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Posts Tagged ‘#cybersecurity’

cyber-attack

(Russian) Cyber Security Should Now Be Firmly On The Radar For Everyone Running A Business

May 19, 2016

It is no longer a question of if a business will be attacked, but when – and how.
There are still many old style fraudsters who forge cheques, submit false invoices for fictional services or seek a “dear friend” who will help them repatriate several million pounds but these are just a reminder of bygone days when a fraud looked like, well, a fraud.
In recent times a fraud is more likely to look like a genuine email from the managing director asking a member of the accounts team to make a payment to what looks like a supplier.
Closer inspection may reveal that the proposed destination of the cash is not quite what it seems.
Perhaps the language is more polite than one would expect from the MD, maybe the email address of the sender isn’t exactly right – although it looks right at first glance.
Any communication regarding the movement of cash should now be subjected to an additional level of scrutiny. Many businesses have already updated their procedures.
Some will not send cash in response to an email request. Many will make a call to the parties involved to check that everything is genuine and that a payment request originates from who it purports to be from.
There has also been a massive escalation of malicious attacks, usually harmless looking emails that invite the recipient to click on what looks like a harmless link.
Clicking the link unleashes a virus that will attack the recipient’s systems, potentially causing major harm to the business.
There are now many hundreds of thousands of cases of computer misuse, hacking and malicious virus attacks reported each year.
Whilst these threats might be conveyed digitally, many need to fool a human being at some point to be effective. Every organisation should therefore run regular training for employees on how to spot fraudulent or malicious activity.
Insurers will increasingly expect this kind of training as a condition of cover. In the current climate, it is arguably negligent to not train staff properly in this regard.
The IoD conducted a survey of business leaders in December 2015 which showed that just under half provided training in cyber security for their staff.
Given the potential for commercial and reputational damage that can result from the cascading effect of a cyber attack, this is an alarmingly low figure. It shows a high degree of misplaced complacency.
Cyber security is a business “hygiene” issue. Suppliers, customers and staff are entitled to expect that a business has the necessary measures and procedures in place.
There is also a rapidly growing market for defined cyber threat insurance.
This used to be carried by a minority of companies but is now something that needs to be in place for the vast majority of businesses, especially bearing in mind that only around one per cent of respondents in the IoD survey thought their business wholly unreliant on the inter- net.
Alongside greater awareness of the threat, the other primary defensive tool in the armoury is software, with good firewalls and analytics that can pick up the bulk of fraudulent or malicious activity
There is no simple solution to the malice and dishonesty that exist in the digital world.
The price of staying ahead of these threats is eternal vigilance, insurance and up-to-date software.

By Jonathan Oxley

www.yorkshirepost.co.uk

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Protect-From-Ransomware

FBI Warns of a Rise in Ransomware Attacks

May 17, 2016

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) is warning businesses to be on the lookout for a rise in ransomware attacks.
On Friday, the FBI published a letter revealing that the threat posed by ransomware to hospitals, state and local governments, law enforcement, small businesses, and private individuals is growing.
“Ransomware has been around for a few years, but during 2015, law enforcement saw an increase in these types of cyber attacks, particularly against organizations because the payoffs are higher,” the letter reads. “And if the first three months of this year are any indication, the number of ransomware incidents–and the ensuing damage they cause–will grow even more in 2016 if individuals and organizations don’t prepare for these attacks in advance.”
Along with an increase in the number of ransomware attacks, the FBI has observed a corresponding increase in the sophistication of attack campaigns. Computer criminals traditionally relied solely on spam mail to send out most forms of malware. Now they are turning to more sophisticated means, including spear-phishing (or whaling) emails and exploit kit attacks that don’t require user interaction.
The FBI has said in the past that paying the ransom fee is sometimes the only way for victims to recover their encrypted data. But in its letter, the FBI is careful to point out it does not support that course of action given certain negative consequences.
“Paying a ransom doesn’t guarantee an organization that it will get its data back–we’ve seen cases where organizations never got a decryption key after having paid the ransom,” explains FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James Trainor. “Paying a ransom not only emboldens current cyber criminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity. And finally, by paying a ransom, an organization might inadvertently be funding other illicit activity associated with criminals.”
Acknowledging those repercussions, the FBI urges organizations to develop a business continuity plan they can implement in the event of an attack and to invest in ransomware prevention.
By David Bisson
www.tripwire.com

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