Technology has come a long way in recent years. It was only a few decades ago that the earliest computers were finding their way into homes and businesses around the world, and now, the globe is gripped with digital technology and always-connected devices.
From the rise of smartphones to the innovation of cloud storage, we’ve seen one technological breakthrough after another offering countless benefits to both individuals and businesses, but the journey towards today’s technological world hasn’t always been a simple one.
While modern devices and systems offer countless advantages, they also bring new risks and dangers too, and we’ve seen many examples of how hackers, cyber attacks, and data leaks can spread chaos and do incredible damage to the world at large.
Fortunately, while there are countless new cyber threats being developed and released all the time, there are equally many new forms of digital defense that have been created and established to block these threats and protect user data and safety. Here are just some ways in which businesses and individuals can make use of modern tech to stay safe.
Firewalls are one of the oldest forms of digital defense, but they’re still one of the most effective, even in today’s world, and it’s absolutely essential for connected devices to have some form of firewall set up and running in order to have at least a fundamental level of security and protection against cyber attacks, and potential hacks.
For the uninitiated, firewalls are network security systems that basically track and control incoming and outgoing traffic to a network, serving as a barrier against untrusted signals and preventing unauthorized users from getting access to your networks and devices.
One of the best ways to prepare for something is to essentially pretend that it’s happening and see how you would react. This is why we have the concept of fire drills, for example, or earthquake preparation training. The same logic applies to cyber attacks, in the form of penetration tests.
Penetration tests, also known as red team exercises, are essentially simulations of real-world cyber attacks, using the same tools and techniques commonly favored by hackers. Penetration testing companies are able to simulate these attacks for companies and identify weaknesses in their digital defenses which can then be reinforced.
Of course, another one of the many ways in which devices can be protected against cyber attacks and digital threats is in the form of anti-virus or anti-malware software. With countless cyber attacks happening all the time and so many new viruses being developed, having an up to date and effective anti-malware security suite on your computers, tablets, and phones can make a real difference.
Viruses and malware are used by hackers to infect devices. They can then corrupt files, provide back-door access to devices, or even ‘enslave’ devices and give the hacker totally control, allowing them to use infected devices as bots or even demand ransoms from the genuine device owners in order to get control back.
A VPN or virtual private network is another form of digital security technology that more and more internet users are opting to install. VPNs work by encrypting online connections from connected devices, giving every connection an extra layer of security and also hiding the device’s IP address, preventing hackers, cyber criminals, and even ISPs from being able to see what a user is doing.
This can make a massive difference to cyber-security, helping users feel more private and protected when engaging in different online activities such as online banking, uploading sensitive work files, or downloading documents in remote locations while connected to public Wi-Fi networks.
Training and Education
One of the simplest ways in which anyone can improve their sense of cyber security, whether they be an individual wanting to learn new skills or a business seeking to protect its interests, is to take the time to actually train and learn more about the best cyber security practices and techniques.
Even in today’s digital, technological world, there are still many people who have fundamental gaps in their cyber security knowledge, putting them at risk of malware, phishing attacks, weak passwords, and more. Training and educational courses can be of great benefit to businesses and individuals wanting to stay safer online.
The threats and dangers of the digital landscape are clear to see and can be immensely damaging, so have to be taken seriously. Fortunately, as shown above, there are many lines of defense against these kinds of attacks and new forms of protection being developed all the time.