We live in a world of constant innovation and instant gratification. The 24-hour news cycle has been supplanted by the 140+-character scoop and this morning’s update is this evening’s old news. The pace of change and modernization for society can only be rivaled by the creativity and persistence of those that would seek to profit from the slightest vulnerabilities of the systems the world has learned to not live without. The advent of social media and smartphones have created a world where instant information is not a luxury, but a necessity. Search engines have replaced the need for actual knowledge in favor of knowing where to find what you need at a moment’s notice. And where can you find anything you need? Online, of course. In a world where information is king, the world operates with the knowledge that the next cyber attack is an inevitability.
Everything is electronic today. Most of our daily lives are online in some form or fashion. Our gadgets are increasingly connected thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and new ways of communicating are invented almost daily. This environment and our reliance on technology have opened a new world of possibilities for criminals and those that would take advantage of public vulnerability.
And while we hear about cyber criminality seemingly daily, what exactly constitutes a cyber attack? There are many versions and with our interconnectivity and reliance on the Internet of Things, could we all be at risk? The short answer is yes. There are many types of cyber threats – malware, botnets, denial of service, ransom-ware, man-in-the-middle – it’s an ever-expanding list that constantly challenges cybersecurity experts around the globe.
At their most basic, cyber threats are meant to do one of two things:
1. Steal your data to steal money, or
2. Disrupt your business just because they can.