The ranks of hackers are exploding — here’s how to protect yourself
The number of people with hacking skills has exploded recently, but it’s still possible to protect yourself from almost any attack, according to Microsoft’s latest Digital Defense Report.
Microsoft has among the most complete collections of cybersecurity data compiled from Windows computers around the world and has analyzed this information to uncover some interesting insights for 2022. Something immediately obvious from the report is the threat posed by phishing attacks and ransomware is growing rapidly and at the same time become more sophisticated, but you can still protect yourself.
A phenomenon known as hacktivism is responsible for readily available resources that enable anyone to acquire the basic skills needed to launch a cyberattack. While the idea of hacking for good causes may be well-intentioned, the end result is that information is now readily available for anyone to use for any purpose. This has led to issues such as a 74% increase in password attacks, which equates to a staggering 921 attempts every second.
The good news is that the most basic cybersecurity protections have proven to be sufficient to protect against 98% of these hacking attempts. The first and most obvious recommendation is to enable two-factor authentication (2FA) in all your most important accounts. Your smartphone can be used as a way to identify that you are actually logging in, making it significantly more difficult for a hacker to gain access to your computer, even if they know your password and your answers to security questions.
Additional steps you should take include using antivirus software and keeping your computer’s operating system and apps up to date with security updates. Microsoft also reminded businesses to do their part by using Zero Trust principles and protecting data strongly. Zero Trust works exactly as it sounds, assuming nothing and not trusting anyone until they authenticate.
Microsoft’s 2022 Digital Defense highlights how intensive and widespread hacking has become and helps explain the rigorous cyber security we are all burdened with these days. As challenging as it may seem to follow logins with authentication, it is much easier than struggling to recover your data after being hacked. Preventing attacks with good security and vigilance is the best approach.
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