This digital dependence has further intensified with the pandemic. Due to widespread lockdowns, offices and schools have embraced the digital platform further promoting work from home and distance education. There has been a massive increase in the usage of devices and the internet over the past year across all age groups. With cloud and digitisation, while communication, working and learning has become possible and given rise to the new normal, there has been a simultaneous increase in the threats and vulnerabilities posed to the individual. Cybersecurity has quickly become a top priority not just for organisations but also for individuals who are at the increased risk of cyberattacks just by being present online from their homes.
Cybercrimes are on the rise and is rapidly affecting individuals, families and organisations. Cybercrimes include stolen data, money extortion, cyber bullying, lost property and identity and intellectual property theft. As remote working and remote learning persists, mobile devices and operating systems will be increasingly targeted and see a rise in serious cyber threats.
In today's digital age, an online presence is unavoidable. Social media, entertainment, networking, business, and even relationships are maintained on online platforms. But with this heightened digital exposure comes vulnerabilities and threats like phishing, malware attacks, identity fraud, cyberstalking, e-extortion, etc. While it is impossible to avoid being online and having a digital footprint, safeguarding ourselves from the vulnerabilities becomes the most important step towards ensuring a hassle free online presence. Cybersecurity has gained a lot of importance in the business world over the past years and 2020 has marked the prominence of cybersecurity for individuals as well.
There are a range of cybersecurity solutions available today from threat protection software to anti-virus solutions and firewalls. From a software standpoint, these solutions do a fair job of protecting your devices but with user presence in cloud and various other platforms it becomes impossible for these software solutions to go beyond your device and safeguard your entire digital footprint.
In our increasingly connected world, the risk does not stop just because you switch off your computer or put down your smartphone. It has been predicted that by 2030 there will be around 125 billion IoT devices globally, which represents a huge potential for cyberattacks.
When a person's bank details are compromised or stolen it can be the start of a series of problems that go far beyond unlawful withdrawal of funds: identity theft. In addition to possibly clearing your accounts out, your personal information can be used to open bank accounts or take out loans in your name. Frequently this will involve payment default notices and a damaged credit record all of which may only come to light several months after the fraud was perpetrated. The emotional and psychological harm of falling victim to identity theft can be profound and is not the only example of how our digital lives can start to impact on our overall wellbeing. Cyberbullying and stalking have become all too common parts of everyday life for far too many people, with more than half of US teenagers saying they have been bullied or harassed online. From identity theft, to hacking of subscription services and IoT home devices, the list of cyber risks people, and not just organisations, are facing is growing all the time as the cyber threat landscape metastasises rapidly.
Personal cyber insurance has become an important protection factor in recent times. As awareness of cybersecurity risk increases, a corresponding increase in the interest of cyber insurance is being seen. Personal cyber insurance protects the individual from the risks associated with cyber crimes by not only reimbursing the losses incurred but also provides counseling and legal advice in terms of cyber-stalking, extortion, etc. The product and concept is relatively new to the Middle East but with the region leapfrogging to the digital future cyber insurance is going to become an all-important protective shield to safeguard the digital footprints of you and your family.
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