4 Ways You Can Overcome Common Cybersecurity Threats

4 Ways You Can Overcome Common Cybersecurity Threats

Technology continues to evolve at monumental speeds. While advancements in digital technology are exciting, they also come with a new set of problems, one being an increase in the severity and complexity of cybersecurity threats. Yes, there are the notorious security breaches we read about in the news, such as Marriott’s infamous 2018 personal data breach, but there are also hundreds of thousands of low-level cybersecurity threats affecting the masses each and every day.     

How does one prevent and overcome common cybersecurity threats? The ideal route is to stay ahead of them by being educated and informed on typical scenarios. If you do fall victim to a cybersecurity threat, it’s important not to be ashamed and to address the issue quickly and carefully. Let’s review some common cybersecurity threats and how to manage each.

#1. Password Theft

Password theft is possibly one of the most well-known cybersecurity threats and one we are constantly reminded by all of our favorite websites to avoid. To prevent password theft, the first step is to create a variety of unique, complicated passwords for each of your accounts. You can use a secure password generator for this part of the process. Second, whenever possible, turn on two-factor authentication for further protection. 

If you do fall victim to password theft, ensure you update your password in all locations where you may have used that particular password and reach out to the organization where that specific account has been breached for further support.

#2. Malware

Another common cybersecurity threat is malware, which is any sort of malicious software that intentionally works to disrupt a computer or computer network, interfering with overall privacy and security. The implications of malware vary but may include the deletion of files, information theft, or spread to other systems. 

The best protection against malware is to get ahead of it, a common theme in cyber attack prevention. Installing antivirus software on your computer is a great start and will alleviate a good portion of potential threats. It’s also critical to understand what a suspicious link or website looks like as they are often how malware is carried out.

#3. Phishing

Phishing describes a situation where a cybercriminal attempts to acquire private data by impersonating someone legitimate. For example, you receive an e-mail from an account you think is your bank asking for confirmation of your Social Security number, when in reality, it is a malicious individual or organization “fishing” for your sensitive information. Unfortunately, as technology advances, so does the complexity of phishing practices, making them more difficult to spot. 

The first step in preventing phishing attacks is being aware they exist and in turn, being wary of any communication that seems odd or out of place. When you do find yourself in a situation where you are unsure of a message’s legitimacy, perform a phishing e-mail analysis or contact the organization in question directly through a proven legitimate means of communication. If you do accidentally fall victim to a phishing attack, contact your local authorities to report the crime.  

#4. Ransomware

Ransomware is essentially a type of malware that specifically works to block or restrict access to a victim’s files, holding them ransom with the demand of a fee for decryption. Unfortunately, ransomware is one of the largest cybersecurity threats in today’s landscape with the total cost of a ransomware breach averaging $4.62 million in 2021, not including the ransomware payments.

While solutions such as cyber insurance may seem to be a simple fix, they often make individuals and organizations more susceptible to cyber-attacks and fail to cover the opportunity cost of ransomware. Preventing ransomware is complex, but begins with the understanding of cybersecurity best practices, such as how cybercriminals strong-arm you to pay ransomware settlements, as well as the potential investment in integrated cybersecurity protection.

Protect Yourself From Cybercriminals

Staying up to date on the common types of cybersecurity threats and their preventive measures is the first step to remaining secure. Beyond building a basic understanding, consider exploring more in-depth cybersecurity training to better protect yourself and your assets.

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