According to CSO Online, 94% of malware infiltrates computers via email. And phishing attacks account for over 80% of security incidents. Even more eye-opening is that 60% of data breaches are avoidable by installing security patches (Fruhlinger, 2020).
October brings us to National Cyber Security Awareness Month. And, if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected. So, smart cyber practices are especially important as many of us find ourselves in unusual circumstances. The uncertain, unpredictable, and unknown create an ideal situation for hackers to gain our trust and potentially access our personal and professional records without our knowledge or consent.
Phishing campaigns, fake telephone calls, and misleading websites set up to provide untrue information around popular topics like the pandemic and the election are increasingly common. With so many people struggling with coronavirus and voting safely, it’s easier than ever for cybercriminals to launch a single campaign that speaks to large swathes of people. Hackers don’t have to target just business owners, employees, or the elderly when everyone is a target for the same thing. 2020 has given cybercriminals unprecedented (albeit immoral) high ground from which they can operate. When definitive answers aren’t clear, it becomes a wild west for false and dangerous information to spread precipitously.
What Can We Do to Prevent Cyberattacks?
First, we must accept that everyone is a target. All of us. Not just people with desk jobs, not just those who work from home, not just senior citizens. Anyone is a target for cybercrime. And cybercriminals will attempt every deceptive angle. It can happen via telephone, social media, email, fake websites, and any other way that benefits a bad actor.
Creating awareness and implementing ongoing best practices for prudent cyber health are critical steps that many people overlook. We forget what we don’t practice regularly. Cybersecurity isn’t like riding a bike – where you may learn once and be able to do it again 20 years later. Cybercrime evolves quickly. What you learn today may be reengineered in an entirely different way next week.
Organizations and individuals must remain vigilant to avoid risks. So, this month, take some time to assess your cybersecurity practices. Do you have updated antivirus software installed? Do you use complex passwords that you store in a password manager? Do you keep your operating system up to date? A few precautions taken today can protect you from an unscrupulous cybercriminal tomorrow.
Cybersecurity & Transcription
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Fruhlinger, J. (2020, March 9). Retrieved from CSO Online: https://www.csoonline.com/article/3153707/top-cybersecurity-facts-figures-and-statistics.html