• Aryaveer Tiwari

CYBERSECURITY

Cybersecurity, the practice of protecting systems, networks, and programs from digital attacks. These attacks are aimed at assessing, changing, or destroying sensitive information. As of the year 2020, there have been more than 9.9 billion cyberattacks and more than $1.5 trillion stolen from companies and businesses. Hackers can gain access to systems at an average time of 18 minutes, with Russian hackers being the fastest.

IT security specialists for long have been studying cyberattacks to understand how to employ protection at each stage of the attack. Cyberattacks are often carried out in stages, the first stage of a cyberattack is where hackers, to reach their goals, will have to find a weak spot in their target. For example, hackers impersonate corporate IT specialists and request employee credentials via a fake email. Alternatively, they look for software or hardware vulnerabilities that could be exploited. These cybercriminals then work on creating their malicious program or use pre-existing software which fits their needs. Then comes the cyberattacks which only take minutes to carry out, the stolen data is then exploited by cybercriminals as long as needed or until the breach is fixed.

Some of the most common cyber attacks that occur are DoS attacks where the target site gets flooded with requests and as the site has to respond to all these requests, there comes a time when the site can't function normally and leads to complete shutdown of the site. After a successful DoS attack the system goes offline making it vulnerable to other attacks, a common way to protect one from a DoS attack is to use a firewall to detect if a request is legitimate or not. A man in the middle is also one of the most common cyberattacks, it makes it possible for attackers to eavesdrop on the data sent back and forth between two people, networks, or computers. A phishing attack is when a malicious actor sends emails from a trusted or legitimate website in an attempt to grab sensitive information.

According to the cybercrime encounter rate as of 2019, 80% of Indian online users have experienced cybercrimes with 61% Americans reported to have experienced cybercrimes.

Some of the most expensive data breaches recorded in corporate history are,

  1. Sony PlayStation ($171 million) - Sony PlayStation got hit with a massive data breach in the year 2011, different hackers broke into Sony’s digital data room and stole more than 100 million customer records from the PlayStation Online service.


2.Epsilon ($4 billion) - The most expensive data breach ever recorded, in 2011, hackers hit Epsilon and stole an unknown number of names, emails affecting up to 75 clients of Epsilon's, including Best Buy, JPMorgan Chase, and Target.

There are several ways one can protect themselves from a cyberattack but the most common way of protecting ourselves from an attack is,

  1. There are many websites with the help of which you can check if you have already been involved in a data breach and change the passwords of the accounts that have been compromised.

  2. Check the strength of your passwords, choosing a strong password can be very useful in preventing a data breach. A strong password has at least 12 characters and is difficult to guess. Avoid using these passwords as they are easy to guess.

  3. 123456 (or any chronologically ordered numbers)

  4. 987654321

  5. 123123

  6. QWERTY

  7. 111111

  8. password

  9. This one may sound obvious but do not open emails from unknown email addresses, as these emails may contain malicious software which can eventually lead to a data breach. Did you know the Bangladeshi Bank robbery also took place due to a phishing attack through which hackers were able to steal close to $1 billion.

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