Ways To Keep Your Smartphone Safe From Hackers

Every day, there’s another news report about some major corporation being hacked and millions of people’s personal information compromised. While it’s necessary to be aware of these threats, it’s also important to remember that hackers aren’t just targeting big businesses but also individuals. Smartphones are becoming increasingly popular targets for hackers since they contain so much personal information.

If you’re worried about your smartphone being hacked, you can do a few things to protect yourself.

Keep Your Operating System and Apps up to Date

Make sure that your operating system and all apps are up to date. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in older software versions. Guard.io digital security advises keeping everything on your phone up to date will make it much harder for them to get into your device.

Use a Secure Lock Screen

Many people use simple, easy-to-guess passwords for their lock screens, like “1234” or “1111.” But if a hacker gets past your lock screen, they could have access to all of your personal information. To make it harder for them to get in, use a longer password, including numbers, letters, and special characters. If your device offers fingerprint or facial recognition, use that instead.

Don’t Root or Jailbreak Your Phone

Rooting or jailbreaking your phone can give you access to many cool features, making it easier for hackers to get into your device. If you don’t need to root or jailbreak your phone, it’s best to avoid doing so. There’s a reason major phone corporations warn you not to.

Be Careful What You Click on or Download

One of the most common ways hackers get into people’s phones is by getting them to click on a malicious link or download a malicious app. If you’re not sure if something is safe, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid it.

Use a VPN

Virtual Private Network can help keep your data safe when using public Wi-Fi by encrypting it. This makes it much harder for hackers to intercept your data and use it for malicious purposes.

Don’t Store Sensitive Information on Your Device

If you don’t need to store sensitive information on your device, it’s best not to. This includes things like banking information, passwords, and personal photos. If you must store this kind of information on your phone, ensure that it’s well-protected with a password or PIN.

Avoid Public WI-Fi

Public Wi-Fi is one of the most common places for hackers to target people since it’s often unsecured. If you can, avoid using public Wi-Fi and use your data plan instead.

Use Two-Factor Authentication

Two-factor authentication is an extra layer of security that can be used on many online accounts. It typically involves using a code that’s sent to your phone in addition to your password. This makes it much harder for hackers to access your account, even if they have your password.

Keep an Eye on Your Apps

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on your apps’ permissions. If an app asks for permission to do something that doesn’t make sense, like access your camera or contacts, it could signify that it’s malicious.

Know What’s Happening on Your Device

Keep an eye on your device’s battery life, data usage, and storage. If you see anything that doesn’t seem right, it could signify that your phone has been hacked.

Back Up Your Data Regularly

If your phone is hacked, you could lose all your data. To protect yourself, make sure to back up your data regularly. This way, if your phone is ever hacked, you’ll be able to restore it from a backup.

Get a Security App

There are many different security apps available that can help to protect your phone from hackers. These apps can offer features like virus scanning, remote wiping, and more.

Use a Mobile Security Solution

Mobile security solutions like Lookout can help to keep your phone safe from hackers by offering features like malware scanning, lost device protection, and more.

Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities in older software versions. Keeping everything up to date will make it much harder for them to get into your device.

5 Big Advantages Of Cybersecurity Associate Degrees.

In today’s world, there are not many fields in higher demand than cybersecurity. Job roles are available to people with a career in cybersecurity in many industries, ranging from banking industries and other businesses to government agencies. Since everything is digitized nowadays, organizations are ready to pay a lot to protect their information. 

If your interest is to limit cybercrime and keep organizations from hackers while you enjoy a lucrative career, then cybersecurity is your answer. Maybe due to your current job and other obligations you must meet, you don’t have enough time or funds to obtain a University degree in cybersecurity.

Worry no more. An associate cybersecurity degree can ease your way into this remarkable career. This article is written to uncover the significant advantages of cybersecurity associate degrees. 

What Is An Associate Degree?

You most certainly are familiar with BSc, MSc, and Ph.D. degrees. Perhaps you don’t know so much about associate degrees, especially if you are new to countries like Canada and USA.

Associate degrees can be obtained in University institutes, community colleges, affiliated colleges, and junior colleges. Like university degrees, associate degrees boost employment prospects compared to an ordinary secondary education level. 

Below are the benefits you can derive from cybersecurity associate degrees.

It Can Serve As A Foundation In Cybersecurity 

If you are a computer enthusiast and are considering a career in the IT sector, an associate degree in cybersecurity can be an excellent way to start. 

If you lack proficiency in cybersecurity, programming, and network frameworks, beginning with a cybersecurity associate degree will ensure you are acquainted with basic cybersecurity procedures. 

During your two-year study for an associate degree in cybersecurity at one of the institutions above, you will be exposed to the foundational skills for more advanced degrees in the future. 

You will have technical skills such as software development, network security and cloud, IT administration, and cybersecurity. Personal skills you are likely to get are communication skills, teamwork, problem-solving, organization, and project management. 

It Is A Perfect Option For Working Class Citizens

One of the beautiful things about junior colleges and community colleges is how they run their programs. They create a method that puts the busy schedules of their students (often referred to as non-traditional students) into consideration.

Unlike the typical students, students of community colleges are usually experienced either in their field of study or an entirely different one. They often have more responsibilities to shoulder than students looking to get a Bachelor’s degree.

Such responsibilities may include a full-time job, running a family, taking care of a relative, etc. A cybersecurity associate degree is your best bet to maintain a balance between your life obligations and a degree in the IT sector. 

The cybersecurity associate degree program offers you scheduling flexibility to facilitate your other responsibilities. Evening and online classes are available to allow you to run your other businesses during office hours. 

Furthermore, a cybersecurity associate degree enables you to meet an appropriate network of connections as employers troop in to recruit experienced personnel. You may as well meet the right person that your career needs to propel among your colleagues.

Cybersecurity Associate Degrees Are Cost-Effective 

Several profit-oriented organizations charge thousands of dollars to learn a particular training course in cybersecurity and even mandate it for students to complete payment before starting such training. 

There are some costly but worthy training programs that you can’t avoid as you advance in your cybersecurity career. However, due to the tax benefits and financial structure of the community colleges, they provide incredible value for the money their students pay. 

In addition, there is the availability of loans, scholarships, and grants that makes the payment for your cybersecurity associate degree program easy, which may not be enjoyed elsewhere. 

It is excellent information for anyone interested in cybersecurity who can’t afford to make a critical financial commitment. Considering this, you can visit a junior college and enroll in a cybersecurity associate degree program to give your career a good start it needs.

Cybersecurity Associate Degrees Makes Some Jobs Available For You

Obtaining academic credentials is a terrific way to get your first job. A cybersecurity associate degree can help you kick start your career in the IT sector. Assuming you are already in the industry, these degrees can help to earn a raise, be promoted, or help you in getting to your desired height in your field.

Though many jobs in cybersecurity may require a bachelor’s degree, an associate degree can also land you an entry-level position. 

Assuming your organization has no strong structure for dealing with security issues, your cybersecurity associate degree will probably give you the information and skills required to set up procedures that will guarantee the security of the organization’s digital assets.

Some examples of the job positions you can fit in with a cybersecurity associate degree are listed below.

  • Data Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Information Security Engineer
  • Network Administrator
  • Security Specialists

Time Is Maximized

It is typical to complete an associate degree program within two years on a full-time basis. This period is long enough to learn what you need to become an entry-level cybersecurity specialist. 

Although you may not learn everything you need to know about cybersecurity within these two years, community degrees are structured to provide you with job placement. If a two-year program can give you that, I think it is worth the time and resources utilized. 

Get Equipped To Start Your Cybersecurity Career

As you have decided to start your cybersecurity career journey, it will be worthwhile to look into community college programs around you to get enrolled into one.

Junior college cybersecurity programs are often structures that aren’t easy to beat. The reasons behind that are not far-fetched as they possess the potential to minimize expenses while giving operational experience and a degree with adaptability choices later.

Regardless of the structure, your learning takes, it would help if you kept up to date with new advances in cybersecurity. Innovations and malware dangers continually spring up, so you should remain associated with the general security conversation. Do this and become an indispensable asset to every employer.

Protect Your Digital Footprint: 6 Guidelines From Asiaciti Trust & Capital One

Are you worried about your organization’s exposure to digital risks? What about your personal exposure?

If you’re not, you should be, even if you feel you have a good handle on the basic principles of cyber security. That’s because digital threats abound. They’re all around us, whether we like it or not.
Take the ransomware attack that temporarily disrupted fuel supplies to the eastern United States. Or the third-party intrusions that resulted in massive data breaches at Target and Home Depot. Or the unauthorized data release that spewed millions of personal and corporate records held by international fiduciaries like Asiaciti Trust and a number of global law firms as well.

You’re not immune to these risks. But you can take measures to protect yourself before you become a victim. Let’s take a look at six things your firm and its security vendors can do right now to shore up your cyber security.

1. Restrict Who Can Access Sensitive Information

Less access isn’t always “better.” Your employees and contractors do need to be able to view and edit the data they need to do their jobs. Technical team members need access to backends, applications, and other sensitive areas of your digital footprint, as well.

But these individuals should only have access to the systems and data that are absolutely necessary for their job functions. They shouldn’t have more access than needed simply “because.” That’s a recipe for unauthorized data releases and makes it more difficult to determine who’s at fault for them.

2. Implement Strict Email Security Protocols

Email is inherently insecure. There’s a good reason you know not to send sensitive data like account numbers or passwords over unencrypted email. You don’t know who’s lurking out there, watching what you send.

As careful as you are to watch what you say in unencrypted emails, you can’t control what your employees and contractors do with emails they receive themselves. But you can clarify the consequences of carelessness with strict email security protocols warning against clicking links in emails, opening emails from unknown senders, and downloading any suspicious attachments.

3. Enable Two-Factor Authentication Whenever Possible

Two-factor authentication (2FA) makes it much harder for attackers to gain unauthorized access to password-protected accounts. Not impossible, of course, but harder. 

Enable it for any company account that allows it; most enterprise software does at this point. If a particular system or process doesn’t yet use 2FA, look for an alternative, as the status quo leaves you vulnerable to compromise. 

4. Use Non-Invasive Employee Monitoring Tools

Remote employee monitoring is not necessarily invasive — not if you use the proper tools, at least. Which you should, especially in a tight labor market; nothing saps employee morale faster than the knowledge that their every keystroke is logged.

Look for tools that monitor “uptime” or “active time,” rather than the content of employee activities. Reserve more invasive methods for monitoring sensitive areas of your digital footprint, which should record login attempts and data transmissions anyway. 

Look for unusual patterns of activity, such as employee accounts active during the wee hours of the morning. These patterns can be suggestive of malicious insider activity.

5. Back Up Important Data Frequently

The best way to protect against data loss is to minimize the amount of data you can lose. Not by deleting files every day, of course, but by backing them up in multiple secure locations — both in the cloud and on physical storage media housed away from prying eyes.

The best practice is to back up data at least once daily, but twice a day is better. You never know when a ransomware attack will strike, after all.

6. Use Encrypted Email and File Sharing for Sensitive Documents

We’ve already explored the inherent insecurity of conventional email. The alternatives: encrypted email and direct file-sharing services. They’re free or cheap — though enterprises typically have to pay more per seat — and can support large file sizes. For really big transfers, you might need to use a thumb drive, but 95% of your data sharing needs can occur in the encrypted cloud.

Leave No Digital Stone Unturned

Shoring up your organization’s cyber security is not a “one and done” activity. It’s not even an occasional task that you can delegate to one or two people within your organization.

No. It’s a systemwide campaign that never really ends. Sure, a lot of the items on this list qualify as low-hanging fruit, where simple fixes can markedly improve preparedness. But even those fixes require constant attention.

If you’re not already doing so, it’s time to take your organization’s digital security seriously. It’s time to leave no stone unturned in your effort to ward off the bad guys.

Will Ransomware and Cyberattacks Increase Due to The Ongoing Russia Ukraine War?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is triggering the global fear of major cyber attacks, especially targeting the U.S. and European systems. Till now, there hasn’t been any major cyber attack outside the country’s borders, but there are very high chances of doing so. In fact, back in January, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency published a CISA alert pointing out the threats to American infrastructure by Russian state-sponsored cybercrime.

Russia holds a strong history of deploying cyber attacks in Ukraine and other parts of the world. It is suspected to be involved in many of the major past cyber attacks, such as the attack that turned down Ukraine’s power grids in 2015 or cyber attacks in Georgia. Similarly, the Russian military is also accused internationally of the severe NotPetya malware attack back in June 2017. NotPetya attack was so intense and widespread that it targeted the Ukrainian government, energy, and financial sectors and caused billions of dollars in damages.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, both the government-backed hackers and other cybercriminals allied with Moscow have become active again in deploying new and damaging cyber attacks across the countries, targeting critical infrastructure and other most commonly used productivity tools. In fact, many cybercriminals in Russia tend to follow the government objectives in order to keep law parties away from them for some time. However, such cybercriminals mostly do not follow instructions properly and often go wild. For example, the ransom ware gang Conti made a statement that it will initiate attacks on the important infrastructure of anyone who launched cyber attacks or any other war activities against Russia. The Russian government is also known to keep a blind eye against major cybercrimes that are driven from its borders unless they also target any Russian assets.

There are many human rights groups and other organizations across the world that are somehow supporting Ukraine. So, the cybercriminals can make them their prime targets and can try to damage them as much as they could. Moreover, all the cyberattacks that initially target Ukraine can end up becoming massive cyber weapons.

Digital Attacks on Ukraine Before War

Even before the Russian invasion, there were many digital attacks carried out on Ukrainian. For example, the Ukrainian government, state service, and foreign ministry websites went down even before the Russian invasion started.

Some of the recent cyber activities reported include:

  • 70+ Ukrainian government websites are spoiled in cyber attacks. Websites of the education ministry, foreign ministry, agriculture, energy, and sports ministries, and similar other Ukrainian government websites are hit by cyber attacks.
  • Microsoft Threat Intelligence Center (MSTIC) has detected proof of destructive malware operations that are targeting Ukrainian organizations.
  • As per Forbes, right after the conflict started, the suspected cyber-attacks sourced from Russia observed an increase of over 800% in a 48-hour period.
  • Russia is anticipated to have hacked Viasat, a US satellite communications provider, right at the invasion day.
  • Recently, the national internet provider of Ukraine, Ukrtelecom, has confirmed a cyber attack, as its connectivity collapsed to 13% of pre-war levels.

In short, there is no doubt in accepting the fact that cyberattacks are on the rise ever since the invasion begin and things are not looking to get better soon.

How to Remain Protected from Cyber Attacks in Present Threats?

The current cyber threats, the warnings around them, and the fear of devastating outcomes are all meant to create uncertainty and worry. But the right strategy is to be aggressive instead of being worried. If you set up proper cybersecurity protection measures with up-to-date intelligence, then you can minimize the impact of becoming a victim of any cyberattack. But the question is what cybersecurity measures are effective in the present scenario?

Every organization has different digital needs and connectivity approaches, so the cybersecurity measures also vary accordingly. However, some of the common cybersecurity practices that almost all organization need today are as follow:

  • Patching: Patching stands as one of the most vital security measures that can drastically enhance overall security. Software or operating systems mostly release the patch of any bug or issue they detect and request their users to patch the software asap. Cybercriminals often tend to exploit such loopholes, so it is vital to patch the systems regularly and keep your software/OS updated with new security features.
  • Identify and Fix IT Black Holes: Every organization has its set of black holes in IT infrastructure that act as open doors for attackers. Therefore, you should ensure robust monitoring of the environment carried out by experienced professionals so that all such black holes can be fixed on time.
  • Enhance your Current Cyber Infrastructure: You should look into your current cybersecurity infrastructure and try to enhance it by following best practices of vulnerability and configuration management, protective controls and architecture, identity and access management, etc.
  • Prepare your Response: Despite comprehensive cybersecurity measures, there are still chances of becoming a victim of any cyberattack. Therefore, you should also have a proper response plan in place that you can execute right away once you detect the attack. The plan should include how to restore the system and data, how to isolate the malware from the system, how to remove malware, how to minimize downtime, etc.

Wrapping Up

It is not easy to forecast what’s the future of the Russia/Ukraine conflicts. However, one thing we know is that cybercriminals have come active in deploying damaging attacks on Ukrainian organizations and then elevating those attacks across other parts of the world. The recent cyberattacks on Ukrainian government websites and other organizations is a proof that things are getting worse gradually.

The ideal approach in this situation is to first keep yourself up-to-date with all the cyber-related news. Secondly, you should enforce all the cybersecurity measures that deem important for your organization. Overall, there is no such thing as full-proof cybersecurity, but you can minimize the chances of becoming a victim of ransomware and cyberattacks to a great extent with the right cyber strategies in place.

Pros and Cons of a Cybersecurity Business

Cybersecurity is a booming market, as companies adopt new security practices to stay ahead of hackers. If you’re considering starting a cybersecurity business, there are pros and cons to consider before deciding if it’s right for you.

To learn more about how to start a cybersecurity business, check out this post

Pros of a Cybersecurity Business

1. Massive Market

As we mentioned, cybersecurity is booming. The global cybersecurity industry is worth more than $150 billion and is expected to grow a whopping 125% by 2026. The market is being driven by the increase in computer and internet usage, improved hacker skills, and various regulations. 

Additionally, Machine to machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connections are increasing the need for cybersecurity, driving demand in the market. The need for cloud security and information security is also boosting demand.

In 2020, the average cost to businesses as a result of hackers was $8.64 million and had increased steadily during previous years. Demand for cybersecurity services will therefore remain high for the foreseeable future, as companies are willing to pay for those services to prevent losses from security breaches.

2. Excellent Profit Potential

For analysis and installation of cybersecurity systems, prices vary from $1,000 to upwards of $10,000. Ongoing security monitoring ranges from $1,000 to $10,000 per month, so clearly, you can build up quite a monthly revenue stream. Ongoing costs are also relatively low, with gross profit margins for cybersecurity businesses of between 70% and 80%.

Because of these numbers, cybersecurity businesses are often a target for investors, so as you grow your company you might be able to attract venture capital, with the goal of being acquired in 3 to 5 years. Acquisitions bring big payouts, so your money potential could be enormous.

3. Start Small

You can start your cybersecurity business from home for less than $10,000. If you already have technology systems in place that you can use for your business, your costs to get started are far less. Even as a solopreneur you can make a good living and have money to put back into the business to grow. Eventually, you can get a space and hire staff, to begin to grow your operation.  

Cybersecurity is one of the few businesses that you can start from home and rapidly grow into an investable company. Imagine your small investment in a home-based business turning into a multi-million acquisition payday within 5 years!

4. Make an Impact

With a cybersecurity business, you’ll be providing huge value to businesses, potentially saving them millions of dollars that might be lost from security breaches. Making businesses more secure, and thus in better financial positions, means that you’re also contributing to building a healthier overall economy. This is good for everyone, not just businesses. 

Cybersecurity can thus be a gratifying business to pursue. You’ll know that you are contributing to society, and making everyone more financially secure, as well as cyber secure. 

Cons of a Cybersecurity Business

1. Education Required

Becoming a cybersecurity expert takes extensive education. While you can take a host of online classes for very little money, you’ll have to be very dedicated to self-study to build the necessary skills. Alternatively, you can pursue a formal degree, which will take several years and come with a price tag. If you don’t have or obtain enough education to really be an expert, you’re not likely to be successful. 

Additionally, because technology is always evolving, continuing education will be required. This will be a never-ending process, as cybersecurity technology struggles to keep up with hacker technology. This means ongoing time and money that you’ll have to spend so that your business can keep up with the competition.

2. Competitive Market

A booming industry also means a competitive market. There are tens of thousands of cybersecurity companies, including some very large companies, to compete with. It may take some time for your small cybersecurity company to break into that market. This makes it even more important for you to have extensive education to give you credibility and to make sure that you can offer outstanding services to businesses so that you’ll retain customers.

You’ll also have to invest in some marketing to get noticed and go knock on a lot of doors. Your best bet when you get started is to call on local small businesses directly to sell your services. This, of course, takes another skill set. Not everyone is good at sales and marketing, but you’ll have to learn to be good at it to be successful. 

3. Mistakes Can Be Costly

In this litigious day and age, if you make a mistake that costs a business a significant amount of money, you could be sued. This is nothing to take lightly when losses can significant. When a data breach happens, often consumers will file suit against the company, which may in turn file suit against your company.

For these reasons, it’s important, first of all, to set your company up properly from the beginning.  If you just run your company as a sole proprietorship, you’ll be personally liable for any claims against you. This means your personal assets, including your home, will be at risk.  If you set up your business as a limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation, you will have personal liability protection. Your business can still be sued, but you will not be personally liable.

You also need to make sure that your business is fully insured, particularly with professional liability insurance, which protects your company from losses incurred by errors. 

In Closing

It’s important to understand these pros and cons so that you know what you’re getting into by starting a cybersecurity business. It offers unlimited opportunities, but you may encounter some challenges along the way. By starting a cybersecurity business, however, you’ll be providing a valuable service that benefits everyone, and that has its own rewards. 

Global Brands Focus On Improving Data Security 

Following the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, the way that businesses handle our data has come under intense scrutiny in the last few years. Now, some of the biggest names in tech are taking steps to improve customer confidence and ensure that data privacy is a priority. According to CNBC, Google has just announced that it plans to buy cybersecurity firm Mandiant for $5.4 billion. Should the deal go through, Mandiant will focus on increasing security for customer data stored on Google’s Cloud.

The Google/Mandiant acquisition is the second-largest ever for the search engine, topped only by their purchase of Motorola Mobility in 2012. But Google isn’t the only tech giant focusing on increasing data security, this trend is being picked up by other big names too.

Microsoft Closes The Gap 

Microsoft is investing heavily in data security and has recently announced that they’ll be establishing their biggest-yet data center in India over the next few years. The center will be spread across three sites in Hyderabad and will deliver advanced Cloud solutions and data security to individuals, start-ups, and major enterprises. It will also offer its security services to government and educational institutions globally. The development will be Microsoft’s largest investment in data security to date. 

The Microsoft Azure brand has been in the news recently after a critical bug in Azure Automation was discovered. A serious security flaw compromised customer data and identity information and put individuals and huge conglomerates and financial institutions at risk. The bug had been fixed in December 2021, but there was still an insecure endpoint that was a potential issue. In being transparent about how they manage and look after customers’ data Azure is building trust, proving that no one is infallible and that they’re prepared to take the necessary steps to improve their security.

Amazon and QuintessenceLabs Take Action

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has always assured customers that they look after their data, and they put their money where their mouth is by launching Data Exchange for APIs. The new APIs allow for AWS-native authentication and governance and make the transfer of information safer as they continually update integrated datasets. A virtual data exchange API requires state-of-the-art security to keep all information it shares secure, and AWS aims to do this by ensuring that updates are applied automatically in real-time, as information changes. 

Quantum cybersecurity leader QuintessenceLabs is also making great strides in data protection and privacy. They’ve recently raised additional funding to develop their quantum-safe solutions that offer support to communities globally. Yahoo reports that QLabs will be focusing on delivering advanced cybersecurity solutions to an international customer base that deals with large volumes of consumer and corporate data.

With such big names emphasizing the importance of data security and taking steps to improve their offerings there’s a chance that future cyber attacks won’t have as much of an impact. If the tech giants keep investing in thwarting sophisticated cyberattacks there’s a better chance that everyone’s data – from individual to global conglomerate – will remain protected and uncompromised.

5 Important Reasons Why Every Business Needs Cyber Security Services

With the world morphing into a digital sphere, using technology for your business is a necessity that will help you keep up with the competition. With access to information and analytical tools, your company can complete business operations faster than ever, boosting its productivity and profits. Unfortunately, digitalization means that your company becomes vulnerable to malicious activity from outside sources.

As industry giants possess more valuable data, they should be the prime targets for hackers; however, it’s usually the smaller companies without sufficient cyber security that suffer the most. When your company is under cyber attack, you’re risking a breach of confidential information that may halt your operations. That’s why, as a successful business owner, you should realize the importance of cyber protection as it’ll keep your data safe, prevent losses, increase productivity, and preserve your reputation.

With the constant threat of penetrating your company’s system, it’d be best to hire professionals that can ensure its protection. Below, you’ll find some of the reasons why you and every other business owner need cyber security services.

Protect Your Reputation

When you’re dealing with a cyber-attack, you risk your company’s reputation. When your data is breached or stolen, it becomes vulnerable to malicious use by cybercriminals. It means that your clients are in danger as their sensitive data like credit card numbers or addresses is leaked to third parties.

Unable to guarantee your customer’s safety, you might lose their trust. That’s why it’s necessary to have protection when an attack occurs. With a tarnished reputation among clients and the general public, you may suffer a decrease in your profits. What’s more, even one such accident could affect you for a long time if you’re deemed as unreliable.

By hiring professionals who can do a complete audit of your IT infrastructure and keep up with its security needs, you’ll be able to avoid this type of problem altogether. To ensure that your company’s sensitive information and those of your clients are protected at all times, you also need to check the compliance efforts of the software tools you use and what external certifications they obtain. For example, specialists from Rescale have a separate Security & Compliance page on their website.

Offer Protection Against Malicious Activity

The constant threat of an online cyber attack is real, and businesses are the biggest victims. When it comes to safeguarding your company’s information and assets, you can’t afford to take chances.

Every business should know that most cyber criminals come from outside sources, and that’s why it’s necessary to have protection from the moment an attack occurs. It’s why you need to hire cyber security experts who can identify and block any malicious activity that might occur in your network. These professionals are the ones who choose cyber security solutions, assess your company’s risks, and develop a business continuity plan to defend against cyber-attacks.

The moment a device is connected to the internet, it becomes an entry point for hackers; therefore, you should ensure that they’re protected at all times. A good cyber security service will provide continuous protection for all your devices, such as laptops, PCs, mobile phones, tablets, and servers.

Enable Your Business to Operate Faster

Every successful business has a powerful strategic vision; however, it doesn’t mean you can make it a reality without technology on your side. A good solution will boost your productivity and keep your business running smoothly.

With sufficient cyber protection in place, you can use your time more efficiently by focusing on other aspects of your business, such as marketing or sales. You’ll be able to access information quicker, complete tasks faster, and get a competitive edge with superior efficiency.

Help You Cut Costs

You might think that cyber security is expensive; however, the costs of dealing with a data breach are even more substantial. If you let malicious activity go unnoticed, you risk losing valuable data that compromises your company’s reputation and earnings.

If a cyber-attack occurs, your company will experience many operational losses. The lost essential resources might include employee time spent dealing with the breach and money spent on repairing systems; therefore, it’s wise to invest in cybersecurity services as soon as possible. If you hire professionals to protect your business from cybercriminals, you’ll save money in the long run by avoiding paying for damages.

Keep You in Compliance with Regulations and Laws

The world is becoming increasingly digitalized, which has led to the establishment of regulations and laws that govern the use of technology by businesses. This is meant to protect users from possible breaches of privacy or security; therefore, every organization has an obligation to meet these standards to comply with local laws.

As a responsible businessman, you should understand the importance of meeting all regulations so that your company doesn’t suffer from legal issues in the future.

Conclusion

Protecting your company from cyber attacks is no longer an option; instead, it’s a necessity for your business to keep up with the competition. With technology developing at a rapid pace and its wide implementation, every company must make sure that it’s protected from cyber-attacks because they can affect your operations as well as profits. As a business owner, it’s your responsibility to do everything in your power to protect your clients, employees, and shareholders.

If you want to be sure that your company is safe and secure, you don’t need to worry because there are numerous solutions available on the market. When you hire experts who are capable of securing your IT infrastructure and incorporating new security measures, you’ll be able to save money in the long run. Your company’s data and reputation are at stake; therefore, don’t let a breach of security happen to you.

How Are Nations Dealing With Online Fraud?

Online fraud is one of the most comprehensive tools in the cybercriminals’ arsenal, and for very good reasons. With the unprecedented quantity, sophistication, severity, and breadth of cyber attacks taking place at present, there is, as a result, an enormous amount of online fraud taking place. 

It is well-known around the world that online fraud is a top cyber threat. But, online fraud is certainly nothing new. Just like any other cybercrime, it is a global activity, well known by authorities and security specialists, that has been relentlessly perpetuated by cybercriminals and cybercriminal groups for a long time now. 

For one, cybercriminals (criminals operating online) are always looking for the most efficient ROI or Return on Investment. This means that the tactics they choose to use are always tuned for maximum gains with the least amount of resources spent and with as minimal effort as possible. These gains can be; personal financial gains for the cybercriminal, collection of confidential information, or part of an operation by a nation-state. These operations can also span across several campaigns, and with the help of several actors across the globe 

For these reasons and more, online fraud is hugely popular in the cybercriminal community and hugely successful to boot. Also, the statistics on online fraud show everything there is to tell. In 2017 alone, according to an FBI report, a loss of around $1.5 billion was served to victims of online fraud.

However, online fraud is a very general, very large umbrella term that includes several types of cybercrime that are based on social engineering scams and other crimes. When all of them are put together, the amount is a far cry from just a few billion in damage to the economy. Hundred of billions in losses hit the economy every year in total where fraud is concerned. As far as cybercrime in general, it is shocking that this figure just scratches the surface. 

All together, cybercrime costs the economy trillions of dollars, and the worst part about it is that most organizations are unprepared for cybercrime. Adding to that, most internet users are clueless about cybersecurity.

This is why it is important to understand what online fraud is, how nations deal with online fraud, and finally the best steps to take to limit the risk of online fraud as much as possible.

What is Online Fraud?

Online fraud is differentiated from theft, as it does not involve a direct breach or theft operation, but relies on deception, tricks, and social engineering tactics to lure victims into willingly handing over sensitive information that benefits the cybercriminals orchestrating the act.

There are several types of cybercrime that fall under the category of online fraud, ranging from small-time crook operations to large-scale campaigns. To put this topic into perspective concerning just how diverse the online fraud landscape is, some good examples are; 

  • Social engineering tactics such as phishing, smishing, vishing, and others
  • Website spoofing
  • Direct identity theft
  • Chargeback fraud
  • Card testing fraud
  • Marketplace fraud
  • Catfishing scams
  • Auction scams
  • Stolen credit card scams
  • Lottery scams
  • Bitcoin scams
  • Charity scams
  • Employment scams

Online fraud is definitely not limited to the above and will grow and get more creative as the industry and technology progresses.

How Nations Are Dealing With Online Fraud

The way online fraud is dealt with differs greatly between countries. Also, the way online fraud targets and affects a nation varies a lot. Naturally, cybercriminals want to hit developing nations where they can steal money, identities or conduct other long-ranging scams as efficiently as possible. This means that highly developed countries with a large population are always a default target.

Nations such as the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands are examples of developed nations that are hit hard by online fraud such as identity theft. 

As far as email phishing scams go, which are the most popular method of online fraud today (as well as the easiest to orchestrate) the list is as follows; the U.S., the UK, Australia, Japan, Spain, France, and finally Germany. These are the nations where thousands of phishing scams are successfully carried out. 

The most impersonated brands out there that online fraudsters spoof to lure victims into traps are; Microsoft, DHL, LinkedIn, Amazon, Google, and Paypal.

As far as dealing with online fraud, some nations are better at it than others. Statistics show that (via an NCSI score) Germany, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, and Japan do well in terms of fighting cybercrime and online fraud. On the other hand, New Zealand, France, and The United States are at the bottom of the list when it comes to the ratio of being hit by cybercrime versus how effective the nation is at fighting against it.

An important aspect of this is how the government of a nation reacts towards cybercrime and online fraud. In that aspect, Japan, the Netherlands, and Germany are the most successful and focused on spreading awareness and stopping these acts. 

There are several laws, regulations, and frameworks in place that improve information security and aim to spread awareness about online fraud. Some of these are; regulations like the GDPR, NIST, CISA, the UK ICO, the European Anti-Fraud Office, and many others. Law enforcement agencies, like the FBI and EUROPOL, also battle online fraud every day.

How to Fight Against Online Fraud

Protection against online fraud begins at the user level because most online fraud can be avoided with a bit of care which means reducing human error to a minimum. As simple as it sounds, applying this to a population of over 4 billion connected people across over 30 billion devices and thousands of organizations is a gargantuan, seemingly impossible task.

What can be done is at the user level, and the employee education level. Primarily this means awareness education and training when it comes to phishing. Secondly, this is about understanding password hygiene and internet best practices. Finally, it is about understanding that oversharing information on social media can also lead to online fraud.

Protecting Yourself From Trending Cybercrime Techniques

Cybercrime is on the rise because so many of us spend all of our time working and shopping and interacting online. Cybercrime is becoming more sophisticated than ever and simple malware protection is not enough anymore to keep your computer and your data safe when you are online. Many people are not truly aware of the many kinds of cybercrime techniques that can be used to get access to people’s accounts and identity and this is often the root of successful attacks that people say they never saw coming.

If you work or shop or spend a lot of time online, you need to be aware of the various kinds of cybercrime attacks that you could fall prey to. Being aware of the kinds of attacks that you might be exposed to can make all of the difference in protecting your personal information while you are online.

If you are looking for more information about cybercrime techniques and how to avoid them, you need to read on!

Common Cybercrime Techniques and How to Avoid Them

1. Social Engineering

Social engineering attacks are one of the most difficult to manage cybercrime attacks. These attacks are malicious activities that are done through personal interactions. This kind of attack usually uses psychological manipulation that makes people give out sensitive information that hackers are trying to gain access to. This is a common technique that is used against people who are older or who are not aware of these kinds of attacks.

You can protect yourself from these kinds of attacks by being aware that businesses and other official entities will not try to gain your password, social security information, or other sensitive information. These are the usual red flags that will indicate that this contact is not normal and should be ended immediately.

2. Phishing Scams

This is one of the most common cybercrime attack methods. This kind of attack works by causing fear or a sense of urgency in someone which leads them to click on an infected link or interact with a landing page that is not actually for the company that is supposedly reaching out to them. These are often emails and they can be quite cleverly crafted to look official and like they can be trusted.

This is an easy kind of scam to avoid because if you hover your mouse over the link in question it will not be the right link for the company that supposedly reached out to you. Phishing is easy to avoid if you always assume that any email that you receive could include content that you do not want to interact with. Look for signs that are obvious like glaring misspellings or grammar that does not make sense and hold your mouse over any links in the email without clicking. This will make sure that you identify a threatening email and delete it before a hacker gains access to your data.

3. Spoofing

This is a more involved cybercrime that involves making a website that looks like the real one and then deceiving people into interacting with it in an effort to resolve an account problem or pay a bill. Some of these fake sites are very convincing and can look a lot like the actual site in question. This site can be used to spread malware, get your credit card information, or your password.

You can avoid spoofing by paying attention to the link that is at the top of the page when you navigate to a site. If the link does not connect to the name of the company and is not the official website link, do not click anything that is on the spoofed page. 

You will want to be wary of any kind of contact that sends you to a page that requires a lot of personal information as well. It might be legitimate, but you should know what the normal landing page for a company you do business with looks like. Inserting any kind of sensitive data into a new kind of landing page that you have not seen before is always a bad idea.

4. Ransomware

Ransomware is often successful when you have failed to keep your network security up to date or have not been using a VPN to access your work network. This kind of attack can also succeed if you have been allowing websites to store your personal login information and personal data. You can avoid this kind of attack by backing up your data and being sure that you do not allow websites to store your login credentials and other information. You can also make sure that you use a VPN for any kind of work that you are doing where you need to access another network.

While this is a threat that is more commonly directed at businesses, you can fall prey to it as an individual as well. This kind of attack involves a hacker gaining access to your network and then locking your personal or company data so that you cannot access it. You will then be asked to pay a ransom to get your data back. This can be very expensive for companies and individuals alike and it can cause data theft that can lead to major issues for other people as well as yourself.

Preventing Cybercrime is Easier Than you Think

If you have always thought that there was nothing that could be done to prevent your personal data or network from being hacked, this list of tips and tricks will help you to avoid common kinds of cybercrime and keep your personal data safe and secure. 

You can easily avoid falling prey to common kinds of cyber-attack if you are familiar with the ways that these attacks are postured. Adding effective security to your home network and making sure to run updates on software can also make a big difference in the safety of your network.

Caring for your personal data when you are working or shopping and engaging with others online is easy if you use these best practices.

Smartphone Privacy Matters More Than You Think

Smartphone Privacy

The modern age of the internet has brought constant access to everything we may want to see or know, at a huge cost to privacy. When we discuss privacy in this sense, it is not so much that a hacker has access to your information, but your information is being collected and used by the very company you are trusting to protect you.

The Culprits

As it stands there are only two major operating systems for phones, iOS and Android made by Apple and Google respectively. There are many other smaller operating systems, but these two giants own more than 99% of the market space. If you are buying a new phone from any major brand, you are getting Android or iOS. While both Google and Apple are responsible for the capturing and usage of your data, they go about the process in different ways.

  • Google – Google treats its android platform as essentially a marketing platform. Android is completely free to use by anybody and is open source, allowing any brand to use the software. In exchange, Google collects your data to provide tailor made adverts for you. These advertisements are the income of Android.
  • Apple – Apple has attempted to take the moral high ground here. A completely closed off system where the only data collected about you, is used to improve the iOS experience. Tim Cook, Apple’s current CEO, went on record saying “We at Apple believe that privacy is a fundamental human right” and Apple have backed up that statement for the most part, besides one glaring omission. In 2021 Google has paid Apple $15 billion to remain the default search engine of the safari browser, allowing Google to collect the user’s search information and provide targeted advertisements. This allows Apple to still make money from users internet information while retaining the ability to claim the moral high ground, simply shifting the blame to Google, who actually uses the user information.

Should You Care?

For the most part, most people either don’t understand or just don’t care. Besides, a few targeted ads in exchange for the use of a great operating system doesn’t sound like a bad deal. One of the biggest reasons this is concerning is the claimed sale of your personal data.

At the moment, Google does not sell your data directly. Google uses the data to find what adverts would best be presented to you and then sells the advertising slot knowing that you are the best likely customer. The only time in which your data leaves the hand of Google is when ordered by a court or policing unit. If you are a lead suspect in a crime, Google may be forced to give police access to your location data under a “geofence warrant”. For the average law-abiding citizen, this is of no concern, so you can play Android games and do whatever else you choose with peace of mind.

For the majority of people, the way Google uses our data is not a large concern. If you do feel that you are concerned about this and want to better protect your online privacy, there are a number of options available to you.

Taking Back Privacy

To take back your privacy means breaking away from Google and the software supplied by Google. To do this, there are two main options. Either, you can buy a phone which is built for privacy with an open-source operating system like the Purism Librem 5, or you could flash an existing android phone and install an operating system like Plasma Mobile, Lineage OS, or Ubuntu Touch. The latter option will require some tech know-how but is a great and free option to better secure your online privacy.