With the advancements in technology, our world is becoming more of a digitalized space. The use of the Internet is increasing exponentially, simultaneously making us more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Thus, learning about the nature of these cyber-attacks and how to defend ourselves from them becomes very crucial to reduce the risk of data breaches and the troubles that they bring along with them.
Computer security refers to the safeguarding of our computer systems and data from theft, unauthorized use or any harm for that matter. Most users lack the adequate defenses that keep out intruders, and this is the opportunity that most cybercriminals set their eyes on. Computer security protects your computer against these attacks and keeps intact your system and your data.
Before we dive deeper into computer security, let’s first see a few reasons why users get attacked.
If the various motives behind the attacks are understood, it becomes a little easier for cybersecurity professionals to secure the systems. These are some of the major motives why computers are attacked:
Disrupting a business’ continuity: Sometimes the motive could just be to disrupt the continuity of a business, which in turn causes damage in reputation and losses to the business.
Information theft and manipulating data: The confidential information that is stolen from the organization is then sold to individuals or groups paying a good amount.
Achieving a state’s military objectives: Two or more nations going against each other keep an eye for the data each one has, thus employing cybercriminal tactics to steal the military secrets.
Propagating religious or political beliefs: Even the promotion of some religious dogma or a certain political agenda becomes the motivation for attacking computer systems, mostly to sway voters to vote a certain way.
A dedicated hacker has many kinds of attacks up under his sleeve. Here we have mentioned three of the most frequent ones:
Using this attack the user’s access to the system resources is restricted by flooding the server with useless traffic. A resource gets hopelessly jammed up by the bots as they are commanded to access the resource at the same time by the botmaster. Now, if someone else genuinely wants to get access to that resource they cannot, as the resource is all blocked.
It is a program that is created to disrupt and damage the computer. Mainly, there are four types of malware:
Keylogger: Whatever you type on the targeted keyboard is recorded on the keylogger. It is used by most hackers to get hold of secret data, be it the passwords or the other account details.
Virus: A virus replicates as it copies itself to another program or a document and alters how the computer works. Most viruses are spread by someone without the knowledge of the system administrator.
Worms: A worm is a standalone program that infects the system independently. A popular example of a worm is W32 Alcra-F. It propagates through the network shared devices.
Trojan horse: It is a malicious code that takes over your computer and damages or steals information from it.
A bait is sent to the victim which is generally in the form of an email by the attacker. They lure the victim into sharing their details, be it their bank account, their password, or some other details.
You must always remember banks do not send emails like these.
There are three principles that initiate the security of an organization: Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability. Since the advent of its mainframes, the CIA has served as the industry standard for computer security.
Confidentiality: The information and functions can only be accessed by authorized parties, according to the principles of confidentiality. Ex. military secrets.
Integrity: Information and functions can be altered, or removed only by the authorized people, according to the principles of integrity.
Availability: Systems, functions, and data must be available right on-demand with the agreed-upon parameters based on the levels of service, according to the principles of availability.
Adding an extra layer of security to the process of authentication makes it harder for attackers to gain access to a person’s devices or online accounts, this is called Two-way authentication. For instance, before you make payments online, you have to first enter your CVV then you get the OTP, and then the transaction happens.
You need to create passwords that are very tough to guess or hack. You could include in your passwords:
At least 15 characters.
Special characters. Example: @#$%.
A computer program that detects, prevents, and terminates malware is called an Antivirus. Some of the more famous antiviruses are Quickheal, K7, Norton, etc.
If you ever get a suspicious email that has no relation to you, just do the following:
Make sure that you do not click on the email.
Do not share any of your personal files.
Don’t even open the attachments of the mail.
Encryption is the process of converting simple text into complex unintelligible forms so that it cannot be understood without decryption. Encryption is used in:
It is very unfortunate that cybercrime is increasing rapidly, if you are not careful, your data could just be gone by the click of a button. In the past, as we have been very careful about our possessions, using physical locks and other utilities to safeguard them, it’s time we do something similar with our digital possessions.