Since everything is moving toward computer generated systems, the only way to protect these systems is to invest in a state of the art cyber security. Cyber security is protecting yourself and others from attacks that are mainly carried out with computers. Cyber security is also information security because most computer attacks are attacks on information, cyber security is very important because no computer system is perfectly safe, including yours. This means that every computer and system has security vulnerabilities like; WI-FI networks, servers that host your email accounts and bank payment methods, in essence any computer that you are holding or carrying is vulnerable to a cyberattack on its information.
Understanding Cyber Crimes
The changes in information systems and communication technologies in this current era has been drastic and has played a big role in our lives but has also left us very vulnerable in our daily lives and businesses and governments are at risk and most importantly nations are too. There is a new war that we are currently facing and the weapon used is a computer
In Cyber Warfare the best weapon used by a cyber-criminal is a computer and the best ammunition they use is a series of Cyber Attacks. Data exposure causes vulnerability, this is an advantage for cyber-criminals because now they have your vulnerable data and with that they can cause havoc to your systems.
The most common types of cyber security attacks
- Malware, the term is very broad. It breaches the network by luring the user through a link that is intentionally put there which is used to breach your system and install the dangerous software into your systems. Once the file is in it can cause malicious problems by disrupting the systems and most dangerously accessing your information and retrieving it from your hard drives. The types of malware attacks include viruses, worms and spyware.
- Phishing, the most common one where cyber criminals send out a chain of mass emails which are fraudulent and very deceiving because on the face of it they appear legit. The link they send with the emails grants them access to your device, from then onwards they can access and control your personal information and extract your data. There are many Phishing attacks like, whaling, smear phishing and pharming.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many struggles on South Africans which has forced most people to work from their homes, this has gifted hackers with a golden opportunity to exploit people who are accessing corporate networks remotely because they are not as protected as when they are working at their places of work.
South Africa is a developing country and as time goes, it integrates and moves their mode of operations online, leaving a high-risk of a cyber-breach. South Africa is not safe and not ready for cyber warfare and terrorism, all it has to defend it is legislation and it only regulates South Africans, cyber-criminals are unidentifiable, the dark web has no regulatory boundaries.
It is evident that South Africa needs to invest in its cyber-security systems and provide tertiary programmes in order to formulate strategies, so that when the soldiers of the dark web attack her, she will be ready.
References : Internet Sources
1) Tech Target 2019 Cyber warfare.
https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/cyberwarfare (accessed on 9 April 2020)
2) International Institute of Cyber Security 2019.
An energy company suffers data breach after video game installation. https://iicybersecurity.wordpress.com/2019/02/08/an-energy-company-suffers-data-breach-after-videogame-installation/ (accessed on 5 August 2020)
3) Central Intelligence Agency 2017. CIA Releases Nearly 470,000 Additional Files Recovered in May 2011 Raid on Usama Bin Ladin’s Compound.
https://www.cia.gov/news-information/press-releases-statements/2017-press-releases-statements/cia-releases-additional-files-recovered-in-ubl-compound-raid.html (accessed on 05 July 2020)
4) Cloud Flare 2020. What is a Denial-Of Service attack. https://www.cloudflare.com/learning/ddos/glossary/denial-of-service/(accessed 10 August 2020)