7 Common Cybersecurity Threats That Everyone Needs to Know AboutSubmitted by Reby Advisors | Certified Financial Planners | Danbury, CT on October 26th, 2018
October 26, 2018
October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month.
As our world becomes increasingly connected and transacted through online communication, data, and information, we are exposing ourselves more and more to looming cyber threats. Defined as the “possibility of a malicious attempt to damage or disrupt a computer network or system,” cyber threats attempt to access files, infiltrate systems, and steal data in the process.
We would be remiss to add that these cyber attackers are waging a successful war today. With an identity being stolen every 2-3 seconds in America, landing itself as the greatest threat in the country right now, these phishers, scammers, and attackers know exactly what they are doing.
The most important way for you to stay protected and vigilant amid the attacks is to know the threats you are up against. Here are the 7 most common cyber threats in our world right now:
1. Email Account Takeover: If you just pause to think about how much critical information flows in and out of your email account today, the reality can be pretty scary. We use our emails to verify everything from healthcare confirmations and tax returns, to online banking usernames and passwords. When an attacker infiltrates our emails, they are able to access this information quickly and easily, guaranteeing they will attempt a bank account breaking or identity fraud scam in the future. Unfortunately, many email account takeovers have been successful, with even the biggest companies, like Google’s Gmail System, falling prey to email chains that trick users into clicking on links.
2. Malware: Malware is a disguised aggressive form of a software that is designed to take over the computer, server, or computer network. Innocently downloaded thinking it is going to enhance the performance of our electronic device, malware can be deceiving. Once in our computer system, it targets the computer and can take form of executable codes, scripts, active content, and other software. Malware is growing increasingly sophisticated, which is why you want to never click “download” to software prompts without first doing a serious background check.
3. Phishing: Known as the fraudulent practice of sending emails purporting to be from reputable companies in order to induce individuals to reveal personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers, phishing is growing increasingly sophisticated today. Some phishing artists have even managed to obtain the same phone numbers and emails as major banking chains, tricking individuals into providing pin numbers and account numbers.
4. Credential Replay: Credential replay takes place when an attacker copies a stream of messages between two parties and replays the stream to one or more of the parties, imitating the other party. The party that is being imitated to unknowingly divulges valuable information, not realizing that an attacker has stepped in as an imposter.
5. Social Engineering: On more of a psychological front, social engineering is the psychological manipulation of people into performing actions or divulging confidential information they would have otherwise kept to themselves. Phishing is technically a form of social engineering, in which people are tricked into releasing information when they believe the receiving party is of no malicious intent. This is all the more reason to triple check sources before you release critical data over the Internet.
6. Call Forwarding: As the process of forwarding a phone call from one to the next, phishers are actually securing individuals home phone numbers, as well as numbers of friends and family, as their main line when dialing up victims. Individuals then recognize the number, and pick it up, falling prey to what remains on the other line. Realizing that everyone is wary of a 1-800 number today, scammers are upping their game on the phone by using numbers we recognize more closely.
7. Spoofing: Known as a fraudulent or malicious practice in which communication is sent from an unknown source disguised as a source known to the receiver, spoofing is most commonly taking form as email spoofing today. Spoofed emails may request the recipient to replay with an account number for verification, or other banking details to confirm some kind of transaction in the account. Since spoofers replicate the senders, they can actually appear to be credit card companies or banks if the recipient does not check closely. Remember: financial institutions will never require you to present such critical information in an email like that. Do not fall for it.
And the list goes on. Many cyber attackers combine one or two of the above threats into a multi-versatile approach to hacking. Constantly evolving and changing their approach, they never remain complacent, which is why it’s so important that you take the time to educate yourself on these looming threats and what you can do.
Therefore, we will be capturing our upcoming informational event "Your Money... SWIPED!" on video so that you can learn more about "How to Protect Your Investments, Your Credit and Your Identity in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Cyber Thieves".
The event will take place at the Ridgewood Country Club on November 1, 2018, and featured speaker Adam K. Levin will discuss cybersecurity, privacy, identify theft, fraud, and personal finance.