In the 2020 statistics of cyber security breaches, we see a staggering USD 4-6 trillion loss, equivalent to about 4-6% of global GDP. Cyber-attacks are motivated by monetary inspiration. The intention of a bad actor in this case scenario is never pure. Attackers can infiltrate the target system to employ malware only to extract information, withdraw funds, demand a ransom, or carry out other misdeeds.
Data security and cybersecurity are a must in the digital economy. In this blog, we will see how cybersecurity threats influence the digital economy and why there is a growing need for safety.
Cyber Security Influence in the Digital Economy
Cybersecurity plays a crucial role in the digital economy across various sectors. Let’s see what’s the influence of these sectors.
Private Sector and Government Sector
It’s evident that in the private sector, businesses rely on prompt cybersecurity measures to protect their sensitive data, customer information, and intellectual property.
The private sector understands the downfall of a successful cyber attack that can lead to financial losses, reputational damage, and legal consequences. For this reason, companies invest in firewalls, encryption, intrusion detection systems, and employee training to safeguard their digital assets.
Same as this, Government sectors are also profoundly affected by cybersecurity. It’s a known fact that government agencies handle large amounts of sensitive information. This includes national security data, citizen records, and critical infrastructure controls. It is imperative to ensure the security of these systems to maintain public trust, and cybersecurity provides that.
Crypto Banking and Freelancing
Crypto banking is all about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Crypto-friendly banks like Juno Wirex offer services that include cryptocurrencies. These banks provide greater financial control, lower fees, and access to the global financial system.
However, the regulatory landscape for crypto banking is still evolving, and only cybersecurity can resolve challenges.
Like Crypto banking, freelancing also influences the digital economy and calls for strong security measures to stay online.
Incidents that highlight the importance of cyber security
Let’s look at the real-life incidents of data and cyber breaches that call for the need for cyber security:
- Heartland Payment Systems Data Breach – In January 2008, Heartland payment systems got the worst cyber security attack, where Russian hackers injected malware through a web form. The malware was injected into Heartland’s website, compromising 130 million credit and debit card numbers. For this particular breach, attackers used an SQL injection attack.
- Capital One Data Breach – The cyber security breach was a notable incident. Thompson, the Former Amazon Web Services software engineer, was behind it. He illegally accessed one of the AWS servers storing Capital One’s data. As a result, he stole 100 million credit card applications. Among the stolen data were 140,000 Social Security numbers, around 1 million Canadian Social Insurance numbers, and 80,000 Bank account numbers.
- Block Incident – The Block, previously known as Square, had a data breach because of one of its employees. One of the employees in Block downloaded and reported 8.2 million current and former customers. The report details brokerage account numbers, portfolio values, holdings and stock trading activities.
- Attack on Desjardins Group – Canada’s largest credit union, Desjardins Group, suffered an unfortunate data breach when a disgruntled employee gained unauthorized access to the personal and financial data of approximately 4.2 million members.
- MoveIt incident – In June 2023, a ransomware gang, Clop, exploited a critical zero-day vulnerability in MOVEit’s infrastructure. They break into the networks of many companies and steal their data. The companies suffered include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Ernst and Young (EY), Health Service Ireland and payroll provider Zellis.
- SpinOk Malware – A cybersecurity company, CloudSEK, found in May 2023 that 193 applications on Google Play were riddled with SpinOk Malware. The irony is that those applications were downloaded more than 30 million times.
Methods used by cyber attackers to conduct attacks
Cyber attacks are all about strategy, and bad actors use various methods to steal information related to finance. In the latest era of crypto and Blockchain, the episodes are all the more potent. Bad actors also tend to breach government and private sectors for sensitive information.
Let’s have a look at the most common ways that attackers use.
Injection of Malware:
One of the most common cyber security threats is malware. Malware is malicious software that messes up the functions of various programs on devices. It spreads like a weed inside a machine and can destroy everything within hours.
Ransomware is an updated version of malware. But note that it’s far more dangerous and robust than the common malware. For instance, in 2017, WannaCry was introduced via phishing emails in 2017 that caused 4 billion loss.
Ransomware keeps certain functions or files of a banking device as bait and only allows people to access them once they pay the ransom to the party that has released the virus into their device.
It is a broad term for everything that is related to data breaches. Social engineering is a manipulative technique that hackers or attackers use to access valuable information through fake sites, emails, or messages.
Who can forget about the ILOVEYOU worm that infected more than 45 million people in 2000? It was the first case of social engineering.
Bad actors use structured Query Language (SQL) injection in data threats. This is to access an SQL server and run malicious code. Once the code is there, the attacker leverages the vulnerability within the SQL servers and steals the hidden valuable information.
Hackers primarily use this technique to overflow networks and servers with traffic so users cannot access them. One example is – My Doom ( worm ) that hit Google and Microsoft in 2004.
In these threats, the attacker lures the victims by impersonating a critical institution such as a bank.
In the next phase, the attacker convinces the victims to provide them with sensitive information such as login IDs, passwords, credit card numbers and much more. The attacker requests in such a way that naive users cannot refuse. These attacks usually come your way in the form of emails or messages and get the best of things.
Traffic Interception and XSS attacks:
Traffic Interception is when information is exchanged between the user and the host, and some third party manages to eavesdrop.
XSS attacks are all about malicious code that targets vulnerable and weak websites. Those sites that don’t use encryption tools are often the targets of such attackers.
An XSS code loads itself into the system and steals private or sensitive information.
The way out of cyber security attacks to protect the digital economy
Every problem comes with a solution. If there are cyber security attacks, there are also cyber security solutions. Let’s look at home cyber security to save you from unauthorized access.
- Use a VPN for online transactions – Before you make a transaction on your device, use a VPN that can help encrypt your data. With a VPN, you can shield your account details and protect yourself against phishing attackers. Also, if you want to stay secure online, using a VPN for TextNow is better to send or receive anonymous messages or calls from banks.
- Turn off page script – You can turn off the page scripts to save yourself from these XSS attacks. This will help you prevent eavesdropping.
- Avoid websites that don’t have HTML5 – You need to avoid websites that don’t use HTML5, as they’re mostly compromised. Never use such websites for online shopping.
- Enable two-factor authentication – Always go for a two-factor authentication. You can save yourself from trouble if you follow it with online banking applications.
- Strong passwords matter – Always set an alphanumeric password on your banking application and never put the same password for multiple accounts. Ensure that you are using a reliable password manager.
- Install an antivirus – You need to have an anti-virus on your device that receives frequent updates to stay on the safe side.
- Hide your IP – Hiding your IP is also a sure-shot solution to protect yourself against ransomware.
- Use of Artificial intelligence – Make sure of artificial intelligence tools like SOAR – UEBA, and SIEM to mitigate the possibility of a finance-related data breach.
Right strategy matters
You must tackle a modern problem with an updated solution. The digital economy is the future, and incorporating cyber security is vital to protect it. Stay on the safe side by following the solutions mentioned above. Remember – with the right strategy, you can even win the war.
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