Technology is a blessing. We get that. Sadly, so do hackers and cyber criminals who use such technology to breach companies’ security and obtain sensitive data. You know exactly what we’re talking about: ransomware, Trojan viruses, and malware. These culprits cause companies (and individuals) to sweat profusely while breaching, obtaining, or encrypting their valuable information and holding for a hefty ransom. Given the alarming statistics for the number of cyber-attacks in 2017, we will once more take some time to review the biggest offenders in cyber security, how they are contracted, and what you can do to avoid becoming a cyber-attack victim in 2018.
Top 5 Cyber Threats:
Ransomware: The Reigning King of Cyber-Terror:
If you’ve been following the cyber security world closely, then you may likely recognize this name. If you’ve been a victim, then this name may stir up some intense feelings of anxiety and nausea. Ransomware attacks are not only on computers, but these attacks have recently surfaced in the cloud, targeting sensitive company info and valuable customer information. According to Computer Weekly, Warwick Ashford states, “While the biggest and oldest cloud service providers such as Google, Amazon, and IBM have the resources and experience to make it difficult for attackers to succeed, the MIT Review points out the smaller cloud providers are likely to be more vulnerable and more likely to pay up if customer data were encrypted and held for ransom.”
DDoS Attacks: You’ve Heard of It…
You may have seen this term used on news websites, geek forums, and maybe from your own website management provider, but what exactly is DDoS? This acronym stands for a distributed denial-of-service attack and may just as well be the culprit of having a sudden, slow internet connection or the inability to access a certain website. These attacks flood the computer server of a specific website with information, causing it to stall and fail to load. However, attackers are able to take control of unknowing users’ computers to carry out these attacks. This is called a “distributed” attack.
Spam and Phishing Emails: An Old Trick with a New Vengeance
Computer techie or not, you likely may be very familiar with these terms. Spam and phishing emails have been around for decades. You can generally notice them by their sporadic spelling errors, dubious attachments, and all around appearance that just screams suspicious. Sadly however, hackers have also taken notice of this, and have revamped these emails to look and feel frighteningly genuine. Even landing pages that are linked to the email may appear genuine. All it takes is for some poor soul to fill out a form and the rest is history. Or rather, your history is gone.
You read that right. Not only does dangerous malware launch on desktop computers, but now on mobile devices as well. One might wonder, how on earth can malicious malware find its way to your smartphone? Well there’s quite a variety of ways. Sometimes, smartphones may issue a software update that may contain an unknown vulnerability and hackers will exploit such weakness. Developers however work hard to develop a patch for said vulnerability for the next software update, so don’t let this be an excuse not to update your phone! Another method of attack is permissions abuse. When installing an app on your smartphone, a list of permissions will generally pop-up before installing. Depending on the purpose of the app, one should be keenly aware of said permissions, especially when an app seems to be requiring more invasive permissions than what is truly necessary for it to perform properly.
Lack of Expertise: A Key Weakness
We live in a world full of malicious malware mercenaries and ransomware aficionados. A business can educate its employees and ensure that precautionary steps are taken to avoid any possible kind of attacks. Unfortunately, however, we also understand that accidents happen. That’s where we come in. #TechStarters offers state-of-the-art cyber security and firewall protection as well as back-ups to keep your company going despite what new hacks or viruses may come.