5 Steps to Cyber Security

We cannot imagine a day without our mobile phones, laptops or other personal devices. Just think that all our activities from these devices are watching someone unknown to us from a remote location. What????Come on! Never!! If these may be your responses, then you should be familiar with “Cyber threats”. Oh, these cyber threats and all will not affect me and my devices, I have installed antivirus. Majority of us thinks that if there is an antivirus installed on our devices, they will protect us from all these threats.

You all may be heard about the “Wanna Cry Ransomware attack” happened in May 2017.It was a worldwide attack and it got affected more than 150 countries. So do you think that these affected computers may not have an antivirus? Even the famous delivery company FedEx got affected by the Wanna cry attack, so it is not just about some protection systems; it is more about the user awareness of cyber threats and security. What is the purpose of these attacks? It can be financial, competitive or just to show someone’s cyber skills. The scariest fact about these attacks is we cannot easily trace the one who behind the threats and this is the most advantageous thing for the attackers.

As we are in this cyber era, we should be aware of cyber threats. Any damage, theft, disruption or misdirection of our computer services can be considered a cyber threat. The most important thing to get rid of these attacks is the awareness of Cyber World. We are using our devices without understanding the working of underlying protocols because without knowing the working, we can easily work with these devices. The why should someone bother the working?? If you are naive of these technical things, then try to be conscious about the cyber-related things happening around the world.

What are the basic controls (for a layman) to prevent cybersecurity risks?

1)   Avoid common passwords
The very first step to defense the unauthorized access is by the use of Passwords. Since it is an important factor in cyber protection, it should be made as strong as possible. Avoid using the easily guessing words for passwords. Always use a combination of uppercase letters, lower case letters, symbols, and numbers. In addition, change the passwords constantly.

2)    Anti-virus /Anti-malware
Anti-virus software is an important part of a good security program. Good Anti-virus software can reduce the exposure to malicious programs to a certain limit. But never expect that it will protect the device from all kinds of cyber threats. It cannot protect your system from an intruder who misuses a legitimate program to gain access to a system. You can even download a majority of antivirus software at a free of cost.
Check out some of the excellent antivirus software available for protecting your devices:
Norton: https://ae.norton.com/downloads-trial-norton-antivirus
Bitdefender: https://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html
Kaspersky: https://www.kaspersky.com/free-antivirus
Avira: https://www.avira.com/en/free-antivirus-windows
AVG: https://www.avast.com/en-ae/free-antivirus-download
Eset: https://www.eset.com/me/download/home/
Macfee:  https://home.mcafee.com/root/landingpage.aspx?lpname=oc_stub_mtp&affid=1316

3)    Awareness about cyber attacks

The most important defense than implementing cybersecurity technologies is the awareness about the cyber risks happening around. 50% attacks can be prevented by implementing the security technologies. What about the other 50%? It can be prevented by proper awareness of cyber threats and the implementing mechanisms. The governments should conduct some cyber awareness programs to the common people about the dos and don’ts of the cyber world.

4)    Authorized access
There may be a lot of important and sensitive data on your devices. The most important step to shield your data is by preventing unauthorized access to your devices. If you have some important data to be protected, don’t allow an unauthorized access to your personal devices such as mobile phones, laptops or ipads. There should be a restriction to your devices’ resources, in the sense, avoid even from your best friend from accessing your personal resources.

5)    Vulnerability test
Do conduct the vulnerability test regularly. It will help you to understand the weaknesses in your system. You can use Kali Linux tools for testing the vulnerability. If you are running a Windows operating system, install a virtual machine and run the excellent kali tools to know about the weak points in your system. Check the Kali tools listing from the following link: https://tools.kali.org/tools-listing.
You can see the tools listing based on several security features. The tools are available for Information gathering, Web applications, Vulnerability analysis, Wireless attacks, Stress testing, Exploitation tools, Forensic tools and so on.

Now the ball is in your court! Check how many control measures you have taken to protect your secret data. Make a move, install the security technologies in your device, update the software installed, change your passwords and do share the recent cyber attack news with your friends and family and make them aware of the cyber risks around them.

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