The level of sophistication in cybercrime and cyber terrorism has dramatically increased in the past five years, and so has the frequency of attacks against American targets. The attacks come from within the U.S. and from around the world.
From the private sector such as credit card and healthcare companies to governmental agencies, and attacks against privately owned computers, no entity or person is immune to the effects of cyber terrorism.
It’s important to guard your personal and professional content against cyber terrorism.
Below are some facts about how this crime is affecting internet security in general across the web.
Forms of Cyber Terrorism
Cyber terrorism is an act of warfare that is conducted over the internet with the intent to cause a massive disruption in public and private life, infrastructure or safety. Some examples of cyber terrorism include hacking of financial information, release of personal identifying data such as names, dates of birth and social security numbers, website defacing, introduction of viruses into servers and networks and the takeover of networks, such as what recently happened at a California medical center. Hackers who have the power to disrupt websites through infiltration often make threats or hold internet access for ransom, which can be devastating to companies’ finances and reputation.
How Cyber Terrorism Affects Everyday Activities on the Internet
Cyber terrorism makes it more difficult for individuals to access information and websites that have been hacked. The vulnerability means that more costly and time consuming safeguards must be put into place to protect data. Instead of a single sign-in, users may need to go through a multi-step authentication process. This is the reason why we must always “prove our humanity” through visual tests and word authentication online, and the systems seem to be getting more and more complex and time-consuming each year to keep up with hackers and bot systems. Inconvenience is not the only issue, however: when home locks, medical equipment and fire prevention systems are online and accessed by a cyber terrorist, there can be a direct threat to human life if these systems are sabotaged or hijacked.
What Is Being Done to Prevent Cyber Terrorism?
The FBI Cyber Division is an arm of law enforcement that is dedicated to combating cyber terrorism. With computer scientists and coders based nationally and internationally, cyber intrusions and attacks are some of the crimes handled by this division. Public agencies are increasing their defenses by using more encryption. Private companies such as credit card companies have employed technology such as microchips that are embedded into cards. These chips generate a single-use authentication code for each transaction so that a skimmer or other unauthorized access would not allow for the card to be used on any other transactions.
If you’re concerned about internet security and are wondering how you can help, you might consider looking into an information assurance degree online. Earning an information assurance degree can help individuals, companies and organizations to prevent and fight back against cybercrime. Under one of these programs, you will learn how to protect data and anticipate a variety of threats.