Let us understand what cyber-attacks are
In the simplest terms, Cyber-Attacks is an attack conducted against single or more computers or networks by cybercriminals using one or more computers. A Cyber-Attack will disable computers maliciously, steal data or use a damaged computer as a starting point for other attacks. Cybercriminals use a range of tools, including malware, phishing, ransomware, denial of service, among other methods, to launch a cyber-attack.
Why should you be concerned about a Cyber-Attack? What damage can it cause you?
A total of at least 57 different ways in which cyber-attacks can have a detrimental impact on society, people, and corporations, and even nations have been described by cybersecurity analysts, varying from threats to life, triggering depression, regulatory penalties, or disturbing everyday operations. Cyber miscreants are a big deal. Electrical blackouts, failure of military equipment, and violations of national security secrets can be caused by cyber-attacks. They will allow important, confidential documents such as medical records to be compromised. They can disrupt the networks of phones and computers or paralyze systems, rendering data unavailable.
What impact do Cyber-Attacks have on us?
The effects of a single, successful cyber-attack can have far-reaching consequences, including financial losses, intellectual property theft, and loss of confidence and trust among consumers.
- Monetary impact– There could be immense overall monetary damages from cybercrime. Every day, more than 1.5 million people fell victim to some form of cyber fraud, ranging from basic login theft to extensive monetary scams, according to a 2012 study by Symantec. This adds up to more than $110 billion dollars lost to cyber fraud globally last year, with an estimated loss of $197 per victim.
- Emotional impact– Nearly 65% of global internet users and 73% of US web surfers are victims of cybercriminals, including computer viruses, online credit card fraud, and identity theft. America ranks eighth, behind China (83%) and Brazil and India, as the most abused nations (76 percent). A study conducted co-related emotional well-being to the effect of cybercrime reveals that the greatest responses of victims are felt furious (58 percent), frustrated (51 percent), and deceived (40 percent), and they are blamed for being assaulted in certain instances. Just 3% do not believe that would happen to them, and almost 80% do not expect cybercriminals to be taken to justice, resulting in an ironic hesitation and a feeling of helplessness to act.
The cybercrime of piracy has had a significant influence on the fields of film, music, and applications. Victim reports are difficult to quantify and much more difficult to validate, with figures varying from hundreds of millions to hundreds of billions of dollars annually.3. Social Impact– Cyber predators take full advantage of the Internet’s anonymity, transparency, and interconnectedness, thereby attacking the very roots of our current knowledge system. Bots, computer viruses, cyberbullying, cyber harassment, cyber warfare, cyber pornography, denial of service assaults, hacktivism, stealing of identity, ransomware, and spam may be part of cybercrime. Law enforcement agencies have failed to keep pace with cybercriminals, who cost billions each year to the global economy.
Let us see some examples of cyber-attacks in the past to comprehend the threat of cyber-attacks better
Defense Hack Department-
Those who yearn for a Department of Defence security position will have their job cut out for them. Want-to-be hackers attempt to attack his security system on a regular basis, and back in 1999, a Florida teenager managed to compromise the computer system of the military. Jonathan James was able to intercept highly classified emails by installing backdoor software within the computer system of the Defence Threat Reduction Agency. These included information on the International Space Station life support code and many other important matters.
Perhaps Melissa was created in 1999 by a New Jersey programmer with too much idle time on his hands, the first major computer virus that made the world’s population realize that their computers were not always safe. As a simple Microsoft Word program, David L. Smith disguised his virus, and he sent it to innumerable unsuspecting recipients. It then resends itself from the address book of each infected computer to the first 50 individuals. Melissa had compromised a full 20% of the world’s computers a long time ago, and big businesses such as Intel and Microsoft were forced to shut down all outgoing mail programs until the problem could be resolved.
The 1988 Robert Tappan Morris and the Morris Worm–
Morris, a student at Cornell University in the USA, maker of the first digital worm distributed via the Internet, believed that his progeny was not meant to hurt but was created with the harmless intent to determine the vastness of cyberspace. When a worm encountered a critical error, things went pear-shaped and morphed into a virus that replicated rapidly and began infecting other computers, resulting in a denial of service. The harm? 6000 computers were reportedly affected, causing repair bills of an estimated $10-$100 million dollars. While this incident may be called an unfortunate tragedy, it played a role in inspiring the calamitous style of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks that we see today.
Predictions of cyber-attacks for 2022
One of the major concerns of the upcoming threats to society regarding Cyberattacks must prevail along the lines of Invasive Technology.
- Invasive Technology- With sensors, cameras, and other devices that are embedded in homes, offices, factories, and public spaces, new technologies will further invade every element of daily life. Between the digital and physical worlds, a constant stream of data will flow, with attacks on the digital world directly affecting the physical world and creating dire consequences for privacy, well-being, and personal safety. With little knowledge about cyber threats, people may not understand the importance of cybersecurity, hence leaving a weakling in the infrastructure of their core business set-up. While big companies will not face much of the heat from attackers as they invest big in cybersecurity, it is the little business owners that will perhaps take the hit.
- Neglected Infrastructure– Threats from an increasing number of sources will face the technical infrastructure upon which organizations rely on man-made, natural, accidental, and malicious. Even short periods of downtime will have serious consequences in a world where constant connectivity and real-time processing are vital for doing business. Opportunistic attackers will find new ways to exploit vulnerable infrastructure, steal or manipulate critical data and cripple operations. It is not only the availability of information and services that will be compromised. Opportunistic attackers will discover new ways to target fragile networks, intercept or control sensitive data and cripple operations. It is not just the provision of information and resources that will be affected.
- The undermining of the business digital landscape- As new technology and the next generation of workers tarnish corporate reputations, undermine the credibility of knowledge, and inflict financial loss, bonds of confidence will break down. There will be a public criticism of those who lack accountability, put trust in the wrong people and controls, and use technologies in immoral ways. This morale crisis between companies, staff, customers, and clients would threaten the capacity of organizations to perform digital business.
- The threat to healthcare companies- Health care companies are under threat as they are the most targeted victims of phishing.
- Cloud under attack- The growing popularity of public cloud systems has resulted in a spike in cyber-attacks targeting infrastructure inside these networks and confidential data. As a result, a wide array of attacks has been perpetrated by cloud assets. Misconfiguring cloud environments this year was one of the key triggers of many cases of data misuse and assaults faced by organizations around the world. With updated techniques capable of evading simple cloud security products, cloud crypto-mining campaigns have increased. Docker hosts have been exposed and the crypto-mining campaigns of rivals operating in the cloud have been shut down. Researchers from Check Point have also seen a spike in the number of exploits against public cloud infrastructures that could stretch to and past 2022.
- Mobile devices under attack- Malware capable of stealing payment records, passwords, and funds from victims’ bank accounts has been driven out of the general threat environment in combination with the rising use of banks’ mobile apps and has also become a very widespread mobile threat.
Despite the prevalence of cyber threats, 99 percent of companies are not adequately covered, Check Point report states so. A cyber-attack, however, is preventable. An end-to-end cybersecurity infrastructure that is multi-layered and covers all networks, endpoints, mobile devices, and the cloud is the secret to cyber protection. You can consolidate monitoring of several security levels with the right design and control policies into a single glass pane. This helps you to correlate incidents through all network environments, mobile infrastructures, and cloud providers.
Main Cyber Attack Protection measures:
- Maintaining ventilation for protection.
- Choose avoidance over-identification.
- Protect all vectors for attack.
- Implement the most sophisticated innovations.
- Maintain up-to-date threat information.