Globally, October is recognised as Cybersecurity awareness month. 2022 may have offered some respite from the previous year’s rush to enable a remote and hybrid world, but the increased use of personal devices also left security professionals with even more endpoints to manage and secure. As illustrated by breaches like the March 2022 attack on Shields Health Care Group that impacted two million people and the April ransomware attack that became a national emergency for the Costa Rican government, we all need to be cyber defenders to protect what matters.
The FBI describes the impact and losses from cybercrime as “staggering,” with over $4 billion in losses in 2020 alone. The 2020 Internet Crime Report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime—an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019 Cybercrime is a growing problem that needs to be addressed. Perpetrators behind these crimes range from individuals looking for easy profit to hostile nation-states and terrorist organisations.
The first form of Cyber-attack took place in Genesis 27. This is the story of Jacob and Esau. When Jacob presents himself as Esau to Isaac, his blind dying father, to gain his birthright blessing- he basically performed what today we call an act of Identify Theft.
With the prevalence of computerised business systems in stores, banks, and government offices, this increase in computer-related crime raises concerns for privacy and safety.
The Bible prophesied that “in the last days perilous times [times of stress] will come” (2 Timothy 3:1). It describes some of these stressors as men being “lovers of money,” unloving, slanderers, brutal, and treacherous (verses 2–4). Computer crimes cause much stress to the victims. Those who perpetrate such crimes while sitting safely behind a computer screen may not fully comprehend—or simply do not care about—the devastating impact on the lives of the recipients of their evil actions.
The growing prevalence of cybercrime is evidence of what happens when people without a godly worldview acquire certain technical skills. We need people with solid Christian ethics involved in these fields to use these potentially dangerous skills to pursue a higher calling, one in which they embody the exhortation in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I will offer 3 Tips for you to consider.
Tip #1: Use A Strong And Protective Password Manager
What is a password manager, you may be asking? Password managers are encrypted databases that typically use one complex password to safeguard all other passwords. They can then help generate complex passwords for each account without you having to memorise them all. According to Microsoft, more than 80 percent of breaches stem from weak or compromised login credentials, so it is more important than ever to use a strong, unique password for each account.
Tip #2: Enable Multi-Factor Authentication Everywhere Possible
Even with the growing use of password managers, there is more that you can do to keep your accounts and information secure. Multifactor authentication adds an extra locked door of security to your account. It comes in many different forms, ranging from a code that arrives in an email or text message to a secure token tied to your account. However, Security.org states that 13 percent of account hacks were those using two or multifactor authentication. Building up your layers of security will close that gap.
Tip #3: Be Wary Of What You Click
In today’s world, there are more phishing attacks than ever before. One of the most common occurrences is receiving an email that looks as though it is from a reliable company or professional superior. It is more important than ever to hover your mouse pointer over links in an email and to check the sender’s email address. If anything looks suspicious, play it safe and get a trusted person’s opinion or delete it to be safe. Also, some email providers (Gmail and Outlook are two) have phishing and spam tags that automatically report the issue for investigation.
Everyone has a role to play in cybersecurity, and when we learn together, we are more secure together.
Written by Elder Raymond Agyemang (Cyber Security Professional)