “social engineering” attacks because they prey on regular people via psychological manipulation.
- Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a computer’s files, locking users out of the system until a ransom is paid to a cybercriminal. They require little technical expertise which makes them one of the most common – a ransomware attack happens every 11 seconds.
- Credential Stuffing attacks happen when a cybercriminal uses a set of credentials to attempt to gain access to several accounts at once. Credential stuffing can be very effective because nearly two-thirds of internet users reuse their passwords. Cybercriminals enter the stolen credentials into thousands of websites over the course of a few minutes or several hours, compromising everything from social media accounts to proprietary company software and beyond
A cyberattack can happen at any moment and cause monetary and reputational damage. Knowing how cybercriminals can gain access to data will help identify which cybersecurity measures can be implemented to best protect your data. Cybersecurity tools like installing an antivirus or having a dark web monitoring system can help in the protection of your data and confidential information. However, it is also important to implement practices that will enhance the use of these tools.
Besides using technology tools, it is also important to learn about the best practices that can be implemented daily to enhance your cybersecurity. Here are some of the best practices you can start following to strengthen your cybersecurity and protect your data from cyber attacks like phishing, ransomware and credential stuffing
- Implement multifactor authentication (MFA). MFA adds on a layer of security by adding an extra step in the authentication process when a password is used from an unrecognized device.
- Prevent the reuse of passwords. Avoiding reusing the same passwords or variants of the same word and numbers for different accounts will help improve your data security. The best case scenario is to avoid the reuse of passwords altogether.
- Provide guidance on better password practices. Strong passwords do not include dictionary phrases or words, use alphanumeric combinations that include symbols, upper and lowercase and contain at least 14 characters. A password generator can help you create strong and unique passwords.
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