Since the emergence of the internet, the world as we know it has only gotten more and more online. This has obviously resulted in a number of positive developments that make life more convenient, but each interaction of the world wide web carries with it the risk of encountering cyberattacks. This risk is more or less present, depending on what sites you frequent, but the risk is always there. These tips can help you protect yourself from online threats.
Cybersecurity starts with one important question. What is a cyberattack? The answer to this question is theoretically simple, but the issue is that these attacks come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Simply put, a cyberattack is any method hackers use to obtain the private data of users or businesses. However, there is a world of difference between a DDoS attack and a virus, for example. Understanding the basics of these categories is essential for preparing yourself for the threats they entail.
Malware is easily the most recognizable form of cyberattack. While the term malware is often conflated with “virus,” the latter is merely one of many forms a piece of malware can take.
In broad strokes, malware (malicious software) is any piece of software that is designed to harm the user in some way. One of the primary goals of malware is to obtain data, but some malware is designed to give hackers control of infected devices. An exhaustive list of different types of malware is just that, exhausting, but much of that information can be disregarded simply by installing antimalware software.
However, it’s also important to note that malware is largely avoidable. Staying away from unfamiliar sites can drastically reduce the odds of infection. Likewise, avoiding unsecured sites can reduce the risk factor without limiting your online activities quite as much. Encryption and decryption available on secure websites can protect users and the site itself by scrambling otherwise vulnerable data, and sites that lack these features are prone to being hacked for the purpose of installing malware.
While not all unsecured sites are genuine risks, the ultimate danger is that you can never be sure until it’s too late.
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are an interesting beast. On the one hand, they’re fairly uncommon, and they only really affect organizations, primarily businesses. However, they can also be incredibly devastating to those organizations when and if they occur.
They are both uncommon and effective for the same reason: DDoS attacks are the results of networks populated by “zombie” computers, those that have been infected with Trojan viruses and, therefore, taken over by hackers. These devices can then be leveraged to spam targeted networks with server requests with the intent to overload the network, ultimately causing it to shut down.
Point of fact, disruption is the primary goal of DDoS attacks rather than the procurement of illicit data. Businesses in particular stand to lose potential revenue during this kind of network shutdown, which has led some hackers to threaten an attack to extort businesses.
The primary method of preventing a DDoS attack is the use of specialized software, effectively fighting fire with fire. Likewise, there are numerous cybersecurity problems best solved with programs.
Securing your home or business network will entail a mixture of best practices and security software. For example, intrusion detection and prevention software are essential once an infiltration has already succeeded.
On the other hand, network traffic monitoring is an important preventative measure. By observing the behavior of the network’s users, you can identify suspicious behavior and track the activity associated with the IP address in question and even manually remove them from the network.
Staying safe online isn’t always simple, but the need to do so is a constant these days. These tips can help you build a cybersecurity system that can cover your bases, and then some.