Cyber crime affects millions of organisations and individuals throughout the world, but the accelerating digital transformation taking place in the Asia-Pacific region makes the area particularly susceptible.
In fact, in 2017, about one-third of cyber attacks perpetuated globally targeted the Asia-Pacific region, accounting for up to US$200 billion out of the total US$600 billion lost by businesses as a result of cyber crime.
Graham Day, the author of Security in the Digital World, our book of the month for October, talks about the growing scope of cyber attacks:
“Attackers are slowly discovering all the ways that devices can be used to attack others. As this knowledge develops, the number and sophistication of attacks also increase.”
Under such circumstances, it’s important to stay up to date with the tactics used by cyber criminals to effectively protect yourself.
How do cyber criminals operate?
Security in the Digital World highlights the tactics used by cyber criminals to attack users in cyberspace.
- Social engineering
Social engineering involves exploiting human psychology to gain access to confidential data. Attackers target inborn human traits, such as the fear of being harmed or attacked, to manipulate you into giving them personal information or allowing them to access your devices so they can retrieve the information themselves. Social engineering can take place through emails (phishing), telephones (vishing) and text messages (smishing) as well as through online games and apps.
Malware is malicious software used by criminal hackers to damage your device, network and privacy. It can enable the attacker to take control of your system, access your private details and even lock you out of your device. Some widely used malware strains include Trojans, viruses, bots and worms, but since attackers constantly alter malware to create new strains, it’s almost impossible to keep track of them all.
Ransomware is essentially malware delivered using social engineering tactics. It denies the user access to data stored on the infected device unless a “ransom” is paid to the attacker, usually in the form of digital currency. Petya and WannaCry are two major strains of ransomware that have affected systems around the world.
It’s possible to fall victim to an attack that uses a combination of these approaches, so it’s always better to keep your guard up.
Stay protected from cyber crime
Security in the Digital World features simple explanations, examples and advice to help you remain vigilant in the digital age. Learn how to:
- Protect your information;
- Secure your home network and protect your family from cyber crime;
- Prevent identity theft when shopping online or using contactless payment; and
- Keep your children safe while surfing the Internet.