The year 2014 will be forever known as the year of the hack. The attack on Target was just one of several prominent data breaches that raised the issue of cyber security to new heights. That awareness only escalated when Anthem, Sony and JP Morgan also came under attack in the same year.
Businesses large and small have cyber threats
While the aforementioned corporations drew the most headlines, companies across the board also faced threats from cyber criminals.
In fact, according to the U.S. State of Cybercrime Survey, 77 percent of corporate respondents detected a threat in the last year. And 59 percent said they were more concerned about cyber threats now than they had been in years past. On average, individual companies faced 135 separate cyber security threats a year.
While many of these threats come from exterior sources, companies also face threats from within their organization. Research from Heimdal Security shows 59 percent of employees steal proprietary corporate data when they quit or are fired.
The effects of cybercrime can be costly, with estimates showing that the average loss for a cyber attack coming in at $415,000.
Cyber threats affect individuals
Today’s cyber criminals are not only targeting businesses—they’re also targeting individuals.
According to Stanford’s Information Security Office, a new, unprotected computer that accesses the internet will typically be compromised within the first seven minutes. Meanwhile, 99 percent of computers are vulnerable to exploit kits (a type of malicious toolkit used to exploit security holes found in software applications). They target common software programs like Oracle Java, and Adobe Reader and/or Adobe Flash.
Social media threats grow
Facebook® remains the giant of the social media world, and hackers are using the site to find an increasing number of victims. An incredible 600,000 Facebook® accounts are compromised every single day, according to Heimdal Security. And one in 10 social media users across all channels have been the victim of a cyber attack.
Spearfishing involves receiving emails from a trusted source, without the source’s consent or knowledge. The email then launches a cyberattack on your device. Spearfishing accounts for 91 percent of all cyber attacks, according to Heimdal Security.
The threat will continue to grow
As the world becomes more digitally connected, cyber crimes will likely increase in frequency. Money and businesses have gone electronic, and crime has followed. As a result, consumers as well as businesses must be as vigilant about cyber security as they are about their home and personal security. The digital world has opened many new doors, but not all of them are welcoming.
In the next post, learn about some of the most common cyber threats and how you can protect yourself.