Cy­ber Se­cu­rity

The in­ter­net is pub­lic, ac­ces­si­ble and con­tains a wealth of in­for­ma­tion. How­ever, you are not re­ally anony­mous when you are online and it is just as easy for peo­ple to find in­for­ma­tion about you as it is for you to get in­for­ma­tion about them.

Southasia - - Online media - By Sal­man Shah Ji­lani

The com­puter se­cu­rity firm Sy­man­tec re­leased some star­tling numbers on cy­ber se­cu­rity this April in their re­port ti­tled ‘In­ter­net Se­cu­rity Re­port’ which stated that 286-mil­lion new cy­ber threats were dis­cov­ered in 2010! That led to a 93% in­crease in web-based at­tacks.

The re­port goes on to re­veal that cy­ber crim­i­nals are fo­cus­ing their dirty work on mo­bile de­vices like smart­phones as well as so­cial me­dia net­works. Other re­search re­veals that 30 per­cent of all such at­tacks are made on so­cial me­dia sites to seek out per­sonal data, an­other 13 per­cent cause mone­tary loss and 10 per­cent suc­cess­fully in­stall mal­ware on a com­puter. And more than $1 tril­lion in in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty is lost to cy­ber at­tacks an­nu­ally.

So what is cy­ber se­cu­rity? Cy­ber se­cu­rity is pro­tect­ing your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion or any form of dig­i­tal as­set stored in your com­puter or in any dig­i­tal mem­ory de­vice.

Talk­ing about vul­ner­a­bil­ity, most of us are pretty com­fort­able hang­ing out on Face­book and tweet­ing away while click­ing on links to find out more about in­ter­est­ing head­lines or to watch two ba­bies hav­ing an imag­i­nary con­ver­sa­tion in their di­a­pers. But click­ing on those nifty lit­tle links is where you might find your­self en­ter­ing the dan­ger zone.

There is also what you could call a cy­ber ter­ror­ist with much big­ger goals than your credit card num­ber. In fact, ac­cord­ing to Sy­man­tec’s re­port, credit card numbers go for as lit­tle as 7-cents in the un­der­ground world of online crime.

The most fright­en­ing at­tacks in­clude high-pro­file schemes like the one which at­tempted to gain con­trol of a power plant in Iran. Other at­tack­ers tar­get multi-national cor­po­ra­tions by re­search­ing spe­cific peo­ple in the or­ga­ni­za­tions and gain­ing ac­cess to the com­pany’s net­work.

Un­for­tu­nately, there’s no 100% guar­an­tee that even with the best pre­cau­tions some of these things won’t hap­pen to you, but there are steps you can take to min­i­mize the chances.

The first step in pro­tect­ing your­self is to rec­og­nize the risks and be­come fa­mil­iar with some of the ter­mi­nol­ogy as­so­ci­ated with them. Hacker, at­tacker, or in­truder is a term ap­plied to the peo­ple who seek to ex­ploit weak­nesses in soft­ware and com­puter sys­tems for their own gain.

Ma­li­cious code-some­times called mal­ware, is a broad cat­e­gory that in­cludes any code that could be used to at­tack your com­puter. Viruses and worms are ex­am­ples of ma­li­cious code.

Vul­ner­a­bil­ity - in most cases, vul-

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