We are too small to be a target!
We have often heard this phrase, but while it might be true of a Foreign Government or Intelligence agency, it really is not true of the average cyber attack nowadays.
Criminals are using automatic systems to attack IP addresses, if you are connected to the internet you have one of these. If there is a vulnerability on your system, the criminals can get lucky, find you and get in.
They want your email accounts, they want your online purchasing accounts, they want to impersonate you online. If they are not involved in frauds themselves they sell your details to those who are. If they can they will encrypt your data and ransom it back to you, not for massive amounts (usually £400-£800), in most cases the amount is often paid by a business or individual that does not have backup. The fact that its all automated makes it all very efficient, its mass production methods applied to extortion and theft, you and your internet connection are just a number.
As Ex-FBi cyber security expert Eric O’Neill says “Attackers don’t care about the size of a target. They only care whether you are vulnerable. Criminals and spies don’t get paid unless they win. They will therefore always seek the easiest path to victory.”
So what does this all mean?
You can’t just hope you won’t get attacked because you are not a rich multi-national. Security of your systems must be good enough for what you do online, you need to be running patched systems, you need to know what you should and shouldn’t click in emails, you should not believe unknown people who contact you pretending to be tech support. You MUST have copies of files you want to keep, if you use the internet they are at risk. Back up now.