Cybersecurity Problems in the Modern World
It seems that the internet is falling apart with each passing day. As the fine line between internet security and online privacy continues to fade away, it is becoming increasingly necessary to pay attention to the small details that can ensure the security of private and corporate data.
A recent report by the FBI confirms that a single Ransomware attack can cause damages of over $5,000.
Popular amongst corporate cybercriminals, Ransomware is especially designed to target businesses, academic establishments, financial institutions, etc. Ransomware either extracts credentials and sensitive data, or restricts access to the targeted data. Not only is access to the data frozen, but data is often also transmitted to the Ransomware developers; who are then free to exploit the data in the method that promises them the most return.
According to the experts at McAfee, attacks by Ransomware on mobile devices and backed-up data on cloud storage services are only going to increase in the future, if not countered proactively. Ransomware is fully capable of forcing victims to pay ransom to release stolen data. Sometimes, Ransomware is designed to demand the verification of email and bank accounts through inconspicuous forms. The collected information is then used to carry out orchestrated hack attacks.
The US and China are already engaged in a cold cyber-war. Hackers from both countries frequently attempt to sneak in to each others’ data centers. There is evidence to confirm that the US has been spying on the activities of German Ministers.
Standard data encryption can go a long way to ensure data security in this scenario. SMEs and startups looking to use popular cloud based services can benefit from end-to-end encryption.
Around 15 million people fall victim to ID theft annually in the US alone. Your virtual ID is a collection of the data you enter into websites and that which is generated during your internet session. Every app, website, tool and social media platform is busy collecting data. This massive bulk of data is frequently shared with third-parties, who tend to outsource data mining operations. With each extension, the odds of ID theft continue to increase.
Browsing in ‘Incognito mode’ doesn’t cut it anymore. You need to ensure that your IP address is hidden, and that your location is just as untraceable as your internet history. Information Security experts usually recommend tunneling for advanced protection in the face of increasing ID theft.
Edward Snowden’s Idea for Better Cybersecurity
Not too long ago, Snowden came clean about the dirty tactics employed by the NSA to get their hands on the data of the internet and cellphone users in the United States of America. Snowden advised the users to stay away from the likes of Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other popular services that pass on your data to the US authorities.
Regardless of the legitimacy of Edward Snowden’s claims, if the technology exists, then it is provides sufficient cause for concern.
It is imperative for users to encrypt their hard drives, and preferred means of communication when they exchange emails and make Skype calls. It is advisable to get rid of the browser plug-ins since the track your cookies and forward them to third parties with minimal check-and-balance for data handling. Another advantageous recommendation is the use Tor for online browsing; since it connects users through different nodes, making it impossible for the hackers to violate your privacy.
Is Your Metadata being Stored?
Australia has recently jumped on the bandwagon that promotes the idea of storing your metadata.
Journos: if officials say they aren’t capturing your web history, push back. “Metadata” reveals every site you hit. pic.twitter.com/IpW6b56kxl
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) November 2, 2015
This is one area where you will have to surrender. There is virtually no way of protecting 100% of your meta-data. You may be able to hide your exact identity, and your internet history, but a log of the bandwidth consumption will be created nonetheless. The problem with meta-data logging is that you can only counter logging for the meta-data that is generated at your end (on your device).
Our Idea for Better CyberSecurity
Hackers, surveillance agencies and your governmental authorities are hell bent on ripping apart your online security and internet privacy to bits and pieces. Having researched the InfoSec industry for years, I was able to identify a few tricks that most experts agree on.
The first recommendation to you would be to get an updated anti-virus. There is an ever increasing need for the anti-viruses and we feel it is not only risky but constitutes to a certain degree of stupidity if you decide to not to get an anti-virus for your device.
The second recommendation would be a VPN service. A Virtual Private Network is not only designed to protect your device but it is also made to ensure that your data remains safe. The tunneling and encryption works to provide you a concrete-like security to push the hackers and other surveillance agencies away.