By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
They say that you need to your weaknesses before you can find your strengths, and that holds true for cybersecurity. For you to know what you can improve on when it comes to your cybersecurity infrastructure, first you need to find out what vulnerabilities exist within it. To help you in your investigation, here are four of the most common cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
1. Sensitive data is not protected
Unencrypted and unsecure data is by far the worst problem facing the cybersecurity world right now, proven by the high number of data-related attacks of 2017. The year saw several large-scale data hacks that affected countless users such as the Verizon data breach in July that affected 14 million subscribers and the attack on Equifax that began in May and left the records of 143 million customers exposed.
Stealing sensitive data is one of the primary goals of cybercriminals when they launch attacks, and they do it for two reasons: 1) it is profitable and 2) it is very easy to do because more often than not, the data they are after is not protected.
2. Buffer overflow remains an issue.
In cybersecurity, a buffer overflow occurs when a program tries to write more data to a buffer than the buffer is allowed to contain. A buffer can only hold a specific amount of data, so the data is overwritten into adjacent memory locations.
Cybercriminals are able to write malicious code into a program’s system by exploiting a buffer overflow. They can control a system and alter how it works to suit their own ends.
3. Two-factor authentication is neglected.
Two-factor authentication (2FA) is a level of security that goes beyond just inputting a password. With 2FA, you (the user) are required to provide additional verification, usually something that only you have in your possession (fingerprint).
It seems like such a simple thing to do, but plenty of users around the world still don’t utilize 2FA. Even companies who are supposed to safeguard their clients’ information disregard the benefits of 2FA.
A notable example of this was the attack on Deloitte, an auditing and accounting multinational, in September. Hackers were able to obtain just one password from an administrator of Deloitte’s email accounts, which they used to access the firm’s entire email system, all because they did not have 2FA in place.
4. Users lack knowledge of simple security processes.
Despite technology now being a part of everyday life, a lot of people still don’t take into account cybersecurity practices. Users still log on to public Wi-Fi, which is risky it its own right, but the worst part is they use it to check their financial accounts. In addition, users still don’t create complex, hard-to-guess passwords, and they use just one password for all accounts.
People who don’t take cybersecurity seriously are the ones targeted by hackers because they know they wouldn’t have to exert much effort when launching an attack.
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