It’s almost October – known more fondly in the digital cybersecurity world as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. And it’s crazy to see just how much has happened in the last 12 months as far as this topic is concerned.
National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is designed to bring global awareness to cybersecurity and all its various elements. Backed by the US Congress, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the National Cybersecurity Alliance (NCA), the key aim behind this collaboration is to keep the general public – both national and international – as safe as possible by raising cybersecurity awareness, in a bid to protect and defend from cyber threats.
As published in ReasonLabs’ State of Cybersecurity 2022 Report, 2021 saw a surge of phishing threats come out on top – and this type of attack doesn’t appear to have let up in 2022.
There have been more than a few notorious high-profile cyber attacks this year, making waves and headlines around the world as companies and consumers suffer huge losses. Just a few examples you may have heard of:
▪️ BitMart Hack: 9 months ago, BitMart faced a $200 million hack after a ‘private key’ was stolen. This large-scale security breach affected thousands of customers.
▪️ OpenSea Attack: This marketplace for non-fungible tokens investigated a phishing attack after it appeared that 32 users signed a malicious payload from an attacker, and some of their NFTs were stolen, totaling an estimated $1.7 million dollars worth of Ethereum for the attacker’s wallet.
▪️ Ronin Crypto Theft: Believed to be the brainchild of US hacking groups Lazarus and APT38, Ronin was the victim of one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record, involving an estimated 540 million dollars in crypto.
But the real question is, what has the cybersecurity world learned from each of these attacks?
The figures, losses and setbacks from these 2022 cyber attacks are staggering. There’s a huge amount companies can, and should, be doing to protect their assets and those of their customers. Trust is a key factor when it comes to cybersecurity awareness – and there’s no doubt that all companies will continue to shore up their network security as we continue into the final quarter of 2022.
However, our real concern at this point is for the individual consumer – who is normally the one to suffer the most when a company they have invested in, shopped with, or banked with gets hit by a cyber attack.
Cybersecurity starts at home and as we head into National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, our job is to provide the consumer with some top tips on how to stay aware of cyber threats, and what they can do to protect themselves. So let’s take a look at some of our top tips for this year:
Top Tip 1: Upgrade your antivirus and treat yourself to the best endpoint protection! There’s no doubt that a next-generation AV will detect and protect your device from malicious threats.
Top Tip 2: Don’t neglect to update your software. When you receive a notification reminding you that it’s time to update, don’t ignore it. Updates are crucial in keeping your device and your software safe.
Top Tip 3: Be aware of your digital footprint. If you’re a fan of social media, be extremely careful of how much of yourself you display online for the masses. Remember that once it’s uploaded to the internet, it’s there for all to see – so be careful about posting personal photos, comments and information online.
Top Tip 4: And in a similar vein, be wary when using your credit card information on online shopping sites. Make sure those shopping sites are legitimate before you hand over your money! It’s also important to remember that no legitimate banking or governmental agency will ask you for credit card details by email – so don’t be fooled by these phishing tactics.
Top Tip 5: Protect your privacy by investing in features that help protect you and your online activity e.g. using a VPN when you are connected to a public network.
As well as following these tips yourself, help to raise awareness by spreading the word about safe cybersecurity habits to family, friends, businesses, and institutions that you may work with. Cybersecurity lapses can, as we’ve seen, be extremely costly and stressful for all concerned. Let’s work together to keep our devices and online activity as safe as possible.
For more information on ReasonLabs’ suite of cybersecurity products, visit www.reasonlabs.com