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Cyber threats: Wake up before it's too late!

Last updated on: September 12, 2012 19:46 IST

Cyber threats: Wake up before it's too late!

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru


W
hile intelligence agencies and police forces have great responsibilities to ensure safety it is also very important for the general public to be aware of threats to be able to curb acts of terrorism.

Cyber security is the greatest challenge ahead which is acknowledged by almost every agency in the world.

However the fact remains that 62 per cent of the people in the world are unaware of the various cyber threats and this makes the situation very vulnerable.

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Photographs: John Adkisson/Reuters
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Stuxnet, Duqu, and Zeus are the names of the most dangerous online threats, and have been reported even outside of the specialist computer press.

But it seems that many ordinary users remain largely ignorant of them.

A recent survey conducted by O+K Research shows that nearly two third of respondents have never heard of them, while 28 per cent of those surveyed only know about them in general terms.

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Image: Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Labs, speaks at a Tel Aviv University cyber security conference.
Photographs: Baz Ra/Reuters

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At the same time, users who don't clearly understand the level of risk presented by the malware landscape may not fully understand the need for proper security software.

This, according to the survey, is where the biggest problem lies. Nearly half of PC users and laptop owners (except for Apple products) think their data is relatively safe.

8.5 per cent of respondents are certain that their computers or laptops do not need any additional protection.

Meanwhile, just one successful malware infection could lead to the loss of all important data stored on the user's computer.

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Photographs: Lee Jae-Won/Reuters
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The situation with mobile devices is even more complicated: 16 per cent of tablet owners and 15 per cent of modern smartphone users are certain that their devices are in no danger.

Just under half of all mobile users can be classified as doubters - they think their devices are more or less protected.

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Photographs: David Mcnew/Reuters
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Generally, most users tend to underestimate the danger which malware poses for their devices and data.

It is largely due to the fact that users simply do not know how malicious programmes penetrate the computer, how they behave and what havoc they can wreak.

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More than a quarter of the surveyed (27 per cent) have never heard about such solutions.

Most respondents (57 per cent) have heard of them but aren't interested.

And only 16 per cent of those surveyed already use solutions which support these technologies.

The result is not encouraging considering the fact that it is cloud technologies which ensure that antivirus software gets information about emerging threats and can provide the necessary protection level.


Photographs: Reuters
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