Paysign is dedicated to keeping our customers in the loop regarding the latest trends in cybersecurity. Cyberattacks happen every day. They can affect businesses, employees, and consumers. These attacks typically have one of two aims: to access or destroy sensitive data or extort money. This can destroy businesses and people alike — especially if you’ve been the victim of identity theft.

So, where is the best place to begin? Well, with education.
Strong cybersecurity systems can boast of multiple levels of protection but do not rely only on defense technology, but on individuals making intelligent choices. There’s no need to be a technology expert to comprehend and employ proven cybersecurity defense strategies.

But, in the interest of creating a scenario where you are better protected, it is imperative to understand various categories of cybersecurity. These include critical infrastructure security, network security, application security, information security, cloud security, data loss prevention, and end-user education.

There are a lot of threats designed to attack your devices and networks, but these typically fall into three categories.
• Attacks on personal data- These attacks are designed to steal your details such as bank account or credit card information. The dark web traffics in stolen data that can be sold or traded for nefarious deeds.
• Attacks on sensitive information- These attacks usually consist of sabotage efforts. These are typically referred to as leaks. Cybercriminals use the information garnered to expose the data and influence public opinion.
• Attacks on accessibility- The goal of these attacks is, essentially, to block users from accessing their data while submitting to ransom demands.

Outlined below are a variety of threats that fall into the categories above.

Social engineering consists mainly of things like phishing attacks which typically arrive in the form of a misleading email to deceive the receiver into sharing personal data.

APTs (advanced persistent threats) is when an unsanctioned operator sabotages a network unnoticed and stays in the network for a long time. The intent of an APT is to steal information and not damage the network. APTs often happen in segments with high-value data, like national defense, manufacturing, and finance.

Malicious Malware is software designed to gain access to or harm a computer system. Malware programs can pilfer login information and can take control of your computer, using it to send spam or crash the system.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that locks and encrypts data, basically holding your information hostage. Criminals using the program then demand a ransom to restore access.

Businesses and individuals can take steps to increase cyber safety, however. Try the following:

• Only use reliable sites when working with personal information. A good rule of thumb is to check the URL. If the site includes “https://,” then it’s a secure site. If the URL includes “http://,” — note the missing “s” — avoid entering sensitive information like your credit card data or Social Security number.
• Don’t open email attachments or click links in emails from unknown sources. One of the most common ways users are exposed to malware and viruses is through emails masked as being sent by someone you trust.
• Always keep your devices updated. Software updates contain important patches to fix security vulnerabilities. Cyber attackers can also target outdated devices that may not be running the most current security software.
• Back up your files regularly such that if a device wipe is required files will be stored in a safe, separate place.
This is an issue that is consistently evolving. Remember, staying abreast of the latest threats and practicing online hygiene are two of the best ways to defend against all types of threats, whether personally or professionally.