The first recorded instance of a cyberattack dates all the way back to 1903, when a magician named Nevil Maskelyne disrupted John Ambrose Fleming’s demonstration of Marconi’s wireless telegraph by sending insulting messages via Morse code that were projected onto the auditoriums screen.
Cybersecurity has obviously moved on since then, and attacks have become a lot more serious. Modern-day hackers now have a whole range of tools with which to prey on unsuspecting victims, and endless methods though which they can carry out an attack. From sending phishing emails, to malware attacks and server IP hacks, there’s always a new way for cybercriminals to operate.
With that in mind, here are three reasons why cybersecurity is so important in the modern world:
1. Cyberattacks on businesses lead to attacks on customers
As a consumer, consider how much data you share with businesses of every variety — your bank details for online shopping, your email address to receive concert tickets, even sharing your phone number with courier services delivering your favourite goods. Each of these businesses may have a considerable amount of your data stored on file, and if hackers gain access to this information, you could end up suffering from identity fraud, or losing money from your bank account. For businesses, attacks can lead to considerable damage to your reputation, and cause significant financial loss. Therefore, businesses and consumers alike must ensure they are doing everything they can to protect your data.
2. An increase in IoT devices means more things are hackable
The internet of things (IoT), refers to the gadgets and devices that are being synced to the internet. These can be anything from connected fridges that tell you when you’ve run out of milk, to driverless vehicles and smart TVs. Gartner has predicted that there’ll be around 25 billion IoT-connected devices by 2020 — which is a whole lot of devices to secure. The consequences of not doing so could be disastrous. For example, a cybercriminal could hack your connected car and cause it to crash, or they could hack into your computers camera or microphone and record everything you do or say. Things are moving forward though — the UK government has now put cybersecurity guidelines in place to ensure that the manufacturers of these devices install the best security possible within each device.
3. The threat of the dark web is growing
The dark web is the part of the worldwide web not indexed by search engines like Google or Bing. It’s usually associated with the sale of illegal weapons, drugs and some other quite nasty things. But what many people don’t know is that the dark web is also a marketplace for stolen corporate data. You can find just about anything from employee email addresses and login credentials, to credit card information and national insurance numbers. Scary right? But how did they end up on the dark web? Usually, criminals will have accessed this information through phishing emails, pharming, or simply by an employee leaving a phone or laptop on a train. And now there’s increasingly more ways for cybercriminals to get their hands on your information. So, it’s really important for businesses to ensure that they protect their employee and customer data, both inside and outside of the firewall to ensure that it doesn’t end up for sale on the dark web.
With technology advancing at such a phenomenal rate, it’s important for both businesses and consumers to ensure that they learn how to use this technology safely. If not, you run the risk of becoming the next victim of a cyber-attack.