Cyber Security has become such a concern that many business owners are prioritising it over the physical security of their enterprises since the implications might be even more devasting. It has quickly gone to the top of many business owners’ concerns. The rate at which technology is consuming the world couldn’t have been predicted, and the statistics are amazing. As of January 2021, there were 4.66 billion active internet users globally, or 59.5 percent of the world’s population, reports Statista.com. 4.32 billion people, or 92.6 percent of this total, used mobile devices to access the internet. ¹ These figures continue to rise and show no indications of slowing down.
Unfortunately, there is a big drawback to the internet’s innovation and exponential growth: the more web-connected gadgets you have, the more likely you are to fall prey to a serious cyberattack that, if it is clever enough, might mean the end of your company as we know it. Consequently, we shouldn’t implement technology in our enterprises, right? Wrong! Because technology makes it possible for us to be so much more connected and efficient, we obviously can’t eradicate it due to the hazards. Additionally, technology enables levels of productivity that were unimaginable even a few years ago. With this in mind, we should educate ourselves on the possible hazards that result from inadequate cyber security measures and inadequately protected systems rather than blaming the existing technical landscape for our susceptibility to cyber attacks.
Your private information could end up being given out for free or sold on the Dark Web if a cyberattack is successful.
We’ve all heard of the Dark Web, but for those who aren’t, it is thought to be a hub for criminal activity and particularly illegitimate activity, and they wouldn’t be mistaken. In the sections that follow, we’ll go through the Dark Web in greater detail and emphasise how dangerous it is for your private information to be bought and traded there.
The Dark Web
Criminals use the Dark Web as a marketplace where they may promote, purchase, and trade illegal goods and services while remaining anonymous. The Dark Web is made up of little one-to-one networks that coexist with the bigger legal networks. However, don’t be misled; it is a vast operation that is estimated to be about 5% of the size of the entire internet (that may not sound like much, but consider how big the internet is).
It is extremely hazardous to navigate there. The Dark Web can be accessed legally, but it is simple to click a link or view information there that is seriously against the law. If your data finds up there, it’s impossible to tell who may be in control of it, and your organisation may be faced with issues that could have a major impact on its future.
Let’s examine the several routes your data could traverse to the Dark Web.
The techniques used by online crooks to get your data to the Dark Web
Data encryption and locking are features of malevolent software known as ransomware. The cyberattack’s perpetrator will then demand money in exchange for granting access again, giving rise to the term “Ransomware.”
Attacks using ransomware are particularly heinous. Your data doesn’t leave your computer and stays in your control; the only issue is that it is encrypted. The cybercriminal will skilfully instil a feeling of urgency by giving you a deadline to pay the ransom under the threat that if you don’t, they will erase your data and it will be lost forever—or, in the worst case, released onto the Dark Web.
If it happens again, I’ll just pay them this time and increase my security. Unfortunately, this won’t work since you can’t trust criminals. Do you really believe they’ll say sorry and return your data? Instead, it frequently happens that business owners are left in the dark, out of money, and chasing their tails. There are times when you are given access back, only to discover that the cybercriminal just targets you again after you have paid the ransom since they know you are both able and willing to do so.
Malware is extremely nasty; it is created with the express purpose of wreaking havoc and upsetting the peace or stealing personal information.
Malware is typically created and controlled by a group of online criminals, as contrast to other forms of cybercrime, which are typically carried out by a single person. They sell the malware software on the Dark Web or disseminate it themselves with the intention of making money. Regardless, if it gets inside your system, you’re in big trouble.
A phishing attack occurs when a cybercriminal attempts to acquire access via phoney or fraudulent emails.
Malicious links in emails are the preferred method of attack by online crooks. The email will be created by the cybercriminal to give the impression that it comes from a reliable source and is urgently needed. (They frequently pretend to be a bank or a co-worker because those are two sources that would elicit the appropriate response.) When a recipient clicks on a link in an email that has a time-sensitive subject, such as a “scheduled password change,” they unintentionally give the cybercriminal access to their account.
Data sent via an insecure network will be intercepted by cybercriminals (public Wi-Fi, for example). Because of its extremely lax security, public Wi-Fi, in our opinion, should never be used for business purposes (meaning you are very vulnerable when working on it). Recently, cybercriminals have gone one step further. A relatively new type of cyberattack is via a “rogue hotspot,” in which the cybercriminal sets up their own public portal while imitating the already-existing genuine one. Then, a cybercriminal can openly disseminate their malware, point users toward other malicious websites, and monitor their target’s web traffic—all while the target is unaware that they are using a risky source.
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