Mobile devices and remote work forces et of information security that addresses the security of information and information systems that store and process data in electronic form. Due to many factors cybersecurity can take on several definitions.
Cybersecurity is fueled by various endpoints in society and have only been increasing over the last five years. Some of the below influences have caused these increases:
The information you are protecting must remain protected and confidential. Information classified as confidential data should not be released to unauthorized individuals. There are various ways to ensure confidentiality.
The integrity of the data systems must be able to remain secure. Integrity shows that the data is trustworthy, and that no information is compromised from malicious sources. Having access controls and domain credentials, log ins, and auditing features make sure cybersecurity integrity is held.
Availability is just what it sounds like. These data systems are high priority systems and must be available. The actual availability depends on the business, but for many companies, any loss in availability could cause major financial loss.
There are two forms of cybersecurity risk you take on when holding a role in information security. One the personal liability side, anything you personally do which may cause an information system to be vulnerable may fall back on you. This could be not updating servers and security software. You did not technically have the intent to cause an issue, but your lack of actions may be the direct cause of a cyber attack. The main risk with being this person is you will most likely be terminated.
On the business liability side you take more responsibility. Businesses hold massive amounts of sensitive and critical information on clients, trade secrets, private emails and even software code and product patent information. If this information is compromised, it could cause the company financial loss in present and future, lose client trust, regulatory fines, and having to go through intensive compliance audits.
This is why keeping your systems up to date and setting up a proper IT security system is only beneficial to your employees and company overall. Having this in place will allow you to show you did everything possible to prevent a cyber attack from happening and crippling your data security measures.
This is when a cyber actor purposely tries to overwhelm a computer or cybersecurity computer network by flooding it with thousands of requests for data or some sort of traffic to overload the device and make it difficult to operate normally. These mostly target central processing units or the memory on the devices.
DDoS attacks are DoS attacks where many different computers or other connected devices are connected. Attackers will target and flood a network with a massive amount of requests. In these types of attacks, cyber criminals have shut down entire networks or even websites, which have caused company large financial losses.
Botnets are what are commonly used in DDoS attacks. They are a collection of compromised computers that belong to other parties, however, the attacker is able to remotely control the devices and performs tasks. These machines that are taken over are often called "zombie" machines. Sometimes these attacks can also take on the role of data destruction attacks, where the main goal is to gain control of a device and wipe data from the computer or entire network.
So these are two you should definitely be aware of today. Phishing is where someone is trying to convince you to take action on something. Many of these come in the form of emails, attempting to get a user to click on and input various credentials or information.
Spear phishing is just a phishing attack is just a phishing attack that is specifically targeted person or business. These are used more so if a hacker does prior research and wants to target maybe a CEO or system administrator to gain larger scale access to a network. Smishing is also a new attack which uses text messages as the phishing delivery.
Interception attacks are successful when companies are not using proper encryption standards. Whether they are not using encrypted email or connecting remotely over standard internet (no VPN). When this occurs, hackers are able to intercept your sensitive information. A man-in-the-middle attack is another name for these attacks. Using end to end encrypted email and a VPN with two-factor authentication are methods to protect your business from these types of attacks.
This is a malware attack that once on the device demands a ransom to be paid. These are on the rise and what you have seen hit various school districts and the pipeline attack. Ransomware encrypts files on the device and threaten to delete the information if they are not paid (usually in cryptocurrency). If the ransom is paid, the attackers say they will send you the keys to decrypt your information. Sadly, when most people pay they never end up seeing their information again. Having secure backups is one way to make sure you always have a backed up copy of your data, just in case this occurs. Cyber insurance can also be beneficial if you are a victim of ransomware.
Scareware is a form of malware that attempts to scare users into taking some action. Usually something will pop up on your screen saying that your device is impacted and that if you do not take immediate action something even worse will happen. A lot of the time too they will have a link in the pop up that has you resolve the issue by purchasing some form of cybersecurity software.
Spyware is more so hidden on your device and sits in the background collecting information on users actions and keystrokes. Sometimes spyware even has the capability to capture video and audio from a computers microphone.
Zero day attacks are a form of malware that targets software and system vulnerabilities not previously known to the public or the vendor of the software. These attacks require a significant amount of resources and have been believed to be created by nation states. By the time the zero day vulnerability is released to the public it is too late for those that were already attacked.
Cyber threat actors are not always the most devious cyber criminals, you may think they are. There are five major players in the cyber-crime realm:
Script kiddies are using younger individuals who are beginner hackers, who tinker around looking for things to practice hacking on. They usually are only able to do this because of some minor scripting or programming knowledge.
Nation and state actors is difficult to define since they tend to act off the radar. They usually only get publicity when another country links an attack back to the nation or state group. These groups are quite sophisticated and have a large amount of resources working together.
Corporate cyber spies are used by various corporations to gather intelligence and intellectual property from their competitors. Since there is no easy way to trace this back to the various corporations, this is a commonly used tactic.
Cyber criminals have some of the following motives for carrying out cyber crimes: stealing money from various online targets or businesses, stealing and reselling credit card information and personal identifiable information, or like corporate spies, they want to gather trade secrets which they can sell for a high price over the dark web.
Hacktivists are individuals or groups that use hacking to spread word of whatever their cause or mission is. This group can include terrorist groups or even a rouge insider. These groups have extensive potential to cause great harm, because they usually will want the end result to make international news. These individuals are also usually supported by terrorism funding.
Insiders are the cause of some major global cyber crimes. These acts are usually just carried out by a rouge or disgruntled employee, who feels like they need revenge on the overall organization for something that happen to them. These acts are fueled by revenge, and usually can be substantial because of the level of access inside employees have.
As you can see there are numerous different cyber attacks criminals can use to gain leverage over your enterprise. Without the proper cybersecurity services and software, it is impossible to protect your information and employees from these malicious activities. Cyber criminals now conduct research on you businesses' security posture and security controls, to see who the easiest target is. Being able to detect and respond to these cyber threats is critical. That is why you need a cyber defense solution.
Since 2006, known malware and computer crime has skyrocketed! These numbers continually grow and increase your odds of becoming victim to a cyber attack. Cybersecurity experts can ensure you are ahead of the curve. To prepare your small business or enterprise, you need to make sure you have a top end cloud antivirus, SIEM solution, NetMotion software (VPN), and even full disk encryption. These cybersecurity solutions will deter cyber crime and allow you to have confidence in knowing your security measures are protecting your organization.
One cybersecurity industry saying is: "It is not if, but when". With this in mind you can see that the total average cost of a cyber attack is $3.92 million. Take the proactive approach and making sure your IT systems and network security are set up properly. This will cost your company far less in the long run. Cybersecurity statistics show that companies struggle to recover not just from the initial attack. As you see above, it is the total cost that will push businesses to bankruptcy. Taking the proper security stance beforehand will save you the countless hours of recovery.
You are not the only ones looking at these stats right now. Cyber criminals know the target rich environment they are in. Take the first step in making sure your company is protected, contact a cybersecurity consultant. Being in the cyber crime arena, we see this all the time. With both cybersecurity consulting and cyber crime law enforcement experience, we are unique to the IT security industry. We truly know how to protect you from these cybersecurity trends.
Workers are now working remotely more than ever. This puts network and cybersecurity at risk of various cyber-attacks. Conducting a cybersecurity assessment will ensure your network and sensitive data are sufficiently protected from cybercriminals. Having a VPN and Two-Factor Authentication will increase your computer system's security.
Businesses are finally focusing on the preparation and overall risk management of cyber systems. Measuring the risk your business faces is the first step to ensuring your systems and cybersecurity stance are up to date. Having an outside entity provide this service is beneficial since they can be honest and have an outside professional opinion towards your security measures.
With enhanced government support and cybersecurity funding, we are now pushing out more security guidelines companies and government agencies will be able to follow. Making cybersecurity a priority to your organization is critical to your business's culture and future success.
Cybersecurity assessments are the best way to see how your business is prepared for a cyber-attack. These assessments provide viable feedback on your current information security systems and the best way to improve. These cyber audits will make sure your data and sensitive information are protected. Companies that go through these cybersecurity assessments will be those who cancybercrime survive in the evolving world of cyber crime.
With cyber threats on the rise, companies are now able to protect themselves from cyber incidents and ransomware. Cybersecurity insurance allows companies to have an alternate form of protection, if for some reason their security measures fail. With the proper information security systems in place you should not have to worry as much about this. Sadly though, it just takes one employee clicking on an email to break down the invisible security wall. This is why we ourselves carry cyber insurance. For the price, we believe it is worth having the added protection.
Cyber criminals are now using pandemic related scams to send sophisticated phishing emails. In the past, phishing emails were easy to spot and take action against. Now cybersecurity experts are seeing more and more business email compromises. Cyber actors are taking the time to make these emails look legitimate. No longer do they contain multiple spelling and grammatical mistakes. They also now gain access through one phishing email and instead of executing an attack then, they send out various other emails from an internal email account, compromising more accounts. Making sure you have some form of email security in place and have your employees go through cybersecurity awareness training is a good first security step to enhance your cybersecurity posture.
As we saw with the 2021 pipeline attack and other ransomware attacks that made the news cyber criminals are taking advantage in any network vulnerability they can find. They focus on companies that are lacking network security and proceed to find a way in. Once they decide to take control of the business network, they then encrypt various data sources. Next, they will demand the business pay a ransom in order to have access to the decryption keys. From here the organization has two real options.
Sadly, most criminal hackers do not care if you pay them and they fail to come through on their promises! On the other end, paying the ransom only encourages cyber criminals. This is why ransomware attacks continue to rise at an astronomical rate. In 2020 51% of businesses were hit with a ransomware attack. Conducting a cybersecurity assessment will let you see how your cybersecurity systems stack up.
Like other kinds of cyber threats, mobile malware is also becoming more of a cyber threat. In 2020, the Microsoft 365 Defender Research Team uncovered a new Android malware, which was the latest evolution of mobile ransomware and also much more sophisticated than its predecessors. This malware fully disabled the use of Android devices and forced individuals to pay the ransom to gain back control (Microsoft, 2020). With more and more businesses turning to mobile devices and tablets you have to ensure your mobile device management and cybersecurity systems are protected.
These attacks are not as frequent as some of the others, but recently cyber criminals and hackers are taking advantage of the security deficiencies supply chain providers have. Even if your cybersecurity posture is well prepared, having a supplier with network access can be a huge threat to your network security. One recent example of this is the Solar Winds attack in 2020. The company deals in system management tools that are widely used by IT professionals, the most popular of which is Orion NMS. Hackers exploited the configurations of the software, particularly its integrations. They inserted malware into SolarWinds’s servers, which was packaged as part of an update. This effectively allowed the threat group to get inside the systems of all organizations using Orion NMS, among which are the US Department of Defense and 425 names in the US Fortune 500 (SANS Institute, 2020)
With millions investing in new forms of cryptocurrency, hackers and cyber criminals are executing targeted cybersecurity attacks on victims. Via social threats, you can find various individuals who have made a significant money on various crypto coins. From here the hacker only needs to do some research to see how they will target the select individual. Once they are able to find a network opening, they can go through the computer until they are able to find your digital wallet. Sadly, most people also keep their encryption keys on the same device so the cyber criminal doesn't even have to work that hard. Imagine the large amount of money you just made off doge coin wiped out in an instant (never able to be recovered).