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Cybersecurity Jargons: Simple but notorious

Much of 2018 and 2019 have witnessed a rise in cybercrimesHere, we look at some of the commonly used terms in the cybersecurity space that can harm your entire network and result in losses. It is good to know and be aware of these challenges

1) Ransomware

Most commonly used, it is a subset of malware and locks the data on a victim’s computer by encryption. Meant for pure extortion or other financial gains, the acquired data is released only when the victim pays the criminal the extortion money. Here, payment is very often through cryptocurrency. This hides the criminal’s identity. Spread through malicious email attachments, software, infected storage devices and encrypted websites, common thieves can also order ransomware and use it for their profits.

Sometimes, the software is automatically downloaded on a victim’s computer and thus referred to as ‘drive-by-download’ and is often installed through email downloads. 

2) Cryptojacking

In an era of cryptocurrencies, financial frauds have become easier. Cybercriminals keep themselves busy in cryptocurrency mining schemes – an effort to extract money in different ways. Towards the end of this mining, there are financial gains. Cybercriminals actively focus on intruding into government networks, financial institutions’ systems to maximize their gains. Several countries including the UK, US, North Korea, China and Germany etc. have reported such crimes. It has been seen that Cryptojacking has adversely affected sectors such as healthcare, finance, entertainment, and telecommunications.

3) Intellectual property theft (IP theft)

Most businesses are worried about the loss of financial data or networks. IP theft indicates such a crime and organizations are often found struggling when it comes to protecting their IP amidst the rise of cyberthreats. And it does have a financial impact on companies’ balance sheets. According to the latest report from security firm McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), IP theft alone accounts for at least 25% of the costs of cybercrimes.

4) Dark web

This is an encrypted version of the Internet that is not indexed or marked by search engines. Companies use it for privacy and share information through an encrypted peer-to-peer network connection or by using an overlay network such as Tor. While this could be a good thing, its anonymity is now becoming a problem! Very often, financial transactions and frauds are being done through the dark web. 

5) Keylogger

This is a software that tracks the keystrokes of one’s computer and sends a log of what the user types to a specific location. As a result, hackers can record key passwords, usernames and emails and messages. Later it becomes easy to enter the system.

6) Botnets and zombie networks

Often, cybercriminals compromise an array of connected devices or computers to form a zombie network. They then run a compromised, malicious software called ‘bot’ to form a network called ‘botnet’. These botnets are then again used for more infiltration and crimes.

What should be done?

Unfortunately, most companies think of these as an individual, standalone problems. In theory, they are! But for an organization, it is all connected through a single thread, capable of destroying the overall network.

Here, applying cloud-based security solutions can give the desired result. These solutions provide remote access to compromised networks and help in detecting and mitigating security threats.

Organizations can also deploy an outsourced cloud-based security software. Remote users, in turn, can access and control their systems and devices. As a result, problem detection becomes easier and more discrete. In the absence of any trace by the company’s internal protocols and firewalls, remote controlling helps to stop the hacker from reaching the company’s main data center or application hub.

Moreover, PEN testing can be put in place to find the vulnerabilities of a computer network that very often cybercriminals exploit. This way organizations can find the security loopholes and work on them.

Last but not least, companies can from time to time check the organization’s security policy compliance, its employees' security awareness and overall preparedness to respond to security-related incidents.

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