When one thinks of cybersecurity threats, he/she would normally think of phishing or viruses
that affect computers and mobile devices. Everyone needs to work together to address these
threats given the losses that result from personal data breaches and how these are detrimental
However, as technology continues to disrupt our daily lives, cybercriminals are getting
increasingly more proficient in their malicious schemes. As such, it is important to be one step
ahead of them, here are some emerging threats you should look out for:
1. Remote work
Remote work is one of, if not the, biggest and significant consequence that emerged
from the COVID-19 pandemic. With lockdowns implemented to curb the spread of the
virus, businesses throughout the world have discovered that their employees can do
their work as efficiently as when they are in their offices.
While remote work has brought countless benefits to us, there are potential threats that
could arise. For one, working outside the office would typically mean less oversight from
the IT teams. To address these threats, it’s important to keep in mind key cyber hygiene
measures to be safe:
● Avoid using public WiFi hotspots. If unavoidable, use a Virtual Private Network
(VPN) to keep your data safe.
● Know the difference between phishing emails and authentic emails.
● Use strong passwords
● For work, only use devices provided by your office. This is because they have
extra measures designed to deal with cyberthreats related to remote work (e.g.
being connected to a VPN)
● It may sound simple, but do not leave your devices around in public places! You
do not want another person stealing them.
2. Storing data on the cloud
Gone are the days wherein USBs are needed to store documents, and there are more
convenient options of sharing information instead of sending them via email. This is
where cloud storage services, such as Google Drive, come into play.
With massive storage size options, cloud services offer a much more convenient way to
keep your files on hand. However, their increasing popularity has also attracted
cybercriminals looking to steal data — especially for corporations.
As such, it is important for cloud service providers to update cybersecurity measures to
deter threats. But the public can do their part too by following these simple tips:
● As much as possible, avoid storing files that contain sensitive information on the
● However, if that cannot be avoided, encrypt these files that have sensitive
information. That can be achieved by paying for a cloud service that provides
encryption or paying for a separate app that provides encryption.
● Use strong passwords when using a cloud service. It may get too tiring to stress
this over and over again, but do you know that the top two most used passwords
in the Philippines for this year are “admin” and “123456”?
Don’t be like the others. Use a mixture of uppercase letters, lowercase letters,
numbers, and symbols on your password.
Protecting yourself from ransomware is critical especially if you own a business. Ransomware
takes place if criminals access their victims’ systems and encrypt their files. In theory, victims
would be allowed to access their files again once they pay a ransom to criminals.
This form of cybercrime does not just carry the risk of financial losses. That’s because the risks
associated with losing customers’ trust is something that goes beyond the financial aspect — it
can affect your public image, for example, thus making others to never trust you.
To reduce the risks of being a victim, here are some tips for you to follow:
● Ensure employees have a strong foundation on cybersecurity, such as knowing how to
spot cases of phishing
● Update software systems at all times to address existing security vulnerabilities from
previous versions of a system.
● Maintain strong passwords, or institute a policy of locking out an account once incorrect
passwords have been inputted a certain number of times.
● Avoid clicking links on suspicious websites so that malware will not be downloaded.
Cybersecurity is an area that will continue to evolve for the years to come. As such, it is
important for all stakeholders to keep abreast of trends so that they can protect themselves and
their personal data.