Growing cyber attacks – A neglected concern

At a time of technological transformation and “cybersecurity evolution”, the attack surface for organizations is exponentially growing and cyber criminals are going after operational systems and backup capabilities simultaneously in highly sophisticated ways—leading to enterprise-wide destructive cyber attacks. Though cyber attacks has affected most of the countries, India has recently come into attention quite often.

Deccan Chronicle, one of the leading newspaper presented a report stating India has been ranked as the fifth most vulnerable country in terms of cyber security breaches in the world, after the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia by Symantec’s Internet cyber Security Threat Report. According to the report the US was at the top of the list for “both the number of breaches by country and the number of identities stolen by country.”

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Cyber attack cases are under-reported because of multiple reasons. People rely more on hardware and software to protect them from breach of data than the cybersecurity agencies, which are empowered to register complaints and investigate them because they don’t have faith in these agencies and they know that they won’t get any reprieve from them. There’s neither a legal requirement to report the matter to the regulator or the police in the case of cyber theft nor is there a legal obligation to inform the victims that their data has been compromised. It is therefore hard to say the exact number of cyber breaches that may be happening every day or which sectors in India are more vulnerable to them,” said Neeraj Aarora, an advocate on record, Supreme Court, cyber lawyer and international arbitrator. [Sources: Deccan Chronicle]

In recent times, the Flightradar24 was hit by a cyber attack. BBC news describes that the attack is the third the company has suffered in two days, it said. Early attempts to restore the site failed, with “significant instability due to the sustained attacks”. It said the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack had hit “the availability of our services” but not compromised user data.

The site appeared to be improving on Tuesday, with intermittent loading errors. The website allows users to track planes – both commercial passenger flights and private ones – in mid-air, following flight paths live.

“Flightradar24 says it has about two million users and tracks 180,000 flights every day. It includes aircraft manufacturers – such as Airbus and Boeing – among its customers.”

Its tools can identify a plane’s model, flight number, and distress signal codes, among an array of other advanced features, some of which are locked behind a subscription payment. Such tools make the website, and its competitors, a valuable tool for plane-watchers and for journalists covering accidents and other airline incidents.

There’s a list of ransomware attacks which has tremendously increased during this pandemic. As most of the individuals are working from home, the network is more prone to attacks. Numerous companies dealing with digital information have been the biggest meat for cyber attackers and the trends suggests otherwise. Statistically, it has been presented the cyber crimes that has occurred in the last 6 months has been more than the number of attacks that occurred in 2019.

The average cost of a data breach is $3.92 million as of 2019. (Security Intelligence)

83% of enterprise workloads will move to the cloud by the year 2020. (Forbes)

Twitter Hack: Twitter took the whole internet by storm when it was hit by one of the most brazen online attacks in history! The social media platform suffered a breach where the hackers verified Twitter accounts of high profile US personalities like Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Joseph R. Biden Jr., Bill Gates and many more. (Security Boulevard)

Marriott Data Breach

On March 31st, 2020, the hotel chain Marriott disclosed a security breach that impacted the data of more than 5.2 million hotel guests who used their company’s loyalty application. Hackers obtained login credentials of two accounts of Marriott employees who had access to customer information regarding the loyalty scheme of the hotel chain. They used the information to siphon off the data approximately a month before the breach was discovered.

The above-mentioned case is just about 30% of the attacks. There’s much more to the list but the concern has been overlooked by many across the globe. With growing technology- dependent days, the significance of cybersecurity needs to be an imperative factor which cannot be underlooked and must be considered as the biggest frontier for protection.

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