Individuals and businesses of all sizes are increasingly performing both daily and specialised tasks on digital platforms. Although the advantages are improved productivity and revenue, and more effective synchronous collaboration and connectedness, the digital world holds significant risks and threats to businesses, and private, sensitive data. These threats and cyberattacks often result in the loss of critical data, consumer trust, business continuity and incurring financial losses.
Types of cybersecurity threats
A computer virus is a program written to modify the way a computer operates without the permission or knowledge of the user. Known to self-replicate and self-execute, these viruses and worms damage computers in the process. It can spread from computer to another computer or network to network while launching malicious attacks. It can corrupt or damage an organisation’s sensitive data, destroy files, and format hard drives.
Spyware, classified as a type of malware, unwittingly infiltrates computing devices, and steals Internet usage data and sensitive information. Spyware is a serious computer security threat and consists of any program that monitors online activities to profit from or capture personal information.
Hackers and Predators
Viewed as perpetrating forms of cyber-terrorism, hackers and predators are programmers who victimise users for gain by breaking into computer systems to steal, change, or destroy information. Online predators aim to compromise credit card information, lock people out of their own data, and steal identities.
Phishing, a type of social engineering attack is a very successful method used by cybercriminals to launch data breaches. Phishers scam users for sensitive and confidential financial or personal information through fraudulent email or instant messages.