Security is a bigger concern than ever. The estimated global cost of cybercrime is $445 billion, and that is accelerating quickly. In Australia, research from comparison website, Savvy, found that there has been an 85 per cent YoY jump in online scams so far this year alone, for a total damage of $72 million.
Almost as soon as the pandemic forced people to work from home, there was a big spike in the number of hacking attempts targeting the home office. Gaming has largely moved online, but this opens consumers up to a host of threats, ranging from account takeovers to doxxing, and active listening attacks. Another big vector for attack is cryptocurrency and NFTs. These are new investment opportunities that excite a lot of people. And yet, there are inherent security flaws with these that have resulted in some massive hacks that seem to keep getting larger. Indeed, as Bloomberg wrote last year, cryptocurrency has “turbocharged” the cybercrime racket.
People need to be more cautious online than ever before, and they need security solutions that are up to the task in supporting them.
Just how easy is it becoming to fool someone?
As just about everyone knows, you’re at your safest online when you’re not entering details into strange websites, when you recognize a fake email and delete it, and you resist downloading attachments or clicking on links that seem dodgy.
The problem is that that’s getting harder to do, and deepfakes are a good example of that. As a Norton blog article explains: “Deepfake videos generated lots of buzz in 2018 when Jordan Peele was putting words in Barack Obama’s mouth, and this year people on TikTok were treated to several very convincing videos of a young Tom Cruise. While creating truly realistic videos is still difficult, it’s getting easier and more approachable each year. And this is also true for image and audio deepfakes.” In short, the hackers are getting access to better and more nuanced tools. Nigerian Prince scams have evolved into things that can catch reasonable people out.
Across all the threat vectors, we can see that five of the most vulnerable types of home user includes:
1) The student. They’re using the Internet to research for projects – potentially bringing them into contact with unusual websites and downloads that might have viruses on them – and are communicating online which puts them at risk of active listening threats.
2) The home professional. Because they’ve connecting to their office network over their home connection, they’re a natural target for any hacker that wants access to the business. Unless they’re working over a high-quality VPN, they risk their data to and from the network becoming an entrance point for a commercial saboteur, hacktivist, or other.
3) The gamer. With their frequent P2P connections with other gamers around the world, the gamer is at high risk of giving someone with malicious intent direct access to their data. Gamers are also disproportionality targeted with doxxing and online bullying attacks.
4) The casual user. Someone who only logs online to do their shopping or social networking is a high-risk target for malicious attacks. Their lower familiarity with safety best practices online means they’re more vulnerable to phishing attacks and otherwise clicking on links they shouldn’t be.
4) The highly connected user. Many people are now embracing IoT to fill their home with connected devices. Everything from light bulbs to security cameras and home automation systems. These are all vulnerable if not carefully secured and maintained.
Norton has carefully designed its Norton 360 solution to protect users in these categories, with both preventative measures and damage mitigation should an attack be successful.
To help protect an environment from attackers, the Norton solution includes a Secure VPN, rated to bank-quality levels of encryption. Password Manager, meanwhile, allows users to follow password best practices with each individual login having a strong password without you needing to remember them down (or risk writing them down anywhere). Finally, if an attack should compromise the environment, PC Cloud Backup allows the restoration of data to a point before the infection occurred, instantly cleaning the device.
This is in addition to Firewall and Antivirus features that identify unsafe websites and downloads, and even Dark Web Monitoring, which constantly scours the dark web and private forums looking for personal information, and sends notifications if your information has been compromised.
Norton 360 can protect PCs, Macs, and smartphones and tablets, so whatever kind of user you are, your primary devices will be covered by the solution. For more information on Norton 360 and the protection it offers, click here.