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With the increased integration of internet in our daily lives, criminals are coming up with new methods every day to take advantage of vulnerabilities in the system and launch cyber-attacks on users. Companies might be using standard protection procedures, which have become outdated and easy for criminals to bypass.
1. Identity Theft
Javelin Strategy & Research conducted a study, which states that in 2018 alone, 16.7 million consumers in the U.S fell victim to theft of identity. The total amount stolen last year is estimated to be at $16.8 billion, which indeed is a staggering figure. A great tool for online anonymity and encryption of data is the use of a top VPN service that is credible and does not maintain user logs.
Identity theft, by definition, means stealing someone’s personal information such as credit card number, social security numbers, or any other data to make purchases without the knowledge of the real person.
This can result in large scale breaches of data, which is available for sale on the darknet, combined with other pieces of information, can enable criminals to conduct account thefts on a huge scale. Every time a new user signs up, the question arises whether the person is really who they claim to be. To reduce these loopholes, companies would need to create more identity checks. However, this increases the friction in real customers driving them away.
2. Fake video and audio generated by Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence has surpassed human expectations with machine learning, while this creates a protective ground for users and can be used to increase security in the wrong hands, AI can be equally dangerous.
AI can learn and launch much more sophisticated attacks on users than humans, which means more damage and increased difficulty in providing safety to users. Artificial Intelligence can create amazingly well fake Videos and audios that can be used by criminals to spread fake news, which can result in huge losses.
An example of this could be a fake video of a Politician or the Chief executive of a company claiming that there are financial risks or threats to state can shake things up and cause unrest in public.
Therefore, in the future, where we see AI to be the next big thing causing exponential advancements in technology, used for the wrong purposes, AI can totally burn billion dollar businesses to the ground.
3. Synthetic Fraud
As per the Wall Street Journal, $355 million have been borrowed by synthetic IDs of people that do not even exist. Furthermore, it is expected that the amount will touch $8 billion by the end of this year. Criminals use fabricated data combined with pieces of real data, such as addresses, credit card, and social security numbers, often as far as going to make fake social profiles of people that don’t even exist.
The immediate effect is on the lender; however, in the long term, whoever’s data is being stolen will have to deal with the matter. This also means that any fraudulent or illegal activity conducted by the criminal will lead to people who have no hand in and knowledge about the crime.
The stolen social security numbers can also be of children, who can easily be lured into giving out personal information, the entire matter makes the consumer-credit ecosystem less credible resulting in a general fear of monetary loss.
4. Cloud Abuse
Data is being largely stored on cloud servers, which enables access to it from anywhere and secures data from attacks on the organization servers. A loophole in cloud storage is that anyone with a credit card can sign up for it, and there is no secure registration process.
The easy accessibility makes cloud storage prone to spamming attacks, criminal activities, and malicious targeting. To counter these problems, cloud service providers should add proper registration processes coupled up with identity authentication and analysis of traffic on the network is important to eliminate such issues.
The weakest link in an organization are its employees; it is estimated that the global spending on Cybersecurity awareness will reach $10 billion by the year 2027 as per CyberSecurityVentures. The above-mentioned threats need to be understood by employees when carrying on daily tasks.
Instilling awareness regarding issues related to cybersecurity is very important for an organization so that its employees know about the risks associated with unknown emails, social engineering and verifying the identity of its customers and detection of abnormalities in the system.
There is really no strategy that is standard, and one size fits all, the security threats associated with an organization are reliant on the human mind. It is, therefore, extremely important for employees to be educated about cybersecurity practices.
Cybersecurity awareness should be one of the top concerns to the leadership in an organization. Data is largely regarded as the new oil, employing strong privacy tools like a VPN, anti-virus, and anti-malware software are the very basic foundations of securing data from external attacks.
Threats need to be understood at a basic level as criminals find new ways every day to target institutions, it is extremely important that the human resource within an organization is fully aware of how to deal with such issues.
With the advancement in technology, organizations need to understand how to handle consumer data better when embracing new services.
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