Why do we need IT Security / Cyber Security

If your house is on fire what are the most likely things you will grab before leaving?

It is highly likely that one of those things is actually something containing digital storage such as a computer, laptop, tablet or hard drive. These items usually contain important digital files such as photos, movies, documents, contracts and emails.

So if these digital files are so important then they need to be protected from all forms of danger including IT Threats such as hackers and cyber attackers. To some people this will make sense because they have experienced some form of a cyber attack but for some this will seem distant and foreign because it has never happened to them.

Let’s look at some real world statistics to understand how likely a cyber attack is. Using a number of studies Malware (Viruses) infects 20% to 30% of computers:

Is past experience a good Indicator?

Also according to the AV Test the number of malware has grown massively (picture below), so any past experience greatly underestimates the current cyber security threat. To be clear the cyber security threat has grown and continues to grow in its ability, sophistication and size.

 

Who are the bad guys?

So who’s the cyber attackers doing this ? There are about 3.5billion people on the internet and the truth is not everyone on the internet has good intentions. Of these cyber attackers some are personally motivated and others are financially motivated. Some of the bigger resourced cyber attackers are actually government paid groups from US, UK, Russia and China. The challenge is it could be anyone, such as your competitor trying to gain an advantage or China trying to steal your organisations secrets. Talking about China, they have recently hit the news because it is known they have spies in Australia.

Chinese spies in Australia on the rise, former diplomat Chen Yonglin says

How are cyber attackers doing it?

The current main methods of delivery of malware are via email and via websites. Some websites have leveraged vulnerabilities to install malware without any user interaction. Emails that are trying to deliver malware are typically fake emails but designed to look like legitimate emails to entice the user to click the link, run the program or open the file. This is known as a phishing email and has been shown to have success rates from 20% to 90% depending on the target and sophistication of the email.

Considering such a high success rate of phishing attempts, it can only take only one email to be compromised. Currently most of the attacks through phishing are with software that encrypts all your files and demands money if you want the password to access your own files. This is called Ransomware and it is on the increase:

If you own any IT Service, especially if it is connected to the internet you are automatically a target as your website could be used when your visitors reach it for the cyber attackers motives such as propaganda, malware infections or defacement. As an example Google found 760,935 websites were compromised and hijacked between July 2014 and June 2015:

 

The good news is Vertex Technologies can help protect you from these threats, so contact us today.