Why cybercriminal is menace to society and your finance

Why POS is the new drug? By Rarzack Olaegbe
Rarzack Olaegbe

By RARZACK OLAEGBE

Menace to society is a 1993 American teen hood drama film. It was directed by Allen and Albert Hughes in their directorial debut. It starred Tyrin Turner, Jada Pinkett, Larenz Tate, and Samuel L. Jackson. The film is set in Watts and follows the life of a young man named Kaydee Caine Lawson and his close friends.

The movie gained notoriety for its violence, profanity and drug-related content. It has also received positive reviews for its gritty portrayal of urban violence and its powerful underlying messages. Caine is a drug dealer and a car thief. He is kicked out of his grandparents’ house due to his life of crime. His troubles did not end there, as he is wanted by the police for the killing of a Korean grocer.

Cybercriminals who skimmed innocent victims of their funds have also gained notoriety for their cyber violence and pain-inducing activities. That is why cybercriminals are a menace to society. They are borderless. They are faceless. They are ruthless. According to the security firm, Sitelock, 18.5 million websites are infected with malware at any given moment. So, cybercriminals are with you. They are watching your moves.

The threats of cyber-attacks are increasing daily. Cybersecurity experts have warned that the trend will continue in the near future. Be sure of that email before you open it.

You may think you are immune to cybercrime and that only the banks are exposed to the nefarious activities of these rogues. You are wrong. Hackers do not go after the banks anymore. They are going after the bank customers. As a bank customer, if you are careless with your personal financial information such as your ATM card and password, you will be skimmed.

If this happens, do not blame your banks. You need to understand how these criminals operate and be on your toes. The banks will always protect themselves. Banks are robust in terms of the security measures they put in place. They are constantly reviewing what is going on because of their reputation. But, according to the CEO of the South African Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC), Kalyani Pillay, in a report, “the risks posed by organised crime do not just live with the banks. They lay with the individuals as well.”

So, how can you be protected from the menace of the cyber-attackers? Because you bank online, your information is online. As such, you cannot stick to the same password. If you do this, you are empowering the cybercriminals to attack you. The banks do not have this challenge. The challenge is with you. You do not need to give the cybercriminals access to your private information. Deny them access. Alter your ATM password.

You are not the only one who is concerned about the menace of the cybercriminals. Nigerian banks are also worried. They are building firewalls to prevent cyber thieves from gaining access to your funds. Reports explained that about N200 billion was spent to counter cyber-attacks in 2019. The Nigeria Computer Society (NCS) made this revelation recently. The group is also making concerted effort to curb the growing menace of cyber-attacks.

Its president, Professor Adesina Sodiya, explained that the financial sector experienced the Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) and Social Engineering cyber-attacks in 2019.   DDoS is a malicious attempt to disrupt normal traffic of a targeted server, service or network. The attackers overwhelm the target infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic. On the other hand, Social Engineering is used to deceive individuals into divulging personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes. When you receive such an email, delete it.

So, how can you be protected from the menace of the cyber-attackers? Because you bank online, your information is online.

However, Kaspersky Lab said the number of DDoS attacks has increased by 84 per cent in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018. Today, individuals, governments and corporate organisations in Israel, Ukraine, USA, France, Switzerland and Nigeria etc. are losing huge sums of funds because of cyber-attacks. Aside from the financial loss, individuals have lost their identities through social media hacking. Beware.

The threats of cyber-attacks are increasing daily. Cybersecurity experts have warned that the trend will continue in the near future. Be sure of that email before you open it. Change your password periodically. Some of the banks are building firewalls against external cyber-attacks. But not all the banks will conquer insider threats and dependency on the legacy banking system. The challenges are real. It is good for you to know. But knowing is not enough and that is why the NCS is building a website to offer a solution to cyber-attacks.

The NCS’ website is Computer Emergency Response System. It is an intelligence box. You can report cyber-attacks. You can get solutions through this website. It is one of the ways to curtail the menace of cybercriminals and bring succour to you and find lasting peace.

*Olaegbe (psalmsonolaegbe@gmail.com)