Fighting Scary Cyber Threats

PumpkinThis is that time of year when we turn to fall sweaters, football and pumpkin pie.

Its also time to get off the couch for a moment and recalibrate our Cyber security awareness meter. The bad guys are out in force and they are organized, ruthless and hungry.

They attack on every front and in every sector. Industry, government, large businesses, small businesses, students, families or any target connected to “the grid” is open game.

Once again, the Department of Homeland Security kicked off their annual Cyber Security Awareness Month to help raise awareness in this cyber community we have all become attached to and somewhat dependent upon.

“Everyone has to play a role in cybersecurity. Constantly evolving cyber threats require the engagement of the entire nation — from government and law enforcement to the private sector and most importantly, the public. Cyberspace is woven into the fabric of our daily lives and the world is more interconnected today than ever before. We enjoy the benefits and convenience that cyberspace provides as we shop from home online, bank using our smart phones, and interact with friends from around the world through social networks.”

Attacks on SMB’s have mushroomed according to a study reported in an article on the Fox Business website:

“A study earlier this year by Symantec found that cyber attacks on small businesses have skyrocketed by 72%. One-third of all cyber attacks now target SMBs. The primary reason for this is that SMBs have, on average, weaker cybersecurity than larger companies. This makes them targets of opportunity for digital thieves who are looking for an easy payday.”

4 trending cyber traps to be aware of include:

  • Banking Trojans- Small business attacks are often not reimbursed by banks
  • Ransomware- Fake law enforcement warnings scare you into paying a ransom
  • Website Exploits- Unprotected or infected websites are exposed to attack
  • Social Engineering- Tricks users into revealing private information

The Department of Homeland Security’s campaign also emphasizes the need to keep our mobile society safe no matter which device we use to connect. Each week, the awareness and focus turn to a different topic which covers wide range of tips, trends and safety resources to propel us into the next 10 years and beyond  of “wired life” .

Everyone in both the private and public sectors, has a role to play in making us a more safe, secure and resilient nation as we forge ahead toward the new year.

Which cyber threats still scare you the most?

Dale Penn is a professional speaker, trainer and  privacy advocate. He is the author of the award-winning book, Identity Theft Secrets: Exposing The Tricks Of The Trade. Follow Dale on Twitter @DalePenn

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