What Is Risk Management?

What Is Risk Management?

The phrase, “risk management”, has a number of meanings depending upon the circumstances and situation in which it is used.  The phrase could be referring to a profession, a structured organizational plan to control cyber threats cybercrime or vulnerabilities or prudent action taken by an individual computer user.

The title of this post refers to the management of risk at a user level designed to improve what is being done to secure your information resources.

Being careful about what you should “Click” upon is one way to manage risk.

Cyber Crime & Email Threats

Be cautious about clicking on unknown email links and visiting unknown websites and downloading free software.  Doing so could be used to deliver malware that would be harmful to your system.

Phishing Attacks

Another common attack method, using email, is a technique known as “phishing”.  It’s a form of “social engineering” that arrives in the form of email but masquerading as a legitimate request.  Phishing is designed to appear as a trusted source and using you to compromise the cyber security of your system.

Phishing Attacks Can Appear to be Legitimate

Phishing attacks can be very sophisticated and appear to come from a trusted website like the one shown below from PayPal:

One way to determine if the source of the email is legitimate is to place the cursor over the item and examine the URL in the text box to determine whether the supposed documents come from the actual source.  Hackers can gain access to your account and wreak havoc by tricking you into giving up information like your account number.

Avoid Clicking on Malicious Links

Another method of attack used by cyber criminals is to you to click on a link in a pop-up or malicious site.  One example could be a fake “Security Alert.”  The target is then sent to a website designed to compromise information resources.  The purpose of such an attack might be to download malware and install it upon your computer.  The malware could be a “keylogger” that stores every key stroke typed upon the infected machine and send it back to the hacker’s site.

Visiting Questionable Websites

A user could be enticed by an ad to go to visit a malicious site to view a “funny” video, for example.  Upon arriving at the site a visitor could receive an alarming message like the one shown below which appears to be a special alert.  Indeed, if a user were to follow the instructions, the malicious site could download intrusive adware or other type of software that infects your computer or networks.

Summary

Cyber criminals use a variety of methods to trick computer users.  The goal is to induce computer users to take an action that makes it possible to install malicious code on their computing resources.

Your computer, once it’s infected with nefarious software, is the servant of the cyber criminal.  The malicious software can even be used to further expand the spread of the malware to others.

Think twice before you casually click on a link.

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