There is one assumption you must always make when it comes to protecting your network security: I am under attack, always. Never assume you can fly under the radar because your business is smaller than your competitors. You may be the exact target a cybercriminal is looking for; a victim who thinks they don’t need all the security measures of their larger counterparts. Below are the three most current threats, as outlined by our partners at RapidScale.
Phishing continues to be an effective tool for attackers, as it can very quickly compromise a business network, and attackers can target specific people or organizations. Phishing is a primary method of infecting victims with malware, working by spreading as a trojan whose payload is disguised as a seemingly legitimate file, often coming to the user from a spoofed email address that looks like a legitimate sender. The email tends to carry a malicious attachment or instruct users to click a link that allows a virus to enter their machine. A huge issue here is human error because many business users are unable to identify phishing emails. In the past year, 30% of phishing messages were opened by users, and 13% of those went on to click to open a malicious attachment or link!
Ransomware is a growing threat, with attackers wanting fast cash. This effective type of malware restricts access to a user’s PC, applications, or files and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove this restriction – it also works on a business-wide level, impacting an entire network. Crypto ransomware encrypts files on the hard drive and requires payment of the ransom for decryption, while locker ransomware locks the system and displays messages to scare the user into paying. Criminals often attack Microsoft Office, Adobe PDF, and graphics files, which are typically found in business environments. These targets will expand in coming years.
With extortion hacks, attackers threaten to release sensitive company or customer information if the victim doesn’t pay. Even with backed up data, this presents a threat to a company whose reputation and customers are suddenly at risk. Common examples of extortion hacks include the Sony, Ashley Madison and InvestBank hacks. This method works because it creates fear. Organizations fear the exposure of private information, which could lead to angry customers and lawsuits, and even executives losing jobs.
Network security is a constantly evolving landscape. The major threats this year will be old news next year. Cybercriminals are developing new ways to attack all the time, and sometimes human error on behalf of your staff can make it too easy for them. If you’re concerned about your network security, and you should be, contact the network experts at Corporate Technologies Group. We can assess your network for vulnerabilities, recommend solutions, execute them, as well as monitor your network 24/7/365.
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