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Did you think before you clicked, well,
you should have

Did you think before you clicked

“Stop and think before you click,” was the advice offered to all internet users by this month’s guest speaker and cyber security expert on 7 September during Firewater’s tilt session.

At Firewater we are passionate about learning, growing with and inspiring our stillmen and clients. It is for these reasons that the idea of tilt (Things I Learnt Today) sessions were born, where an industry professional is invited to share their experiences and expertise.

Andrew Kirkland, managing director and founder of CyberTAN, was our guest speaker at our most recent tilt session and gave us some chilling information about the statistics concerning cybercrime.

What the average internet surfer sees is only four per cent of what the internet has to offer, encompassing all that is indexed on popular search engines such as Google. 90 per cent of the internet is the ‘deep web’ which is used by government for its resources, medical documents and legal information. Six per cent of the internet is the ‘dark web’ which can only be accessed by certain users with certain computer configurations anonymously and this is used for illegal drug trafficking, hacking and cybercrime.

Cybercrime comes in different forms which range from targeting individuals to individuals within a company to CEO’s and executives. These are the common types that the average person should be aware of:

Phishing

The attempt to attain personal information by sending an email that will direct you to a website requesting that you enter your personal information. Attaining this information allows these fraudsters to assume your identity, use your credit details, and access your bank account and a host of other malicious activities.

Smishing

SMS phishing is a type of phishing that has been experienced by most people. Often we receive SMS’s directing us to a web page or prompting us to call the number of a person (that we’ve never heard of) who has supposedly left an enormous inheritance to us. Like phishing, this requires immediate action and for you to divulge your personal information.

Vishing

Andrew explained that the most common and alarming type of cybercrime, however, is still social engineering. “Social engineering is defined as the activity of deceiving or manipulating you into giving something up,” he said.

This type of crime takes place when a call is received from a fraudster impersonating a trustworthy source such as your bank or network provider, to whom you willingly offer your personal information under false pretences.

Spear phishing

Spear phishing targets employees at a company, in hopes that just one will engage with a misleading email, which facilitate the installation of malware on a server or network, in order to gain access to the company’s sensitive information at large.

Whaling

This type of hacking attacks executives at the head of a company who would have access permissions that no one else would have; the execution of which is similar to that of phishing. An email communication is made which requires action that could direct the target to a URL that would require an add-on to access. The add-on would install malware on the computer and allow the hacker to access the company’s information.

Throughout the year hackers steal billions in money and information. “The value of cybercrime, as it stands today, is at $450 billion a year,” Andrew explained. “What’s the drug trade valued at? $440 billion – it [cybercrime] has surpassed the drug trade – and this is all organised cybercrime.”

Cybercrime is a threat to all people, through any technological device with an internet connection and the future of protection of the information on our PC’s and laptops lies in a combination of anti-viruses and anti-malware, while the solution to social engineering is vigilance and awareness. Cyber security, however, is a vast subject best explained by an expert in the industry. Contact CyberTAN on +27 87 135 4387.

At the next tilt session we will be hosting another exciting guest who will have more stimulating technological, PR, digital or industry related insights to offer up. Follow Firewater on Facebook to see when the next session will be held and book your seat before they’re all gone.

Contact us at pr@firewater.net to find out more.