Introduction of Cryptocurrency
With the advent of the digital world and blockchain technology, cryptocurrency has become much more popular. It is predicted that these cryptocurrencies will change the future of finances all over the globe. But simultaneously, it becomes entirely more critical how these types of currencies are secured. Because with the rise of these finances comes an added threat of cybercrimes that are already prevalent worldwide. In the previous year, hackers stole about $400 million of bitcoins from the Japan Exchange, and hence these threats can only be resolved by implementing proper cybersecurity.
There are a large number of cryptocurrencies that are emerging regularly. The Blockchain technology behind these currencies allows people and different institutions to do separate transactions without any intermediaries like banks or governments.
These are a form of digital asset and work free of any reserved or central banks. Due to this, the expenses decrease largely and do not incur any fees. This is the main reason why people and companies are attracted to it to earn some good money, and hence it stresses all the more the need to have cybersecurity.
Wherever there is money involved, certain sections of society are willing to take it away through different means, good or bad. Since the cryptocurrency market is in the boom, it becomes more susceptible to various cybercrimes. So all those willing to invest in crypto should know and be aware of its cybersecurity side.
A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as an exchange medium. People will own this individual coin. They are stored in a ledger in a form that the computer can understand as databases using highly effective cryptography algorithms to secure the transactions and control, creating any additional coins and ownership verification. It will always exist in the digital form as compared to existing paper money. It does not have any central authority.
The main concern with these types of currencies is that governments and regulatory bodies haven’t been able to enforce strong laws, legal structures or standard business norms that can be accepted worldwide for using cryptocurrencies. As a result, this loophole can be exploited for cyber crimes and threat attacks.
Increase in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity
Cyber Criminals see an excellent advantage in cryptocurrencies due to their decentralization. They see an opportunity to hack into the trading platforms and steal or ransom for significant funds. It is the most preferred form of exchange for attackers and ransomware through different media.
There is a definite pattern that is followed in ransomware attacks. Criminals tend to hide their true identity and ask for digital currency through bitcoins or any other coins as ransom. They are also trained enough to convert these cryptocurrencies into traditional paper currency without being found out. A study has revealed that almost 35% of Bitcoin trading has been hacked. And cryptocurrencies top the list of most preferred mediums for ransomware attacks. By the end of 2015, a famous UK phone and broadband provider received a threat and ransom demand of about £80k in cryptocurrency to protect their confidential data. Also, there has been news of Greek banks being threatened to face severe consequences if not given hundreds and thousands of euros in bitcoin form.
It becomes relatively more straightforward for them to attack any ongoing business, halt their current progress or work by asking for ransom in digital form. This is advantageous to them as this form of attack cannot be traced easily by cybercrime since no evidence is left-back by the attackers. The more cryptocurrencies will grow in the world the more susceptible it becomes for cybercrimes. The number of people trying to get illegal access to these platforms is on the rise and is also not captured easily. Also, cryptocurrencies prove an effective way of money laundering. Hence having the correct type of cybersecurity becomes essential to safeguard from such attacks in the future.
Effect of cryptocurrency on Business security
Cybercrimes come in many forms, which has a destructive impact on cryptocurrency and the business. Attackers have found ways of attacking using emails and phishing, and ransomware. Cybercriminals are more in favour of laundering money and using illegal forms for cryptocurrency scams. Since cryptocurrencies are primarily decentralized, there is no centralized authority that acts as a governing body and monitors transactions. Also, the level of rule regulations is significantly lower. It hence makes a happy hunting ground for the cybercriminals. The exchanges where this digital money is managed i.e. bought and traded, are regulated inconsistently, and sometimes it also depends on which country they are traded in. And these regulations are not at all the same level of governmental or suitability as the traditional banks.
There is also a major threat to security. If the past few years are to be checked, there are numerous headlines of cryptocurrency security breaches. There have been several news of terrorist organization can use these currencies as a fund for their operations.
Blockchain technology in itself is very complicated and difficult to comprehend. More often than not, companies create something that most investors are easily ab
le to see or feel. But digital currency is a non-entity, and it only exists in digital form on the internet and hence makes it a volatile and risky investment. Since many things are like the black box, it becomes impossible for the best of investors to take utmost care while investing. Some of the most common cybersecurity risks are as follows :
Trading Platforms hacking –
Cyber Criminals mostly compromise different trading platforms by laundering funds from their regular users.
Several phishing campaigns target various trading platforms intending to steal customer credentials that illegally can be used to ask for ransom or blackmailing.
Compromised Registration forms-
The black market is an easy platform for attackers to steal information and easily sell it for easy profits.
Various malware are developed that enter the mining machines and steal valuable resources of affected computers. Online wallets are also a medium for stealing cryptocurrencies.
Attackers develop third party applications using fancy attractive GUIs to steal data and target users.
The most effective way to protect any business from these cyber-attacks is by implementing various cybersecurity protocols and also bringing in extra security for all the applications developed.
Often hackers are relentless but might accept defeat if they cannot breach through a system. An increase in cybercrime and an increase in security measures are directly proportional; both are directly on the rise. Hence thoughts are also in progress to bring a regulatory body to monitor the transactions in the safest way possible.
Conclusion – Priority to Security
Digital currencies are managed and accessed via a private key. It is a kind of a complicated password code that grants access to a specific digital account. Hence it is essential to keep this key safe. The best way to protect this is by not keeping it anywhere on the internet to be easily hacked. Therefore, more than a software wallet, it must be kept in a hardware wallet that cannot be easily hacked. This wallet needs to be plugged into a computer to do any transaction, and this password always remains in the hardware wallet.
Cryptocurrencies require a higher level of engagement by investors. Therefore, it is essential to gain most of the knowledge by reading different articles on these subjects. Only money investment in cryptocurrency is insufficient, but the time investment is also enough to be self-reliant. If this is not possible, then it is always better to get help from a third party who will be better positioned to make investments for you.
Undoubtedly making a cryptocurrency investment is worth it but also very risky. Therefore, it is always good to gain valuable knowledge and make informed decisions while making these digital investments.
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