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Jim Gladden Shares Top Cybersecurity Threats Facing Businesses Today in Edmonton

by Busines Newswire
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The IT sector is on high alert due to a variety of new cybersecurity threats. Experts like Jim Gladden from Edmonton warn that stakes are higher than ever, which even seems to undermine public confidence in deeply held values like democracy, capitalism, and personal privacy. Moreover, there is still a severe shortage of cyber professionals. Here is a closer look at the top cybersecurity threats for 2024, with damage from cybercrime predicted to reach over $10 trillion a year by 2025.

1. Phishing and Smishing

According to Jim Gladden, you can say that phishing is like fishing, but instead of fish, cybercriminals try to catch your personal information. They do this by sending fake emails that look real. These emails might ask you to click on a link or give out your password. On the other hand, smishing is similar to phishing, but it happens through text messages instead of emails. You might get a text that looks like it’s from your bank, asking for your account details.

How to Stay Safe

  • Be cautious: If an email or text looks suspicious, don’t click on any links or give out personal information.
  • Report it: Let your company know if you receive any suspicious messages so they can take action.
  • Use security tools: Make sure your company has tools to block fake emails and texts from reaching you.

2. Malware

Malware is a type of virus for your computer. It sneaks in and can do all sorts of bad things, like steal your information or make your computer slow.

How to Stay Safe

  • Use antivirus software: This special software can help protect your computer from malware.
  • Keep your software updated: Updates often fix security problems that hackers can use to sneak in.
  • Be careful online: Don’t click on anything that looks suspicious, like pop-up ads or strange links.

3. Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks up your computer and demands money to unlock it. It’s like someone holding your computer hostage until you pay up.

How to Stay Safe

  • Keep your computer updated: Updates can fix security holes that ransomware uses to get in.
  • Back up your data: Make copies of your important files so you won’t lose them if your computer gets infected.
  • Be cautious: Don’t open email attachments or click on links from people you don’t know.

4. Business Email Compromise (BEC)

BEC is when cybercriminals deceive employees into sending money or sensitive information through email. They might pretend to be a boss or a trusted colleague to fool you.

How to Stay Safe

  • Double-check: Always verify requests for money or information, especially if they seem urgent.
  • Use strong passwords: Don’t use easy-to-guess passwords that hackers can crack.
  • Report suspicious emails: Let your IT team know if you get any emails that seem fishy.

5. Trusted Insider Threats

Sometimes, people who work for a company can be a threat. They might steal information or cause harm on purpose.

How to Stay Safe

  • Limit access: Only give employees access to the information they need to do their jobs.
  • Watch for unusual behavior: Keep an eye out for anyone acting strangely or trying to access things they shouldn’t.
  • Train employees: Teach everyone about cybersecurity and what to do if they see something suspicious.

6. Unintentional Disclosure

Sometimes, employees might accidentally share sensitive information, like customer data, without meaning to.

How to Stay Safe

  • Be careful: Think twice before sharing anything sensitive, especially online.
  • Use monitoring tools: These tools can help track who has access to what information and catch any accidental sharing.

7. Storage Reconnaissance

This is when cybercriminals search for unprotected cloud storage to steal valuable data.

How to Stay Safe

  • Encrypt your data: Encryption scrambles your data so hackers can’t read it.
  • Use strong passwords: Don’t make it easy for hackers to guess your passwords.
  • Update regularly: Keep your systems updated to fix any security problems.

8. Zero-Day Attacks

These attacks happen when hackers find a security hole in a system before anyone else knows about it. It’s like finding a back door into a house before the owner knows it’s there.

How to Stay Safe

  • Use firewalls: Firewalls can block hackers from getting into your system.
  • Update your software: Updates often fix security problems, so make sure to install them right away.

9. Social Engineering

This is when hackers trick people into giving them information by pretending to be someone they’re not. They might pretend to be a friend or a company you trust.

How to Stay Safe

  • Keep an open mind: If something looks too good to be true, it most likely is.
  • Don’t give out personal information: Be careful about sharing information online, especially with people you don’t know.
  • Report suspicious activity: Let your company know if you think someone might be trying to trick you.

10. Data Exfiltration

This is when someone takes data from a computer or network without permission. It’s like stealing secrets from a company.

How to Stay Safe

  • Monitor your network: Keep an eye on who’s accessing your data and what they’re doing with it.
  • Use security tools: Tools can help detect any unusual activity that might indicate data theft.

Wrapping Up

In today’s digital world, a strong cybersecurity plan is crucial. As threats grow, so must our defenses. It’s not just up to one person or group—it’s a team effort. Jim Gladden concluded that we can prevent cyberattacks by being vigilant, learning, and acting. Together, we can reduce risks and build a safer online environment. It’s about working together, learning from each other, and taking steps to keep our digital world secure.