The Top Cybersecurity Threats in 2019

The Top Cybersecurity Threats in 2019

Considering that ransomware attacks are growing by 350% a year and one person is hacked every 18 seconds, cybersecurity is something that we all need to take more seriously.

Part of this means understanding where the next attack might come from. In this post, we’ll look at the top cybersecurity threats to watch out for this year and how you can defend yourself against them.

Malvertising

This is a serious threat. It’s been around for a while now but is potentially becoming more popular because people are more careful about what sites they visit and what they download. In this case, the malware is hidden in an advert, usually on a legitimate site.

The big danger is that it doesn’t require any action on your part. If you visit the site while the ad is up, and the conditions are right according to the programming of the malicious program, it infects your computer. That’s whether you click on it or not.

The problem with this type of malware is that it’s difficult to track. The criminals buy advertising space legitimately, and so the ads are rotated in and out like normal advertising. Depending on the rules of the program, not everyone will be infected after visiting the site. Therefore, it’s a lot harder to pin down which site the malware originated from.

Protecting Against Malvertising

  • Consider installing software that protects against this type of malware.
  • Make sure that your browser is always up to date and that you update programs that run through your browser as well.
  • Install an ad-blocker. It’s not fool-proof, but, according to Malwarebytes, it should help.

Botnets

Botnets are simply computer programs that help the internet to run more smoothly. They might help maintain connections or just basically make it easier to run things. They are a legitimate form of software.

That is until a botnet is put to malicious use. Your computer becomes infected with this software, and then the master computer can take control of it. You won’t know any of this is happening, and your computer will run as normal.

That’s part of the deal. The hackers don’t want you to know anything is wrong because this way they can add your computer to their malicious network. They’ll use it to help them power DDoS attacks, send out spam, create fake traffic for sites, or even as a way to sell you services to remove spyware from your computer.

Protecting Against Botnets

Your best defense is a good anti-virus program and increased vigilance. The master computer gains access to yours by sending out a trojan or hacking your computer. This becomes harder if you’re careful about the sites that you visit and what you download online.

According to Norton, it’s also extremely important to update your operating system whenever a new security update is made. Operating systems are not perfect. Hackers will often find ways to exploit any flaws that they find.

These flaws can go unnoticed until the software is actually released, so it’s essential to make updates as soon as new security patches are released.

Cryptomining

Who doesn’t want to get in on the cryptocurrency goldrush? Cryptomining is the process by which transactions on certain crypto networks are verified. What happens is that the computers within the network are set to solve complex equations to verify the legitimacy of a transaction.

Miners earn tokens or coins from the site in exchange for performing this function because it requires a fair amount of computing power and will drive up your electricity costs.

When you’re a victim of this kind of attack, your computer is connected up to a particular network and used to verify the transactions in exchange for the reward. The problem is that your resources are being used, but the reward goes to the cybercriminal.

Cryptomining software works through a legitimate application that you install. It’s designed to work in the background, so you’re not likely to notice it.

Protecting Against Cryptomining

Your best defense is to keep an eye on your system processes and to monitor how much RAM they’re using. Your computer may slow down a bit as a result. If you’re finding that your computer is becoming slow, the easiest way to check for this issue is to open the task manager.

Look down the list and see what programs are using a significant amount of your resources.

Final Notes

When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s best to keep informed of the different types of attacks. That way, you can adequately protect yourself and your computer from those with malicious intent.

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