None of the cyber threats mentioned below are new; in fact, many of these tech maladies have been around and have persisted for decades. And while there are many ways to protect against these threats, they persist. This is a battle being fought 24/7/365 by good vs. evil.
If you are paying attention, you’d know that criminals are equally skilled at defeating the good guys and, in some ways, they are more motivated because the payout is often huge. Fortunately, there are some amazing companies out there with the skills to defend us against evil. These companies are part of the growing ecosystem that is the cybersecurity industry.
The following are 5 cyberthreats that are running businesses and lives, therefore they just need to DIE.
Malware was created in order to get money…plain and simple. New trojans are hitting multiple industries all the time, and the newest ones are focusing on getting access to people’s bank accounts. This type of malware is spread in the typical way – emails, phishing sites, etc. Once these are installed on a device, they are totally focused on banks, and they continuously attempt to access users’ login information. The malware does this by using spyware techniques like key-logging, which is then sent back to the bad guys. Banking trojan use keeps rising, and trojans are also starting to hit our mobile phones, particularly Android devices.
Ransomware is a wicked form of malware that takes control of an infected computer and literally holds the information on the device for ransom…until the victim pays a certain amount of money.
The good news is that ransomware attacks are declining amongst consumers, but the bad news is entire municipalities are being victimized. A Florida town victimized by ransomware recently paid over $600,000 to get their data back. Another recent ransomware attack affected computers in 22 towns in Texas. That’s the kind of coordinated attack that needs to DIE.
Brute Force Using Credential Stuffing
Each year there are major hacks at huge companies which expose millions of compromised usernames and passwords. Hackers then take these stolen credentials and automatically stuff them into various websites to attempt to log into accounts. Basically, the hackers do this because it’s widely known that most people use the same username and password combinations on more than one site. With that said, if bad guys can get your username and password from, let’s say, your Dropbox or Myspace account, they can also use the same combination to get into your bank account, if you use the same credentials.
Because of this, we must do what we can to make our credentials more secure. This is a big problem, and it’s getting worse. A quick search will show that the password 123456 is used more than 24 million times.
The Internet of Things
The Internet of Things, or IoT, is a term that basically defines any device that can connect to the internet or a wireless network. Sometimes called “endpoints” these devices range from smart home thermostats to mobile phones to even toys.
However, IoT devices almost never have any type of built-in security. This opens them up to being easily hacked. Security experts know that these IoT devices must be locked down better than they are now; however, companies who produce these devices are often lax and seem not to care.
Phishing has been around for years, and it is still a favorite activity of hackers. While most of us associate phishing with emails, hackers are also taking advantage of several attack methods.
We have seen these phishing attacks come from ads, pop-ups, search results, chat apps, rogue browser extensions, and instant messages. Even people within the IT community don’t realize how fast these phishing attacks can move, and it’s not stopping. Approximately 93 percent of data breaches are associated with a phishing attack.
Phishing isn’t going to die any time soon. which is why companies need to invest in security awareness training to combat the threat.
The ETF Managers Group’s Prime Cyber Security ETF (NYSE: HACK) is a globally diversified, liquid, exchange-traded fund for people who are looking to take advantage of the growth of the cyber security industry. HACK invests in a portfolio of companies that lead the war on cybercrime. HACK was the first ETF, and continues to be the largest ETF by AUM, to provide investment exposure to this forward-looking theme.
Carefully consider the Fund’s investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses before investing. This and other information can be found in the Fund’s summary or statutory prospectuses available on www.etfmg.com. Please read the prospectus carefully before investing.
Investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal. Shares of any ETF are bought and sold at market price (not NAV), may trade at a discount or premium to NAV and are not individually redeemed from the Fund. Brokerage commissions will reduce returns. Narrowly focused investments typically exhibit higher volatility.
The fund is concentrated in technology-related companies that face intense competition, both domestically and internationally, which may have an adverse effect on profit margins.
The Fund is distributed by ETFMG Financial LLC.