Internet Security Threats Other Than Cyber-Attacks

Cyber-attacks have been on the rise and it has negatively affected many big companies. TalkTalk is one of the recent victims whereby personal data of about 4 million of its customers was stolen. However, studies were conducted regarding online security and the results showed that there is a bigger risk to online security apart from cyber crime.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct a survey on incidents of cyber security across companies in the UK. The survey was aimed at creating awareness among UK businesses of the risks and key trends. PwC released a report which showed that security breaches that are staff related has risen to 75%. The previous year, only 58% of large companies were affected. Small businesses were not left out as 31% also suffered security breaches that were staff related. This is an increase from the previous year where only 22% of small businesses were affected.

Businesses that took part in the survey were questioned about the worst breach they had suffered and 50% of them said their worst breaches were caused by human error. This is an increase from the 31% that was recorded the previous year. The cost of these incidents has also doubled causing some to change the nature of their businesses. The report also stated that incidents of human error were “near certainty.” They advised businesses to ensure their defenses kept pace with the Internet security threats.

Cyber Attack
Apart from PwC, CheckRecipient also conducted its own research. CheckRecipient is a cyber security company and it works with law firms in the UK to ensure sensitive information is not emailed to the wrong person. The report showed that in 2014, 9% of the data security incidents reported was as a result of human error. This is higher than intentional cyber espionage that accounts for 0.8% of the data security incidents. The CEO of CheckRecipient, Tim Sadler, was surprised that not much attention was being given to the inside Internet security threat faced by most companies.

Security breaches caused by human error can be categorized into 3 parts and PwC reported on how each part was affected. They include:

1.Breach of laws and regulations that govern data protection. In 2014, 45% of such incidents occurred while in 2015, the incidents increased to 57%.

2.Unauthorized access to systems or data. 57% of such incidents occurred in 2014 but in 2015, they rose to 65%.

3.Loss or leakage of financial information. These incidents rose from 55% in 2014 to 66% in 2015.

Morrisons is one of the companies that suffered an incident related to personal data loss of its customers. Andrew Skelton who was a senior internal auditor in the head office at Bradford, received discipline for conducting eBay deals using the company’s postroom. Due to this, he got through company controls, obtained and leaked data that contained dates of birth, national insurance numbers, bank account details and salaries of nearly 100,000 employees. The information was sent to various newspapers. He was later sentenced to 8 years in jail. It costs Morrisons more than 2 million pounds to deal with the problem.

Internet Security
Despite the company’s efforts and Andrew Skelton being jailed, some 2000 current and former employees of the company have sued the company due to the leaked information claiming that the company had the responsibility of keeping such information confidential. Morrisons refused to accept liability for the actions of Andrew Skelton. The spokesman of the company also said the company was not aware of anyone who suffered financial loss from the breach.

In PwC’s report, it was noted that some of the Internet security incidents were as a result of giving low priority to security, poorly understood Internet security policies and lack of briefing company boards of security risks. Companies that had faced such problems suffered more security breaches compared to those that gave Internet security high priority, trained their staff on Internet security and briefed the board of the company about any security risks the company faces.

As Internet security threats increase due to human error, both small and large companies should focus on dealing with this Internet security threat first as it costs a lot of money to control the damage. After that, other Internet security threats can be focused on.

Some Types Of Internet Security Threats

The world we are living in is making a fast evolution to digitize everything. Books, weight loss programs, music, even parties and classes are all now available online in digital form. Indeed, the technology for all these applications continues to innovate and grow exponentially fast.

Needless to say, with this raging growth in the online industry follows a rapidly increasing number of cyber security threats. As every aspect of our lives turns digital, we are in turn becoming more and more open to having our files compromised, our privacy violated, and our information stolen. Government and hackers alike are to blame, because Internet surveillance is now pervasive in almost every country, despite public protest over such bad measures.

There is a host of obvious threats to your Internet security and here’s what online users should watch out for.


Ransomware is a sickening form of malicious software, which infects victims’ computers, locks up all, or some documents and asks for payment in exchange for them to regain access. Cryptolocker – the most infamous example of ransomware – was earlier this year dealt as huge blow when several people were arrested by federal officials for allegedly being involved in the scam.

And, although that crackdown was a great step, Internet security experts say the software is still spreading and it is now moving to new soft targets. Intel’s McAfee Labs, has managed to track a rapidly rising number of ransomware attacks, especially on mobile devices.


Possibly scarier: Internet security experts generally recommend that people back up their data in order to avoid the pain of losing access to their documents and files, however, McAfee has warned that new ransomware strains might attempt to target securely stored login info for cloud backup service and lock up the files too.

Consider backing up your documents to external hard drives to avoid ransomware threats. Just like with many other kinds of malware, this one is also often unknowingly downloaded when consumers click on links or open email attachments.

However, if you at any one time you become a victim of ransomware attacks, please avoid the temptation of paying up. There is absolutely no guarantee the villains will actually free up your files, and funding Internet security crooks’ activities only worsens up the matter.

Malicious messages that certainly seem like the real thing

Cybercriminals mostly deliver malicious software or obtain personal information by tricking their victims with messages that really seem as legitimate. Download the attachment or click the link, and you have unintentionally infected your mobile device or computer.

Such malicious e-mails were once unsophisticatedly done: poor grammar, broken images, or other hints that the messages were not really coming from your mom or the bank. However, cybercriminals now have advanced increasingly and are now using toolkits’ at their disposal to help them build very truthful-looking malware and messages.

They can direct a tool at any website, say a school, and it scrapes the actual school site’s language, logo, language, everything. Internet security experts used to tell consumers to stay clear of things that look suspicious, but these advanced toolkits’ can trick even sensitive customers. It is all turning out to be a more professional game that is likely to hurt many Internet users globally.

It is a highly sophisticated spin on old attacks, and it’s worrying that consumers are always wrongfully assuming they shall be able to know any malicious e-mail. The best thing you can to do remain safe from this type of Internet security threat is by simply not clicking on links coming from any e-mail.

If that is really too extreme for you, then be sure to hover your mouse over hyperlinks ensure they are taking you to the site they claim to be. And, if it appears even remotely wrong or strange, do not click the link. Try to exercise extreme caution whenever you are dealing with any attachments as well.

Targeting the “one percent”

Although cybercriminals may target a particular government or company entity, they generally don’t spend much time targeting a single person because the possible financial pay-off is not worth their time. Nonetheless, wealthy consumers are the exception, according to a recent Internet security research carried out.

Cyber Crime

It is highly expected that cybercriminals will have a more active eye towards the wealthy – the one percent. If a criminal thinks he/she can get a serious amount of money from a victim, he/she can decide to spend a lot of time on a personalized attack.

Even if you are part of the 99%, Internet security experts warn that consumers must desist from giving out information like employers, birthdays, as well as other bio details on Facebook , Twitter, and other sites. Crooks can be devious about leveraging this info.

Cyberwar and Espionageware

What Internet security experts have been terming as a “Cyber Cold War” for quite some time is now ramping up very quickly. Indeed, many nations and states both strong and weak see cyber-attacks, as the best weapon to counter United States’ global influence.

Therefore expect an increase in malicious software being used by governments to spy on the activities of certain individuals. Amnesty International recently released an antispyware tool, which scans devices for surveillance software belonging to governments.

Overall, Internet security experts predict the number of cyber-attacks will go up in 2015 and beyond. It is scary stuff, but there is hope that public awareness and conversation will as well increase. Of course, that will not happen overnight, but in order to make changes a conversation will have to be started.

In the meantime, there are a handful of best practices that can protect average persons from a host of vulnerabilities likely to face them. First, ensure to keep your antivirus software always updated, never store sensitive personal info online or on e-mails, use strong passwords, never sign into accounts when using Wi-Fi networks that are public and exercise extreme caution when downloading attachments or clicking links.

Hack Attacks Are Growing

Every time that you are connected to the Internet, you are potentially exposing yourself to a wide plethora of Internet security risks for your devices and the information that you share via them. These days, Internet security is a growing concern as the number of cyber-attacks keeps on increasing. More and more malicious attackers are out there and target all kinds of people. From the ordinary Internet user to huge corporations, these attackers will stop at nothing that gets in their way. Their aim is usually to steal important data that they can later use for other crimes such as impersonation and bank fraud. In some cases, the attackers may make compromise your device and use it to launch attacks on other suitable targets. This may get you into even greater trouble as you may be the subject of a criminal investigation for cyber-attacks that were carried out using your compromised device.


Internet security attacks happen every day at all times. Even as you are reading this, there is an attack taking place near you. Given the anonymity that cyber attackers have when perpetrating their attacks, it is very important that you stay safe at all times. There are several things that you can do in order to ensure that you stay safe when browsing the Internet. For starters, always make sure that you are connected to a secured network. Most free networks are usually the target of cyber criminals who use the weak Internet security of these networks to steal data from the people using the network. The number of attacks is increasing each day and as a general rule of thumb, you should not perform sensitive transactions over unsecured Wi-Fi networks. You should also install a trusted firewall or antivirus software on your devices or the router in order to keep all incidental attacks at bay.