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Cyber Security

Make sure your protected when you are on the internet

7 Most Important Cyber Security Topics

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Is your network secure?

If you’re interested in a career in Cyber Security, it’s important to keep these 7 topics top of mind, as you will be working in them almost daily. In this blog post, we define the 7 most important cyber security topics, and give some high-level tips around each one.

Password Security

Passwords are how we are linked to everything on the Internet. A weak password has a higher chance of being attacked, whereas a strong password has the least likely to be attacked.
The first thing is never to choose a password that is listed as a common password. This includes the following:
●     qwerty.
●     password.
●     111111.
●     12345678.
●     abc123.
●     1234567.
●     password1.
●     12345.
Online security is top priority
These passwords will more than likely see your account hacked.
A strong password contains up to 16 characters, a symbol, uppercase characters, lowercase characters, and numbers.
Keeping your account password secure is the first step in securing your digital life, but it’s not the only way an attacker can get into your account.

Malware

Malware is known as bad software or malicious software that comes from the Internet. The trick about malware is that you can just be checking your email and malware automatically comes on your system.
There isn’t much that can be done to stop malware, other than making sure that your system is secured with some sort of anti-malware agent to prevent attackers from stealing account credentials or personal information.
There are tools to help you delete malware from your system, those include the following:
●     Malwarebytes
●     Avast
●     Norton
●     McAfee
●     Windows Defender
There are others on the market as well including ClamAV, Panda Cloud, AVG and others. Each anti-malware agent can use a certain amount of resources and some are better at detecting malware than others.

Privacy

Privacy is becoming a bigger threat to cyber security and similar to malware, it controls or works on your system while you are doing something else like checking your email, or even typing up a document.
Websites and Apps thrive on data login credentials and history to see keep track or suggest new products or trends for you. This data is a goldmine for a cyber thief.
There are many ways to stop this from happening to you and your computers.
Privacy issues online
  1. Install an AdBlocker on your favorite browser. These AdBlockers contain code that stops ads from appearing on websites, which don’t install cookies to your system. A cookie is a hidden object that you download, while most are safe and don’t have any evil intentions, there are some out there that are bad. Some AdBlockers include:
    1. AdBlock Plus
    2. AdBlock
    3. NoScript
    4. Ghost
  2. Install and use a VPN, a VPN is a virtual private network, it is used as it says, to put you in a private system in a virtual environment. Popular VPN’s include:
    1. NordVPN
    2. IPVanish
    3. CyberGhost
  3. Deleting cookies and cache every week will also help with privacy concerns. There are tools that can be found that can do this for you
    1. CClenear
    2. BleachBit
    3. Onyx

Data Breaches

These over the last few years have become some of the most strong cyber attacks around, where companies who hold your data are hacked and attacked. Many companies now are dealing with data breaches from video game companies to credit card companies.
Due to all the data breaches on the network, it’s important to hide and keep yourself secured.
As a person you can not stop data breaches from happening, the main thing to understand is if you are a victim of a breach, contact the company that the attack happened to. Those companies have in place a contingency plan that will notify you on.

Safe Computing

It’s very easy to keep your habits and computer safe from attackers, as well as from other hackers. The best is to find good Internet security software, but understand it will not help you with everything.
As the user, you still need to control what others see you online as. This includes scanning your computer or viruses, or even malware.

Scams

While not as big as it used to be, there are online scammers out there. These scammers usually work right after some major events, including a natural disaster.
Typically, an attacker will call you representing the American Red Cross, and he or she asks for a donation for some event that happened. Usually, these phone calls are not legit. This person is looking for your credit card so they can purchase things, or even ruin your credit.
Scams come in many different ways including social media chats and phishing emails where it looks like they are coming from a legit company but they are not. It is very tough to catch these types of criminals as you don’t know if the person on the other end is legit or fake.
The best way to find out if it’s a scam is to ask questions.

Mobile Protection

Like scams, the same goes for protecting your mobile device, as well as protecting the data that is on the device.
While you can not protect the individual applications, you can protect what content and data you give to these companies.
On certain devices (Android) there are ways to protect to have anti-virus and anti-malware to help protect the actual mobile device. iPhones do not have this capability as they are secured by Apple’s network code.
In many ways, you have to treat your mobile device as an extension of your desktop computer.
If you are looking for a cybersecurity program in San Diego, or network security training in San Diego, ICOHS College offers those programs. The college is an academic partner of CISCO, Microsoft, VM Ware IT Academy, EC-Council and CompTIA offering courses including the Certified Ethical Hacker. Apply for the next session today!

 

 

 

 

 

cybersecurity certifications at ICOHS College

Network Security vs Cybersecurity – Explained

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Difference between Network Security and Cybersecurity?

Similarities and differences between cybersecurity and network security are closely related.
Information security, network security, cybersecurity: the industry is flooded with terms to describe how companies protect their network data. While the experience of wading through a mixture of terminology to describe a specific operation or function is not limited to the network industry, the use of several terms complicates the process of developing an effective approach to secure data within the company.
In particular, confusion reigns over the differences between network security and cybersecurity. What is the difference between them? How are they alike? Let’s try to clear up the confusion.

What is cybersecurity?

 
Technically speaking, cybersecurity considers the security of the entire cybernetic continuum. In other words, it cares about protecting data within a company’s network computing space. In practice, this includes ensuring where data is stored, where it is handled and where it is transported. Simply put, cybersecurity refers to data protection, both at rest and on the move.
In practical terms, cybersecurity can be considered as the security of all computing space, from the information asset to the information user, including all intermediate components. The user does not need to be a human; As a result, cybersecurity also covers communications between data processing systems. That said, when IT professionals speak in terms of cybersecurity, they are usually more concerned with the security of the data that is stored and not transmitted.
In order to have a successful cybersecurity approach, there should be multiple layers of protection. People on the network must understand data security principles like not opening sketchy emails, backing up their data, and choosing strong passwords for their accounts. On top of that, there should be a policy on how cyber-attacks would be handled. People, processes, and technology should all be on the same page in order to achieve the highest level of cybersecurity.

What is network security?

 
In the company’s modern computing infrastructure, it is likely that the data is in motion and at rest. This is where network security comes into play. While technically a subset of cybersecurity, network security primarily deals with the company’s network infrastructure. It deals with topics such as securing the contour of the network; data transport mechanisms, such as switches and routers; and those pieces of technology that provide protection for data as they move between computing nodes. It delves into the details and security of every single gateway in a network that could be vulnerable to attack. Types of network security include antivirus software, email security, firewalls, and more.
Of course, all this raises the question: if network security is simply a subset of cybersecurity, why even subdivide the domain? One of the reasons is that cybersecurity tends to consider security, including the evaluation of technologies such as encryption. Encryption is important, but it does not necessarily have to do with the problems, companies face in protecting the network.
In addition, it is not always networking security versus cybersecurity, since the two complement each other in the data protection continuum. If one thinks in terms of data protection both at rest and in motion, then network security covers the data that travels through the network, while cybersecurity is concerned with protecting data at rest.

The critical difference between network security and cybersecurity

 
Where cybersecurity and network security differ is mainly in the application of security planning. A cybersecurity plan without a network security plan is incomplete; however, a network security plan can be independent.
Looking at this in another way, network security is a subset of cybersecurity, which, in turn, is a subset of information security, another separate issue. However, if you evaluate your security needs, the planning should be reduced to the lowest level. At each level, procedures and tools must ensure that access to confidential information is controlled and measures are taken to detect and mitigate any infringement that could lead to the disclosure of such information. Ultimately, the survival of a company could depend on the success in creating such a framework.
ICOHS College offers IT programs and courses that include education on cybersecurity, like the CompTIA Security+ certificate. CLICK HERE to learn more!
Information Technology at ICOHS College

10 IT Buzzwords That You Need to Know in 2019

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2019’s IT Buzzwords You Need to Know

There is no denying it; our world is advancing, and rapidly as a matter of fact. Along with technological advancements comes an entire slew of new words, vocabulary, and terminology.

For those unfamiliar with the advancements that have been taking place, a lot of the viral words of 2019 may seem like jibberish. We are here to break down some popular information technology (IT) buzzwords into manageable pieces so that they are easier to understand and conceptualize.

IT does not need to be an overwhelming or challenging topic; deeper explanation with clear wording can help. The same goes for 2019’s IT buzzwords; once broken down into bite-sized, easy to understand bits, their meanings become evident.

Viral words of 2019

The pace of IT developments are progressing rapidly, so it can feel difficult to keep up with all of the new accomplishments and advances.  This shortlist runs you through the IT buzzwords of 2019 you should know to be up-to-date with some of the most recent tech evolutions.

 

Artificial Intelligence

Sometimes referred to as merely ‘AI’, artificial intelligence is a term that can be seen extensively amongst tech news and other scientific developments. In short, artificial intelligence represents any machinery or software that is capable of human-like results and functions.

Artificial intelligence machines and software are sometimes even capable of learning as they operate, through a system of what is called artificial neural networks. The function of these self-learning devices is termed machine learning and it continues to pop up more and more in modern technological set-ups. Machine learning and artificial neural networks can be utilized to produce highly accurate results in an absurdly fast manner, as well as recognizing threats and challenges that would have gone overlooked by other, less complex networks or by human eyes.

Artificial intelligence can also refer to robots that are capable of learning as they operate. For this reason, there are some individuals that actually fear the future capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI), but for the time being it seems the applications of these devices are especially beneficial and advantageous.

Present-day examples:

Personal assistant programs (Alexa, Siri, Echo)

Social media face recognition software (Facebook)

Ridesharing applications (Uber, Lyft)

Email spam filters

 

Blockchain

There is a highly likely chance you have heard of Bitcoin. This buzzy term has grown to become the world’s most successful, albeit fragile cryptocurrency that has either garnered extreme enthusiasm, a complete dislike of, or indifference towards.

With cryptos such as Bitcoin growing to such mass popularity and profitability, there had to be a standard set into place. This is where the term blockchain comes into play.

Blockchain is, for example, what keeps Bitcoin traders from getting ripped off, by monitoring every transaction and maintaining strict records of all exchanges of Bitcoin. Everyone can see this transaction history, which is open source and available to anyone who wishes to glance upon the comings and goings of this cryptocurrency. Additionally, blockchain is naturally encrypted, which gives users a further sense of security.

This unique and clever system prevents counterfeit Bitcoin from being traded, which increases the cryptocurrency’s reputability and trustworthiness, but blockchain is not only limited to Bitcoin. In fact, this system can be set into place for any cryptocurrency and is often the structure of choice opted for. This new database is even being considered for use in banking and medical storage. Blockchain allows successful Bitcoin traders and other crypto collectors to rejoice, so be it that their trades are going well.

 

Mobile-First

Mobile-first is not exactly a new concept, and not as much a buzzword as it is a business model and developmental concept. In a world where the internet was first designed for desktop and then laptop use, it was not until the last decade with the release of the iPhone, one of the world’s most popular smartphones, that mobile compatibility became a high priority.

What mobile-first refers to now is a business model in which websites, applications, and other programs are developed first for use on mobile devices, and then afterward produced for computer use.

Even if companies are not agreeing to mobile-first philosophies, they are at least almost always assenting to mobile inclusive developments, because those that choose not to include mobile visitors in their demographics are asking to go out of business in this modern world.

Present-day examples:

These mega-companies are only a few that have taken on the mobile-first mindset.

Lululemon

Walmart

Domino’s

bareMinerals

 

3D Alteration

Since the arrival of 3D printers, this practice, sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, has taken a number of industries by storm. Items and objects are produced through the generation and build-up of one layer after another, leading to a multi-dimensional final result that is tangible, unlike the 2D nature of most printed copies.

A number of materials can be created through 3D alteration, from metal, plastic, food, and housing to even human tissue. Due to its wide range of applications, both wealthy companies and startups have turned towards this technology to produce their desired results.

Present-day examples:

Nike

Ford

Boeing

MakieLab

DIY Rockets

General Electric

 

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, also known as IoT, is a web of connections between machines, computing devices, people, and even animals that interact amongst one another to produce specific functions. Unique identifiers are created (UIDs), which then make it possible for data to be transmitted across networks without the need for human interaction with other humans or with computers.

This interrelatedness between machines and man has expanded across a multitude of industries, from wearables and mobile devices to auto, home, and environmental applications.

Present-day examples:

Home security systems

Smart electronic appliances

Household and commercial lights and thermostats

Speaker systems

Vending machines

Cars

 

Quantum Computing

Quantum computing is a method of data analysis in which computers become more capable of solving complex problems through the utilization of quantum bits, known as qubits. Compared with classic electronic selections that use the two defined states of either 0 or 1 known as binary digits or bits, this alternative is much more versatile but it presently has its limits.

As technologies continue to advance into the future, it can be expected that further applications for quantum computing will become a reality. Companies such as NASA are already interested in quantum computing in order to map mass amounts of data, such as information they compile pertaining to the universe. It doesn’t get much more vast than that!

 

Virtual Reality (VR)/Augmented Reality (AR)

Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are closely related terms. Augmented Reality is, in some ways, a more simplified version of Virtual Reality, in which computer-generated aspects such as GPS data, various sounds, and videos are implemented alongside aspects of the real world. Probably the most accessible example of AR would be an application such as Pokemon Go. This game uses user location and positioning in order to create the map of the game, while applying its own computer graphics, such as when various Pokemon appear onto the screen.

Virtual Reality takes AR a step further by greater interacting with user senses. With Virtual Reality, you can essentially feel as if you have stepped into a completely different world, a digital yet highly real feeling version of whatever you would like to experience.

VR typically requires the consumer to wear sound-canceling headphones along with VR goggles. Sometimes arm toggles are also used to control the hand movements within the virtual world. The combination of these elements furthers the gamer experience by blocking them away from the outside world as much as possible.

In addition to providing an intriguing and realistic gaming experience, VR is also utilized for simulations in occupations that require expert training such as flying planes, surgery, and other complicated processes.

 

Immersive Experience

Related to VR and AR, these two aforementioned terms are actually considered a part of the immersive experience. An immersive experience is any type of circumstance that completely encompasses and engulfs the senses, as to take you away from reality for a moment and leave you feeling as if you actually exist within another world.

In truth, immersive experiences do not only need to relate to technology. Any event or undergoing that places you into what feels like an alternate universe for a moment of time is, by definition, an immersive experience. Attending an art show or concert, exercising, or focusing in a classroom can all fall under this category of being immersive.

 

Data Mining

Data mining is mostly how it sounds; this process is the discovery of the paradigms existent amongst mass amounts of data and information. Data mining alone does not involve the actual process by which data is mined, rather it is the overall concept. Instead, techniques used to mine data are described differently.

Some common techniques used in data mining include personalization, artificial intelligence (which we discussed earlier on), machine learning, and actionable analytics.

 

Net Neutrality

Net neutrality is not only a tech concept but is also tied in with political and governmental aspects. This term is the belief that all data and information available on the internet should be treated in the exact same manner, regardless of the government organization or the internet provider connected.

All tied into the idea of internet privacy, companies and government organizations can collect and track data to then pay money in order to prioritize their Internet traffic over another’s.

What this means, is that if an internet provider were to begin their own movie or music streaming company, the advertising and promotion of that service would then take priority over other established providers such as Netflix or Spotify, leading to a biased selection for potential customers.

Discussions about net neutrality are especially prominent currently in the United States, so those who reside in the US are encouraged to read more about the topic and gain a greater education on what it means to be net neutral.

Popular IT Buzzwords You Need to Know in 2019: Conclusion

Popular IT buzzwords of this year need not be overwhelming. In reality, for the average individual, these terms aren’t necessary to understand in great depth and detail but the general concepts can be valuable to grasp. Aside from this minute list of terms to know, with all of the tech advances happening each day it merely is not possible to keep up, but one can do their best and try to be as educated as possible.

Have you been looking for IT schools or career colleges in San Diego? ICOHS is a non-profit vocational school and affordable school for IT offering programs to become a computer network technician, IT network specialist, or IT systems administrator.

Do any of these career paths sound right up your alley? Our dedicated IT educators are passionate about assisting students in the fulfillment of their career goals. Reach out to us today and request more information.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

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Believe it or not, once upon a time employees of various companies would only be able to access data, messages, files, and information by logging onto a physically chained network that would be interlinked from computer to computer using actual cables.

Pretty old school, right? Not only this, the data was then kept on massive machines that had their own separate room, a space that had to constantly remain well-ventilated in order to prevent any potential overheating.

One wrong move could be fatal; if a device were to overheat, next thing you know company data would all be lost which could lead to complete catastrophe. For this reason, an entire IT-support team would be required to work in-house, simply in the event that something could go awry.

Times have changed, and now companies turn towards systems such as cloud computing for their data storage. Cloud computing carries many advantages, which we will go into further detail about shortly, but as with all things in life, the pendulum swings both ways.

With the presence of hackers and threats to cybersecurity on the up and up, cloud computing can carry risks, such as information being compromised by those with malicious intent. In this article, we discuss not only what cloud computing is all about, but also how one can better protect confidential or sensitive information when using such a modern and potentially vulnerable service.

 

What Is Cloud Computing?

Simply explained, cloud computing refers to a third-party online service that hosts applications, data, files, software, and more for an individual, an entire company, a business, or other needing organization on a virtual system known as “the cloud.”

Those who are Mac or iPhone users will already be familiar with this term, for the Apple Cloud has grown immensely over the past decade. Cloud computing providers tailored towards organizations and businesses are typically on a much larger scale because the amount of data that must be stored reaches grandiose sizes and often a big network of employees must be able to access various information.

Data and applications are accessed from the outsourcer, the service provider, by logging in through any computer that has an internet connection, which means that no matter where in the world an employee is located and no matter what physical device they are hooked up to, they will still be able to view the same content and details, freeing them from many potential complications that once existed prior to the cloud is a thing. Considering that physical proximity used to be a massive concern for employers, this restrictive physical presence is no longer needed.

Cloud computing is paid for typically through a subscription, which is normally billed on a month-to-month basis, meaning that this service can be canceled at any point in time. This contrasts the prior option of needed to buy a license for a specific program, which could end up costing a company large sums of money upfront with no refund policy in case a business decided to suddenly shut its doors.

The most important aspect of cloud computing to remember is that maintaining upmost security with this type of service is an equal responsibility between the provider and the consumer.

The cloud computing service provider ensures a network is safe on their side (the infrastructure or core of the system,) but the consumer must monitor their platforms, data, and operating systems which remain in their direct hands.

The reality is, a cloud computing service provider could take all the precautions necessary, but if the consumer is not also in cooperation, a cyberthreat could unfold, leading to compromising circumstances. One such example of a consumer mishap would be a hack happening from the inside by an employee with full access to sensitive data.

 

Advantages of Cloud Computing

The reason why funding for cloud computing services has reached $39.5 billion in 2019 is due to the copious amount of advantages this option does offer. Companies and businesses are happy to spend money on cloud computing because of how much cash it saves them in the long run.

The biggest advantage of switching to cloud computing has to be that it not only saves money but also time. Having a database of information available on a secure, online platform allows gigantic, international companies to effortlessly share and send data between one another, deeply extending global reach. This entails grander expansions and maximizes the potential for multi-national businesses and organizations.

Next off is the service’s protection against data loss. No longer do businesses have to worry about unforeseeable circumstances or natural disasters demolishing all of their saved data. Unless the internet was to completely be erased, there would be no way for files to just disappear in a moment.

Additionally, the need for physical backups is no longer a fundamental practice for companies storing information because third-party cloud computing services are responsible for backing up data digitally.

As the world turns more and more into virtual reality, we’ll be seeing cloud computing grow in size, use, and popularity, with predictions of it turning into a $63 billion industry by 2021.

 

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing

The biggest disadvantage of cloud computing has to be the fact that when utilizing this service, you are placing substantial responsibility into the hands of third-party service. For this exact reason, when choosing a cloud computing provider, one must ensure that they are selecting a trustworthy source.

In order to avoid any mishaps or threats to security due to trusting the wrong individuals, all cloud computing service providers must be thoroughly checked and preferably selected based off of a recommendation from another company or dependable network of individuals.

Some of the most popular cloud computing providers are as follows (but as always, do scope out the company prior to paying for their service):

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Microsoft Azure
  • Google Cloud Platform
  • Oracle Cloud
  • Verizon Cloud
  • Dell Cloud Marketplace
  • Alibaba Cloud

Many other service providers do exist, but again, fully vet any cloud computing company you are leaning towards subscribing with. Often times, the bigger, notorious names have extra security measures set into place, which is what makes them a potentially more reputable decision.

 

Why Is Cloud Computing a Modern Choice?

Let’s be honest, companies do not want to have all of their sensitive data stored anymore on a device that could overheat and create catastrophe; they would much rather have a network that can be widely accessed by all who need to receive specific information.

Long gone are the days of massive servers kept in isolated, well-ventilated rooms with an always on-call IT support team ready to jump in at any sign of potential disaster. The idea of a natural disaster such as a flood or fire destroying all information also helps to convince businesses to move towards the modern choice of cloud computing.

Additionally, now there are so many opportunities for global access to all information, in addition to saving employees time without needing backups to be constantly generated or for duplicate versions of documents to be created.

The modern choice of switching from physical software to cloud computing has not only saved companies time but in turn also a ton of money.

 

How Can Confidential Information Be Better Protected When Using Cloud Computing?

Because cybersecurity is just as much the responsibility of the user as it is a cloud computing provider, there are specific steps that can be taken in order to better protect confidential information when utilizing this type of digital service.

The following courses of action can be implemented for improved security:

  • Monitor and audit all movement happening related to the cloud. Regularly view all authorized and unauthorized log-ins, and track employee usage of this virtual service.
  • Keep tabs on privileged accounts so that there is an air of accountability. Make sure each one of your employees logs into the shared network with their own information so that you can avoid any breaches from the inside.
  • Limit privileges and allowances to only what is necessary. Do not give every one of your employees the same access to information and data. Instead, only permit the actions they can select to what is appropriate for their job description and work responsibilities. Only give your most trusted employees full access.
  • Enhance security by implementing multi-factor authentication. Require multiple steps and passwords for employees to log into the cloud and opt for vaulted passwords.

Some of the most detrimental cyberattacks involving cloud computing occur because of someone on the inside who is granted substantial access to the network and its data. In this manner, the individual gains the keys needed to unlock many precious doors, which can lead to massive security breaches.

Avoid this by knowing all of your employees with in-depth access to any cloud computing services and complete thorough background checks if the data they will be accessing is particularly sensitive. Additionally, proper tracking will help to keep tabs on which actions are performed by which employees.

 

Mistakes to Avoid with Cloud Computing

When running any business, it is important to remain trusting of your team but also still enforce the necessary precautions. Do not assume that you know someone just because they appear a certain way on the surface.

Still be sure to take care when giving people access to sensitive or confidential information, and always monitor what is going on even if you have full confidence in your employees.

 

Our Final Thoughts on Cloud Computing

Although the idea of entrusting a third-party online provider with storing sensitive data, information, applications, and more may seem like a risky ordeal, cloud computing providers have proven time and time again that their services are quite safe, so be it that both the provider and the consumer play an equal role in maintaining responsibility by securing data as much as possible.

As a user of a cloud computing service, there are specific steps that can be taken in order to better protect confidential information, which comes down to properly tracking and monitoring your employees and limiting access to certain individuals.

If you are searching for IT schools in San Diego or for an affordable school for IT, ICOHS is a non-profit vocational college, offering a variety of information technology-related courses, with fully-comprehensive tech programs that includes a Computer and Networking Technician Certification program, as well as trainings to become an IT Network Specialist or an IT Systems Administrator.

For access to one of the leading career colleges in San Diego, reach out to ICOHS today and request more information.

 

Your Systems are Under Attack by Zombies, Bots, and Botnets

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As the world shifts into more and more of a digital realm, physical threats are no longer the only concern. Now, for many, cyber-attacks are a much more relevant reality. The idea of security threats should not instill fear, rather it is simply an aspect of computer-use and internet surfing that should be always taken into consideration so that all can better protect themselves and in turn their personal information.

What Are Bots?

Bots, a shortened term used for programmed robots, are scripts or software apps that are designed to execute specific auto-pilot tasks. Although bots outside of the hacking world can be utilized for many valuable purposes such as automating user interaction and social media management, when in the wrong hands or applied by individuals with malicious intentions, these robots can become dangerous and a real security threat.

Bots are the core foundational tool utilized for remote cyber-attacks and they make up more serious implementations, such as botnets and zombies.

 

What Are Botnets and How Do They Work?

Botnets are networks of bots used to infect and upload malicious malware onto a chain of devices. Once a botnet has been implemented, the infected device then also becomes the infectee. This all takes place in extreme stealth mode, which is how botnet chains often go undetected, continuing to pose a threat to a long extension of systems.

In some cases, famous botnets have been able to infect many hundreds of millions of computers and networks, and even once they are thwarted they can be modified into new variations that continue to do damage. Because those with infected devices are often unaware of there being any breach of their technology, they can transfer the malware to others quite easily.

A master-bot is typically in charge of giving bots orders, and the bots often report back to manager-bots which then communicate with the master-bot. This system is highly organized and allows for the individual or individuals in charge to easily manage massive networks of botnets, all while remaining heavily under the radar. For this reason, generating botnets is a low risk, high reward undertaking that often proves to be very successful for those who develop solid malware.

One surprising fact about botnets is that the actual operations behind the attacks are minuscule in size, sometimes made up of only one or two individuals, yet the effects of such implementations are on a mass scale and often highly detrimental.

 

What Are Zombies?

Botnets, or a network of infected computers under attack remotely, are also referred to as zombie computers. Zombies or zombie computers, specifically, relate to the computers themselves that are capable of passing along malicious and risky security breaches.

 

What Do Hackers Gain from Cyber Attacks?

There are many reasons why hackers carry out cyber attacks such as zombie attacks, and most of the time it relates to financial gain. You see, information is often bought and sold on the internet, and commonly for a big price. By stealing personal and financial information, hackers receive compensation for any data they are able to provide to those who are interested.

Botnets can be used to generate intricate scams as well, tricking consumers into providing personal information, along with flat out handing over money. Additionally, those who don’t fall for these scams could be attacked unknowingly and identities can be stolen, which are then used for purchases and running up loans.

One of the worst ways a hacker or cybercriminal can use gained information for financial gain is by extorting money from unsuspecting victims by threatening them with a leak of personal information or compromising photos, documents, etc. This is a technique that has been used on large companies and organizations as a means of blackmailing them into cooperation. Often times, companies can do nothing more than agree to pay the sum, for thwarting a security breach like this is extremely difficult and requires an extensive team of specialists.

Cybercriminals also hire other cybercriminals for their own gain, leasing their botnets and further spreading compromising digital and internet infections across many platforms. For some, the financial gain received from a leased botnet system is far greater than what they are paying the initial zombie attack developer.

 

How Can One Know If Their Device Is Infected?

Because zombie attacks are often rather rogue, it can be challenging to know if any of your devices have been infected. A reputable anti-virus program usually can detect botnets and will alert you if it discovers an attack. Aside from this, there are at times signs that your computer could be impacted. If you experience your computer slowing down significantly, suddenly running its cooling fan without warning, or any other strange behaviors happening, there’s a chance your device has some sort of breach and should be cleaned up.

 

How to Better Protect Your Information

The absolute best way to minimize the chances of your device becoming compromised by a botnet or malicious zombie attack is by ensuring that your computer or network is protected with an up-to-date, highly reliable anti-virus, anti-malware, or internet security software. Luckily, there are many free programs that can do the trick but research is needed to decide which option is best for you and your devices. Run your anti-virus programs on a regular basis for a full-computer scan.

The next step after you have successfully implemented internet security software is to monitor your internet usage. Many attacks can be prevented by using discretion and common sense when browsing the web or downloading files. Never download files from unsecured sources or from individuals you do not recognize, even if you receive an attachment in an email. Do not click on links or download files sent by spam email addresses.

Finally, regularly change your passwords for your accounts. This can help to minimize the possibility of someone accessing your data or profiles and then applying a botnet or other security threat from within the account. Furthermore, regularly updating passwords and further securing your accounts can prevent any of your personal information from getting stolen, such as credit card numbers, social security numbers, home addresses, phone numbers, and more.

 

Understanding Zombies, Bots, Botnets, and Cyber Attacks: Summary

Remaining informed and in the loop with regards to the various extents of potential cyber-attacks is extremely valuable in this day and age when security breaches can affect literally anyone that uses a computer; oftentimes unknowingly and without warning. By understanding zombies, bots, and botnets along with what their presence entails, the proper measures can be set into place for successful cyber protection. Even those who are not interested in IT or computer-related details should be up-to-date with how to better protect confidentially and potentially compromising information.

Having a deep awareness of such threats is even more crucial for those entering careers in IT, software development, or programming because at some point you will likely come face to face with such security threats and the proper actions will need to be taken to foil any potential breaches.

Although there are many career colleges in San Diego, if you’re searching for IT schools or and affordable school for IT, ICOHS is a non-profit, accredited vocational college that offers programs for those fascinated by tech and our growing digital world. Currently, it is possible to take part in our Computer and Networking Technician Certification program, IT Network Specialist program, IT Systems Administration program, and IT Continuing Education program. If you long for a fulfilling career in IT, get in touch today and request more information.

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