Online frauds and cyber crimes are on the rise. The recent Wanna Cry virus that hit computer systems across the world bears testimony to this. The ransomware attack impacted more than a hundred countries and was responsible for the shutdown of thousands of systems. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to a computer system usually by encrypting data and returns access only after a sum of money is paid. Wanna Cry encrypted all the data on the hard drives of the computers that it infected. Starting from UK, the virus quickly spread across the globe. Some observers say that Russia was the most impacted country. While no hacker group came forward to own responsibility of the attack, this is being touted as the biggest ransomware attack in history. Since the attack used a vulnerability in the Microsoft operating system, Microsoft gave out free patches for some of its older versions of Windows to prevent further attacks.
Attacks Will Continue
Security experts say that attacks such as this are bound to continue. Cyber-criminals have become very adept at finding new and innovative ways to hack into systems and gain unauthorized access to data. The data is then used to commit online fraud. This means that online businesses and payment processing platforms need to be very alert. There are various kinds of frauds and scams that are carried out in addition to ransomware. Usually the aim of cyber-criminals is to steal data. This might be personal or private data and data related to payments, bank accounts or credit cards. The stolen data is then traded on the dark web and online marketplaces frequented by cyber criminals. Sometimes hackers attack websites to deface them and cause reputational damage or to make political statements while sometimes it is just a show of strength. Whatever be the reasons, the threat of cyber attacks is real and there can be no excuse for ignoring cybersecurity.
How To Avoid Cyber-crime?
Recently, payment processing platform Payza won the European MPE award for its fraud prevention measures. Payza fraud prevention team uses a proprietary Fraud prevention matrix to protect its business partners and individual users. The matrix is used to detect and flag any suspicious activity that might bear the footprints of a fraud. Identity theft is very common nowadays and Payza advises its users to be careful when they share their user account, personal or private information. These best practices can go a long way in protecting businesses and users.
Businesses in turn need to have a solid cyber security plan in place. The first step to building a cyber security plan is to identify what are the assets that you wish to protect. This also includes classification of data assets based on criticality and sensitivity of information. Once you know what you want to protect, the next step is to identify vulnerabilities. There could be networks, systems or even user vulnerabilities. You can now determine how you want to tackle these vulnerabilities. Usually a risk based approach is used so that businesses can protect their most critical assets first. Any security program can only succeed if it continuously adapts itself to the changes in the environment. Hackers are always finding new ways to commit fraud and hence security teams must also come up with new ways to tackle them and prevent them before they happen. Payza’s fraud prevention matrix scores high in this regard.