Why is Cyber Security Important In Today’s Era of Technology?
We are reliant on technology like never before, and it has increased exponentially after the unprecedented lockdown. All our data, such as social media passwords, bank details, location, and social security numbers, are stored online on Google Drive or Dropbox.
Everything today is tech-driven, and apart from opportunities, it poses a lot of threats to individual and large organizations. Sensitive data and personal information is stored on cloud services, and any inadequacy in the security of cloud services can result in cyber-attacks and malicious activities.
In the last few months, we have heard of cyber attacks in govt organizations resulting in hacking and data breaches. The list of organizations includes Haldiram snacks, India PM’s website narindermodi.com, WedMeGood, IRCTC (an online ticket portal). The model of remote working has increased the security gap, resulting in a loss of 100 million dollars for companies.
A recent article published by Hindustan times claimed that The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology said that many commercial and legal entities had faced almost 7 lakh cyberattacks till August 2020, making India the 2nd most cyber-attacked country in the world. Recently Big Basket, a leading online grocery store, admitted a breach of its customer information where data of 2cr users was sold on the dark web for $40000. This makes the situation more gruesome, and each one of us has to comprehend the intensity of the same.
Firewall and antivirus software are outdated as cyber attackers have developed innovative ways of phishing, hacking, data breaching, IoT attacks, etcetera. Cyber threats can come from any form and level of organization, whether small and large. Hence each working professional should be educated about these attacks intended to steal intellectual property and personal data.
An exponential rise in cybercrime
There are about 700 million internet users in India, and it is estimated to rise by 1 billion in 2025. From teenagers to government officials, each one of us is profoundly reliant on apps for making digital payments, net banking, EMI, and paying bills for grocery and shopping. A wide gap in internet users and digital literacy is the primary reason that makes us vulnerable to these cyberattacks.
The technology boom is quite evident, but few of us are officially trained or aware of these attacks and use apps with a privacy eye. With the advancement of technology, we don’t bother to glance at ‘terms and conditions’ and agree to it. We permit apps to access our contact details, track our location and other personal details, and make them open to potential hackers. The other reason contributing to this rise is the fundamentals such as not updating our software, not using an antivirus, including your name and date of birth in your passwords, using the same passwords on multiple sites. When you tend to take these fundamentals for granted, it can become easy for hackers to extract your personal information.
Lastly, the nationwide lockdown has led to a spike in these malicious activities when most of us are dependent on remote working. Furthermore, the lack of regularity in devices and safeguarding tools has contributed to data breaching, phishing, and ransomware attacks. In this remote model, video conferencing has allowed companies to connect with their team but somehow became a gold mine for hackers. About 39% of global companies experienced video conferencing hacks, where phishing attacks have risen two-fold in the last six months.
The data is enough to grab the attention of each user and analyze the enormous solemnity and grubbiness of this issue, which brings us to the next topic – Why is cybersecurity important in the digital era?
Importance of cybersecurity in the Digital era
a) High intensity of cyberattacks
Recently we have come across instances of cyberattacks in global companies and government organizations. This stances threat to the critical sectors such as defense and military operations where privacy and confidentiality are primary concerns. The infamous SamSam Ransomware for once such instance where attackers asked for a ransom of $51000, disrupting the internet usage of Atlanta city. It is enough to understand the magnitude of cyberattacks and the importance of cybersecurity when the use of technology is at its peak.
b) Advancement of technology
With more people connected to devices would mean more cyberattacks. The advancement of technology and roll out of the 5G network will contribute to automated attacks without human intervention. Hackers will adopt more advanced techniques and use AI and machine learning for their purpose.
More businesses migrating to cloud computing for its security benefits have paved the road for cyberthreats. There are many cybersecurity threats such as cryptojacking, data breach, hijacking, and ransomware, which can have an immense effect on your cloud computing services. Consequently, companies ought to allocate a proper budget and training for staff to update them with the relevant threats and how it can cripple the functioning of any organization.
C) Breach of personal data & Individual loss
Not only do legal entities or government bodies face the grotesque effect of cyberattacks, but they sometimes lead to an individual loss. We are incessantly confronted with headlines where individual bank accounts are hacked or shared with a third party to coerce money. Hackers often invade your devices and steal personal information (name, address, phone number, email, gender, etc.) to make a profit out of it. What if you make up getting hacked by someone making ransom demands? Identity theft is a primary concern, and we need cybersecurity to malign the effect of these crimes.
India has been an epicenter for cyberattacks in 2020, and not just India, but the rage of cybercrimes is quite evident in other nations. This issue needs real attention after a trend towards remote working. Initiatives at individual and organizational levels should be taken to educate people about the intensity of damage these attacks can incur. Before detailing the intricacies of dealing with these crimes, a better understanding should be laid about the process of these attacks. In India, a cyber attack is conducted every other second, which can only be tackled with adequate nationwide awareness.
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