Most people think computers are lifesavers in everyday business and personal tasks. Being online has become an inevitable part of one's daily routine in order to function normally“ and be up to date with modern society. However, no matter how helpful and facilitating can information and communication techologies be, they are exponentially becoming larger and larger source of insecurity, possible threats and vulnerabilities for their users.
This problem has escalated, especially in the past two years or so, considering circumstances caused by pandemic. State of emergency in many countries has forced hundreds of millions of people to adjust to the new reality in virtual environment, leaving them exposed and unguarded from more and more redesigned ways of invading privacy or exploiting information over network. Surprising fact is that cybercrime rate has jumped by 600% because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is surely disturbing.
On the brighter side, global surveys from 8 years ago have shown that over 75% of the population were both aware of and concerned about potential online security risks. However, an estimated one-fourth (almost 25%) of PCs were not protected with antivirus software, leaving them on average 5.5 times more likely to be attacked and infected.
Cyber Security Awareness Month
A history of Cyber Security Awareness Month starts in October 2004, when the world began to notice that Cyber Security was becoming a huge concern very rapidly. Every day more and more people were starting to use the internet and they created a higher risk of breaches in security. Since internet was slowly becoming a real public space and hackers started getting access to resources that don't belong to them, cybersecurity became an important issue.
This is where National Cyber Security Association (NCSA) got involved and started to take steps to raise awareness of virtual dangers. Every year from then, NCSA continues to monitor the risks to cybersecurity and educate people through webinars, seminars, blogs and articles, helping them understand the seriousness of this issue.
What are statistics indicating?
IT software vulnerabilities and cybersecurity threats in 2021, have reached highest number of all time. There are an estimated 23,000 security risks registered globally, and this is forecast to increase above 25,000 by the end of the year.
Other important factor is financial downgrade and damage that cyber attacks cause to world's economy, but also indvidual businesses, that has been estimated at over 4 billion dollars annualy, and set to rise above an unbelievable $5 billion by the end of 2021.
What's interesting in the aspect of business and professional perspective, is that, on average, only 5% of a company's folders are properly protected. Reason for this lies either in inadequate or non-existing IT security education or simply laziness of responsible individuals.
What can you do?
Cyber Security Awareness Month is coming to an end, but you can still find a way to celebrate it today, just as every other. The idea of this month is to remind the world of how important being secure online actually is. Whether you are unexperienced user or fairly familiar with this topic, you can always do better. So let's check following items:
- Get That Anti-Virus Program Running
Take a time to run a deep scan on your machine every once in a while. Doesn’t cost you anything but can save you a lot of trouble in the future.
- Get Those Passwords Changed
- Get Educated About Cyber Security
- Take an IT Awareness Training Course
Mostly everyone know they should be changing the passwords on their devices and accounts regularly, but most people just don’t do it. Don’t be lazy! Now is the time for you to renew that old passwords.
There are numerous free tips and resources online to help people get more informed about risks and their prevention, as well. Be ready to learn.
Those who take this field of interest a little more serious, should certainly consider taking a course that is specifically focused on providing essential knowledge and skills in this topic. This is very important decision for business owners and managers.
In the end...
In conclusion, it is becoming the highest priority for businesses to recognize these factor of negative influence and build a strategy of coping with potenital difficulties. It is better to be ready for the worst, even if it requires higher financial resources, than to be caught off guard.
„Criminals are getting smarter and more mischievous in the ways in which they attempt to scam you and steal personal information. By taking the proper measures to protect your computer, including the most basic step of installing up-to-date antivirus software, people can dramatically reduce the risk of becoming a victim to cybercrime.“ (cited from Microsoft blog on Security intelligence report from 2013.)