Wars were fought are and still being fought between countries, factions and tribes whereby those parties want more power over the other – whether on territory disputes, political or economic powers at play.
Over the past 30 years or so, cyber attackers started using a brand of warfare whereby they targeted companies and governments to disrupt operations; spying and making illicit money from these attacks. Who will forget Wannacry (2017) and Cryptolocker (2013) ransomware that seized your files. Until you pay the ransom, the hackers won’t unlock your files, and will give you a certain timeline to make payments or all your files lost forever? Private companies and governments who can afford highly skilled cyber security specialists usually manage to clean up their systems, but what about the man on the street, the small businesses, the student, the upcoming entrepreneur?
They reason to believe they cannot afford these highly skilled security experts (myth – as precautionary measures would cost a fraction of what the ransom payments are). Many opt to pay the ransom as it seems to be the easiest and quickest way out. Reason being not up to date with cyber security changes in our everyday life. This alternative does not help the fight against hackers, in fact it encourages them to attack and make more money out of innocent and uneducated businesses and people.
So, what can we do as ordinary internet users to strengthen our cyber defense system?
- Knowledge – by reading up and learning about cyber-attacks and security, joining forums and attending workshops.
- Share knowledge in your workplace and social gatherings – spread the word, be vocal.
- Educate your clients, your friends, your family on cyber-attacks and security.
- Implement systems to secure your environment against these cyber-attacks.
- Be vigilant especially when browsing the internet and emails – weak spots that compromise one’s security. Social media is already a hotspot for hackers.
- Making informed decisions when upgrading your security software. Not all software on the market will give you an adequate layer of protection.
- Never borrow or leave your hardware (memory sticks, laptops, SD cards etc.) unattended. Even with the purest of intentions their systems might already be infected, and security compromised.
- Always keep your banking credentials in a safe place like password managers / vaults.
In today’s world, our trust relationships have been narrowed down to only those we know by heart. Hackers have no a heart, neither feeling. The enemy sitting next door waiting for you to slip up.
Be aware, be safe, we can defend our territory in this war. Only those who are prepared to go to war, will ultimately triumph as winners.
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