• July 5th, 2020

Cyber threats - anyone can be a victim

WINDHOEK- A Certified Ethical Hacker, Chancard Maboulou, says one should never think they are less important when it comes to cyber security, as hackers might use their devices to launch attacks on others. 
Hence, he says anyone can be a victim.

Maboulou advises people to have a cyber-security culture such as always updating their anti-virus and operating systems. He also advises people to never click on untrusted links and encourage them to join forums where they discuss about cyber-security threats.  

He says cyber security should be seen as everyone’s issue and not just an IT department challenge or government concern. 

“With the growing number of cyber-crimes, it is encouraged that cyber-security be thought at younger age. Industry leaders need to work together in order to mitigate the risks to an acceptable level,” advises Maboulou.

Maboulou said this in response to a query on cyber security and how safe Namibia is.
He described cyber security as the practice of protecting system against malicious attacks or intruders.  He said people can protect themselves against cyber threats- firstly through education and awareness, which is considered the best approach as human, are viewed as the weakest link in information security and this is due to emotions and ignorance.

“Trust but verify. Always question every action before doing so. Make use of tools such as acronis ransomware protection and proofpoint as basic security measures against attacks such as ransomware and phishing,” he stated.

Asked if Namibia is safe when it comes to cyber security, Maboulou said Namibia is not safe and there are lots of attacks happening. 

“A few companies that we have been doing some security services for; you can see there is nothing really being done. Moreover, it is not just Namibia alone, the entire world there is a lack of certified professionals in the field of cyber security that is also a challenge,” he stated.

He added that most companies think buying a firewall or an anti-virus is enough but it is not the case. According to online definition by techopedia, firewall is software used to maintain the security of private network.

Maboulou added that companies buy firewalls and instead of changing the default credentials they come with, they leave them like that.

“To attackers that is like a bonus because it is easier to hack such devices or companies, as they can easily get the default credentials available on the internet. For example, if you purchase a Fortigate firewall, one can just go on the internet and search for default credentials then they can get it right,” he explained.

In addition, he said only a few people have anti-virus on their mobile phones but they do have it on their laptop not knowing that their phone knows them more which means they should secure it as well. 

“Nowadays, we carry cellphones almost everywhere and we always install applications that request for certain permissions such as microphone, phone contact list and images which we still allow to. For example, a friend of mine named Nadia Nortje once called me talking about Forex Trading, by the time she came to my place she started getting adverts on Facebook related to Forex; she thought I hacked into her phone until I explained how Facebook and WhatsApp listens to our conversation through us giving WhatsApp permission to use our phone’s microphone,” he said.

Selma Ikela
2019-10-04 08:58:17 | 9 months ago

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