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3 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Cybersecurity

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3 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Cybersecurity

On the list of things you think about on a daily basis, cybersecurity probably doesn’t make the cut. However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t. Whether you’re an individual online user navigating the Internet for leisure or a business owner who relies on digital technologies to effectively run your company, cybersecurity plays an important role in all of our lives, particularly when it comes to exploring the online space. Want to boost your knowledge of cybersecurity with some surprising facts? Here are three to get you started.

1. There’s a Cybersecurity Awareness Month

There’s actually an entire month dedicated to cybersecurity awareness. Since 2004, the month of October has been deemed Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The decision came as a joint effort between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and it aims to raise awareness about the online risks people face. The ultimate goal is to help American citizens navigate the digital space safely and securely.

2. 2020 Was One of the Worst Years for Cybersecurity

One could argue that 2020 was one of the worst years in recent memory. The world experienced the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic, which heightened levels of illness, unemployment and death. What may come as a surprise is that 2020 was by far one of the worst years for cybersecurity.

It was reported that cyberattacks increased by 400% in 2020, with 18 million phishing emails being sent every day and losses surpassing $124 million. Much of the fraudulent activity was in direct relation to the pandemic, with several scammers taking advantage of the virus as a prime opportunity to target vulnerable Internet users. Unfortunately, as the pandemic continues and many companies struggle to fill cybersecurity positions, these cyber attacks are expected to continue into 2021.

3. A Cyber Attack Occurs Every 39 Seconds

Shocking and alarming, this statistic was first reported in 2017 by researchers at the Clark School at the University of Maryland. Their study profiled the behaviors of “brute force” hackers, which refers to hackers who use simple software-aided techniques to target several computers. The team also discovered the usernames and passwords which are tried most often as well as the behaviors hackers engage in once they do gain access to a computer. Most commonly, the hackers’ password-guessing trick was to retype the username or to try variations of it. For example, they would type out the username followed by “123” or “123456.” According to the study’s lead researcher, Michel Cukier, the computers they examined as part of their research were attacked 2,244 times a day on average.

Hopefully, these shocking yet fascinating facts about cybersecurity have emphasized the importance of taking it seriously. By failing to educate yourself on cybersecurity and not following best practices, you make yourself extremely vulnerable to cyber attacks that could jeopardize your sensitive data. Don’t risk it – remain informed and continuously make the effort to boost your cybersecurity. In the long run, you’ll be glad you did.

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