Internet has certainly become part of our daily lives, as we use it for a variety of tasks, from paying bills to placing various orders online. However, as the Internet has evolved, so did smartphones, tablets and other portable gadgets. These technological advances have also prompted hackers to invent new ways to steal steal passwords and sensitive information, or to access bank accounts.
Technology is similar to the human body, from one point of view:people need medication to improve their immune systems and to become stronger in front of bacteria and viruses, whereas gadgets need strong antivirus software to protect them against hackers. This is referred to as “cyber security”, and it is currently facing a challenge: cyber-viruses are becoming stronger and more difficult to handle, as hackers become more inventive and always find new ways to hack into systems. This is why it is the duty of every financial institution, e-Commerce website and ultimately every gadget owner to protect themselves against these attacks.
Smartphones are often more susceptible to cyber attacks than computers, although there are numerous antivirus programs that can be easily downloaded and installed on mobile phones. A smartphone that constantly “freezes” or restarts itself may be infected with a virus, this is why it is important for owners to bring their device to a local shop that specializes in smartphone repairs.
The reason why cyber security is facing a threat these days is because the encryption systems, such as SSL systems and other similar state-of-the-art systems designed to protect sensitive information against fraudulent activity, are not the only ones that use advanced technology to do that. Hackers use the same type of technology to create malware and spyware programs, and the more advanced the protection system, the stronger the viruses. This is a battle between hackers and developers, and not once did it happen for hackers to be one step ahead of the developers. The reason why this happens is because hackers do not adhere to any policy or rule, neither do they follow any protocol, unlike developers.
Moreover, another reason why the cyber security is threatened is because hackers are constantly looking for the weakest link in a system, and once they find it, they exploit it and cause extensive security breaches. All they need is one small flaw to wreak havoc on the database of any financial institution. The threat is real, as more and more databases are being hacked into: hackers easily infiltrate in different systems and steal or damage sensitive information. The only way to win the race against them is to use innovative technology and to invest in high-end encryption programs. This is why many developers choose to add an extra layer of security when designing new websites.
There are numerous competitions that take place each year and that aim to stimulate developers and convince them to share new ideas and solutions that can counteract the cyber attacks. These competitions benefit everybody: developers with the most innovative ideas are rewarded with a cash prize, while their ideas will be used for future research.