Cyber security can be defined as a state or a process where networks, programs and devices are protected from potential cyberattacks or data breaches. According to Forbes Magazine, in 2019 many banks, healthcare, government agencies and tech firms suffered the most cyberattacks and data breaches. The pandemic further increased remote working where tech firms allowed many employees to work from home.
Fortunately, many industries too became flexible and quickly adopted remote practices. While technology has opened new doors for the industry, it has become more vulnerable to cyber attacks than ever before. Another data by ITRC found that 2021 saw an increased number of data breaches and “Many of the cyberattacks committed were highly sophisticated and complex, requiring aggressive defenses to prevent them”.
Why are tech firms more prone to cyber security attacks?
High-tech sectors are employed by many industries to get assistance and tech-related products. As a result, they set an attack path into the sectors since tech companies are provided with the infrastructural information of the organizations. While technology is the key enabler, it can also be the source of vulnerability. For instance, a food manufacturing company may allow a tech firm to look after its authority certificates and ensure that its privacy is not breached by competitors. Vulnerability to the sales system may also be one reason many tech firms are attacked to get the data of a specific organization.
Many high-tech companies pose more threats than others due to intellectual property or IP. When IP is stolen or lost after several years of investment, it can dramatically impact an organization’s competitive advantage. Many competitors often hire cyber criminals or hackers to attack tech companies that manage valuable data of organizations. In this way, hackers are able to access millions of dollars’ worth of information with the right kind of attack and access to internal data.
Many tech companies offer online services to consumers which makes the loss of consumer data another threat for tech companies. Many customers require disclosure of personal identity and information which might get lost easily because of a cyber-attack. However, loss of IP is more prevalent these days as hackers like to use the IP address for another purpose than it was designed for.
Common types of cyber threats
Although tech firms may face several types of cyber-attacks, the three most usual threats include the following:
Attack on confidential data:
This attack is designed by cybercriminals to steal personally identifiable information such as a firm’s social security number or bank account details. After the attacks, the information of customers is stolen or traded on the dark web for other potential competitors or buyers.
Attack on integrity:
This attack includes enterprise sabotage and often results in an information leak. A cybercriminal will typically access your system to gain sensitive information to expose them in public or in front of the others. This results in the loss of the firm’s reputation or trustworthiness.
Attack on-site components:
This type of cyber-attack usually blocks tech company users from accessing their data until a ransom fee is paid against it. A cybercriminal would infiltrate the system and access important data which the attacker would block temporarily. Once the companies pay the ransom, the attackers usually fix the vulnerability so that they can continue doing so with the others.
How to know if your security system is breached?
Your browser acts strangely
When we go through our browsers, they usually perform straightforwardly but when they are being attacked, browsers seem to behave strangely. For example, your homepage is misplaced or some new search engine has been added to your browser history. Sometimes, your browser will lead you to an unknown site or make you visit an unusual website that looks weird.
This is one-way cyber criminals upload malware to your system and is called browser hijacking. When your browser is attacked, you cannot trust it anymore for anything. They would take you to fake websites or versions which are controlled by the hijackers and capture the data you enter to gain access to the sites such as online banking. Hence, you must stop using the browser at once when it starts behaving strangely.
Your system shows work that you or your employee has not done
When attackers hijack your system, they tend to perform certain functions which can damage the system further or lead the browser to another malware site. So, once you observe that your browser shows work signs which are not done by you, be assured that your system has been attacked. Follow tech expert advice or cyber security protocols and take prompt actions to avoid further damage.
You are unable to log in
One of the early signs which show your system is under a major threat is blocking your account or refusal of the credential you put into the system. When your system is hacked, the first thing a hacker will do is change the credentials so that you lose control over them. After double-checking the credentials, if you are still unable to log in, report immediately to system managers about the seriousness of the situation.
You see light in your webcam even when not in use
This is one way to notice a cyber attack with the help of a webcam. Webcam hacking is very common these days and used by competitors or spies to keep an eye on you. If you notice that your webcam displays light when not in use, it can be suspicious and something to look upon.
The cyber attacker will tell you
One of the most common signs which tell us that our system has been attacked is from the attackers themselves. Obviously, the attacker must have done so for a reason, more usually for money. When they let you know about the attack by email, message or through ransomware, you will know about it for sure. While some attackers demand ransom for removing the malware, others may simply threaten you or show a desire to damage your company’s reputation.