Fortinet releases steps on how to spare yourself from cyber attacks
With the advent of technology also comes vulnerability poised against every single human being as individual devices and user data are becoming prime targets for cyber-criminals, with 1 in 20 attacks targeting smartphones and tablets.
That is according to the latest Global Threat Landscape Reports for the second quarter of the year conducted by Fortinet.
The cybersecurity solutions provider further reported that 90% of recorded attacks among organizations involved the system and device vulnerabilities that are at least three years old – that all that despite having the need remedial updates and patches had long been available.
What’s even more alarming is that about 60% of organizations that reported successful attacks were victimized by vulnerabilities that are ten or more years old. Furthermore, home network devices have also been the targets of these attacks. And one out of 20 (or 5%) similar cases were aimed at Android-based smartphones and tablets.
Cyber attacks are made possible when the culprits target a wide range of known vulnerabilities in these devices known collectively as the Internet of Things (IoT) in order to control them remotely, gather users’ data, or install malicious code that allows attackers to turn millions of similarly compromised devices into huge cyber weapons known as ‘botnets’ and utilize them to generate data traffic that can overwhelm and shut down targeted online organizations or cripple Internet traffic.
“We are now living in a digital world and cybercrime is part of that new reality,” said Anthony Giandomenico, Fortinet senior security strategist/researcher. “We have all learned to lock our cars, deadbolt our doors, look both ways before crossing the street, and avoid dark alleyways and streets at night. It is time to develop the same good habits as we navigate through our digital environment.”
That said, Fortinet offers the following safety tips to combat cyber-attacks and mitigate its risks.
Take control of your social media for all times. Always check for every user you encounter as a ‘friend’ on your applications. Check the vital information in their profile if they are correct, accurate, legit, and most especially (if you know them personally), really match well with what you know. And if you have a friend request from someone who seems very strange and you don’t personally know at all, it’s best to dismiss them.
Secure your online transactions. Always keep in mind that banks will never initiate a request to verify your account or provide your login credentials, which means that these requests – be it either online or via email – can be safely ignored or deleted. And in case one receive an email with a link attached to it, always look at the URL by means of hovering over the link and looking at the address that shows up. Furthermore, to remove your doubts, simply log into the website or call your financial institution to ensure that the request is legitimate.
Inspect your emails. Check if you have unread messages that contain either a receipt or bill of a fictitious transaction, a fake document that needs immediate attention, or a message from a friend or family member. Inspect the validity of the message and the sender’s identity should match the organization Look for a strings of letters and numbers that are seemingly strange or creepy. In case there’s one, NEVER click on the attachment or web link.
And lastly, update your devices. Review your devices in your home (such as phones, DVRs, TVs, security cameras, other online devices, and home routers) that are connected to the Internet and make sure that they are running the latest patches with the most current versions of their operating systems, firmware, or software. It’s best to have a complete inventory list and search for their known vulnerabilities or patches. And in case the device or application is no longer supported by the manufacturer, the safest thing to do is to replace it.