Digital Security Basics: Where You’re Vulnerable
We live digitally today via email, on our personal devices, and over our ISP networks at home. So, it's logical to assume that these three junctures are most vulnerable to cyber-related risks.
Factually, 90% of all cybercrime losses start with an email. When you include losses from device and network hacks, it makes up for most of the trillions in cyber-related damages each year.
The Three Primary Attack Surfaces for Hackers
The concentration of risk at email, devices, and networks is called the "Three Primary Attack Surfaces" for cybercrime. It's here where we're most vulnerable and where to focus on reducing overall cyber-related risks.
Attack Surface #1 – Email
Email is attack surface #1 because it’s where the action is. According to some, personal information is considered one of the most valuable commodities today – the “new oil.”
When you think about how email has become an integral part of almost every aspect of our lives, and the nature of the information we share over email, no wonder email is cybercrime’s Attack Surface #1.
One of the most insidious risks to email is “skulking.” Once hacking an email account, the intruder patiently monitors the subject’s email traffic to gather and analyze information. After secretly stalking email for some time, typically months, the intruder knows their subject’s activities, personal details, and future plans – all fodder to engineer an optimized hack against the victim.
One of the best defenses against email attacks is privatization; your own email domain.
Attack Surface #2 - Personal Technology Devices
Computers, laptops, and phones are next in line as a primary target for hackers. These devices act as the hub for many of our daily activities, and hackers know they hold valuable, sometimes irreplaceable personal information.
Blackmail, extortion, fraud; all traditional crimes have a digital version that can be engineered by taking command and control of the user’s device.
To avoid the risk inherent in personal technology devices, use advanced device protection that includes real-time monitoring and management for optimal defenses 24/7/
To learn more about laptop and computer security, click here.
Attack Surface #3 – Internet Networks
Connecting to the internet requires a local network. Whether it is your home ISP, the office network, or public Wi-Fi, the local system acts as the on-ramp to the internet.
Surprisingly, most networks are unprotected and easy to hack. Bad actors infiltrate the networks by “sniffing” the wireless communications looking for users entering passwords, bank account details, or anything else they can leverage for criminal gain.
The most damaging network hack takes place when the intruder “owns” the network. Here, the bad actor digitally resides in the structure and monitors all network traffic to and from the internet. While “owning” the system, the hacker has access and control over all the network’s functions.
In the case of a network hack, the bad actor has full visibility of all devices and activities on the network, including security cameras, internet-connected doorbells, smart TVs, and appliances like “Alexa.”
While network intrusions are less common than email or device hacks, the potential long-term consequences and losses can be significant.
Solutions to home and office network security are "next-gen" firewalls and provide comprehensive protection autonomously.
Click here to learn more about managed network security for home and home office.