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    Categories: EditorialsSecurityTech & Trends

Cybersecurity in an Ever-Expanding Cyber-Tech Age

You are at risk and no one can safeguard you except yourself; think a million times before making any move

From students to professionals, from homemakers to public icons, everyone is their target. They never care to consider who you are. They only care about whether your data will help them to earn a billion or whether it would sell for some pennies. They believe in “Many drops make the ocean”. It’s all about stealing the contents stored on your phone, tablet or laptop and then sell them. Do you think you don’t have any valuable info? Think again, because you have a significant information about yourself and your friends and family – contact numbers, photos, location and more.

If you are still in doubt about your viability as a target, take a closer look at the facts…

Check Point security report 2014

  • 42% of all companies experienced a mobile data breach in 2014
  • 82% of security professionals expect mobile security incidents to increase

Check Point Security Report 2014

Mobile technology has made the network security challenge much bigger and more diverse. Use of mobile devices and apps has introduced a wide range of new attack vectors and new data security challenges for IT.

  • Insecure devices are the norm

Employees are using a wide variety of personal devices, but only a few users realize the importance of preventing third parties from accessing their devices.

  • 90% of employees have disabled locks on their laptops
  • 75% of employees have disabled locks on their smartphones

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report

A New Zero-Day Vulnerability Discovered that each week attackers profit from attacks from flaws in browsers and website plugins.

In 2015, the number of zero-day vulnerabilities was discovered to be more than doubled to 54, i.e., a 125 percent increase from the year before. Or put another way, a new zero-day vulnerability was found every week (on average) in 2015. Given the value of these vulnerabilities, it’s not surprising that a market has evolved to meet the demand.

  • Half a Billion Personal Records Stolen or Lost
  • Companies aren’t reporting the full extent of breaches

Symantec Internet Security Threat Report

In 2015, we saw a record-setting total of nine mega-breaches and the reported number of exposed identities jumped to 429 million. But this number hides a bigger story. In 2015, more companies chose not to reveal the full extent of their data breaches. A conservative estimate of unreported breaches pushes the number of records lost to more than half a billion.

  • Ransomware Increased 35%
  • Cyber criminals are using encryption as a weapon

An extremely profitable type of attack, ransomware will continue to ensnare PC users and expand to any network-connected device that can be held hostage for a profit. In 2015, ransomware found new targets in smartphones, Mac and Linux systems. Symantec even demonstrated proof-of-concept attacks against smart watches and televisions in 2015.

Chi Networks report

Taking on the security and vulnerabilities, Mr. Nitin Sachdev, VP-Technology, Chi Networks, explains how our devices are acting like an invitation to the hackers.

  • 76% of identified vulnerabilities in the enterprise are at least two-plus years old in the official surgical template
  • 60% of all targeted attacks strike small and medium businesses with weak or no security.
  • 40% of organizations have 4 or more vendors in use
  • In the past year, 70% of organizations were compromised by a successful cyber-attack.
  • Directly or indirectly 1 in 3 organizations do not have a written information security policy

From politicians, businessmen, entertainers, journalists to common man; no one is immune or secure. From emails to social media platforms, hackers are targeting every possible entry. With the current surge in electronic transactions, the opportunities to compromise a network has also increased in the same proportion. Besides, these payment gateways, wallets, cloud platforms etc., are not secure enough to carry out the monetary transactions, while the number of devices using these networks have also increased.

The safety record of Indians using pirated Windows OS is ranked 3rd when using pirated software with 63% of the users using pirated systems which will allow cyber criminals to have an access to the various activities on the system. Similarly, the need of Internet security products which is on the rise but still not utilized completely by the users as markets/internet is flooded with cheap pirated security software’s.

In India, 17% people are smartphone users and this number is likely to increase, as also the number of people who are actively using various payment services. The USSD transactions from basic handsets have shot up by 100%. On 14 lakh active POS machines, the transaction have increased 3 folds. Similarly, e-commerce and mobile wallet usage has doubled. Banks are also witnessing 20 million transactions per day. For a common man’s point of view, this is an open invitation to cyber criminals to tap on to an opportunity to get into these networks.

Its expected that global cyber security expenditure is to increase by 7.9% and will reach $81.6 billion in 2016 and to $101.6 billion by 2020, whereas the growth of cyber security in India will surpass the global rate and will be clocked at 10.6%, but the Indian share in the pie will be only $1.24 billion by 2017.

Therefore, you will do well to protect yourself or add layers of security to your network and devices. For enterprises, it would cost a bit, but will secure a huge amount of precious data. Individuals won’t be able to spend lots of money for their devices or network, but some easy tricks can help them to be more secure.

Ashok Pandey: