Internet Security 101 | How To Be Safe In 2022

Internet Safety

Internet security is all about the safe use of the internet and any online activity. Going online gives you access to a wide array of information and services. Unfortunately, it also opens you up to vulnerabilities that can be used to attack your data. Internet security prioritizes addressing these vulnerabilities before they become an issue.

Global cyberattacks increased by 42% in the first quarter of  2022, compared to the previous year. These attacks have affected nearly every industry, including education, healthcare and manufacturing. The basis of these attacks is various vulnerabilities in critical infrastructure. There is a clear need to implement better internet security protocols against such attacks.

The risks to internet security

Understanding the security protocols you need to implement starts with knowing what risks you are facing. Some of the biggest threats observed this year include:

IoT vulnerabilities

The interconnected nature of devices over the Internet opens them up to greater risk. The Internet of Things (IoT) can be used as a gateway to gain access to a network of devices. Malicious agents can use this access to retrieve sensitive information from the cloud. With more businesses turning towards IoT technologies, it is likely to become an increasingly serious cybersecurity risk.

Cloud security breaches

By 2025, over 100 zettabytes of data will have moved to cloud storage. The increasing adoption of cloud computing has focused more attacks in this direction. Cyberattacks for cloud storage often focus on account takeovers or a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, which locks users out of their data.

A more sophisticated version of this attack uses domain name system (DNS) amplification to attack. DNS vulnerabilities are exploited by turning small queries into much larger traffic, which overwhelms servers and causes them to crash.

Ransomware attacks

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common in recent years. The first half of 2022 experienced over 236 million ransomware attacks, a substantial increase from the previous year. Losing data access and the financial burden of such attacks put a great strain on business operations. If they last long enough, they can put the entire business in jeopardy.

Maintaining internet security

Given the potential for attacks, your priority should be to try and secure your system and connections the best way you can. Some of the necessary steps you need to take include

DNS solutions

IoT device vulnerabilities can be countered with DNS security. IoT devices need to be secured and managed to reduce the risk they pose to the rest of the IT infrastructure and the organization itself. DNS solutions offer secure communication, which limits the spread of risk via connected devices.

An effective application of DNS solutions is to limit access for IoT devices. Using query filtering, a “whitelist” of allowed domains can be created that allows access by these devices. Only a DNS request for an explicitly allowed domain would then be entertained.

Antivirus protection

Antivirus software goes a long way in offering internet security. When set to run automatic scans, any files you access online undergo scrutiny before they are accepted on your device. Antivirus is the most basic defense against malware, virus and other malicious agents.

Such software can also run in the background to offer protection in real time. The point to remember is that a comprehensive security protocol needs to go along with any security software you use. For example, regularly updating your software ensures it is functioning well and can defend against new forms of attacks and viruses.

VPN technology

A virtual private network (VPN) connection ensures the security of the connection between your device and the internet. It serves a two-fold purpose. First, as data passes through an encrypted tunnel of sorts, it disguises your IP address. Therefore, your location cannot be divulged based on the address in the event of an attack.

Secondly, it offers protection against external attacks. It is able to establish secure connections as you interact with services online. With a VPN, you can keep information hidden, making it harder for malicious agents to launch an attack against you. Rather than protecting your system from an active threat, it simply makes you a difficult target.

Network security

Network security solutions and protocols are designed to keep your online activity safe. It is a comprehensive system that considers every aspect of vulnerability on the internet and seeks to protect your system against it. Such solutions not only protect your system from external attacks but also ensure internal security is maintained to counter potential vulnerabilities.

Multiple levels of protection ensure the system is resistant to attacks. Information is broken down into multiple parts, rather than being transmitted as a whole. Each part is then independently encrypted and then shared over separate communication paths. This type of security is a preventative measure against potential vulnerabilities in the system.

Conclusion

Internet security is an increasingly relevant concern. Greater business reliance on remote work and cloud-based solutions may offer new opportunities, but it has also opened new vulnerabilities in business systems. With the increasing risk of cyberattacks and ever-evolving types of attacks, it is more important than ever for businesses to adopt an internet security protocol.

Implementing a comprehensive network security system can counter a lot of system vulnerabilities. Businesses can employ many other methods, such as DNS solutions and VPN technology, to ensure their business remains safe and secure, and ready to deal with potential attacks.

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