There are over 23 billion connected devices worldwide in 2018 and many more gateways for hackers to infiltrate your data.
There are many measures you can take to avoid falling victim to cyber crime. Here is a guide to staying protected in Australia and New Zealand.
Types of cyber attack
There are several ways that cyber criminals can attack your systems or access your personal data. Here are the main methods they are using in the modern world.
Phishing: These are usually distributed through email or text message and present legitimate looking messages from companies that seek to steal your login information. Often these will come in the form of emails from banks, the taxation department or amenities like electricity and phone companies.
Denial of service attacks: This is a major concern for business. These attacks work by flooding the server with requests for information that shut it down, preventing business from operating.
Ransomware: This is software that will lock you out of your systems until a ransom is paid.
Identity theft: Through spam emails, phishing tactics or fraudulent surveys, hackers are able to gather your personal data and use it to generate loans etc in your name.
Malware: This covers activity such as viruses, worms, spyware, trojans or bots. These operate in the background of your systems and monitor your activity and harvest passwords and other sensitive data.
Hacking: This is when a cyber criminal gains direct access to your systems remotely, giving them access to all of your personal and business data and operations.
A history of attacks in Australia and New Zealand
Research by Accenture has shown that Australian businesses are twice as likely to experience hacking attempts in 2018 from 2017, with an average of 232 focused attacks each year. This same study showed that most businesses are prepared, repelling 87 percent of all attacks, but that still leaves companies open to 13 percent of all attacks.
There have been some major instances of cyber crime in recent years, with the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 one of the largest global intrusions of all time.
It was spread through a massive email phishing campaign and at least 12 Australian businesses were impacted. A Russian cyber attack was launched in April 2018 which saw another 400 Australian businesses targeted.
What you can do to be prepared
There are a range of tactics you can employ to remain safe from cyber crime, ranging from software solutions to behavioural changes.
Be on the lookout for email scams, the email address is usually suspect looking and agencies like banks and government departments would never email you asking for sensitive information. Be careful when online shopping as well. Try and stick to the safe and well-established sites.
Ensure your systems are secured by the latest in anti-virus and malware prevention software to prevent digital intrusion. There are many options here and you should speak to an expert on what the best solutions for your needs are.
– Josh Alston