Although cyber attacks are not new, the methods of employing them are continuing to evolve.
Here are a few important cyber threats you should be aware of in order to keep your personal information as well as organizational data protected.
We have often been told to delete emails that are from an unknown sender or that have suspicious links and attachments. Now, people need to be even more cautious as spear phishing is a recent trend that is continuing to be seen across all industries.
Spear Phishing is when someone sends a fraudulent email from a known or trustee sender to a targeted individual revealing confidential information.
Fraudsters have found ways to be successful with spear phishing when three key elements are included in their message. Firstly, the message must be sent from a source that looks to be trusted and known. Next, there is information within the message that supports its validity. This could include a name or phone number. Lastly, the request that the individual makes must seem logical. Unfortunately, due to the appearance of a trusted source and the logic behind the message request people are falling victim to these crimes.
As a best practice don’t respond or click on any attachments from emails that you don’t know the sender. It is important that you limit what personal information you are giving out on the web and through emails.
Cloud Migration Holes
Many organizations are being told to use cloud technology to increase their overall efficiency and security. Cyber attackers know that there are gaps in the implementation of cloud technology and are finding ways to take advantage of this. Cloud technology is normally implemented through a trusted expert with proper prerequisite skills. Take the time to find someone who you know will do it right the first time.
In order to avoid being a target to cyber attackers when implementing your cloud technology make sure you properly estimate your time frame and budgets. Underestimating these puts you at greater risk of making mistakes and leaving vulnerable gaps throughout your integration process. Next, take steps when moving everything on to the cloud. Determine what applications should go first and do things one step at a time. Lastly, don’t slack on cloud security. Having inadequate security policies is one of the fastest ways your organization can fail.
Your IoT Devices
IoT devices stands for the Internet of Things devices. This is any nonstandard computing device that can connect wirelessly to a network and transmit data. Examples of IoT devices include smart devices like TVs, speakers and appliances. Now we even have smart homes that can adjust home temperatures or lighting levels. Smart sensors are being put into new business offices so that when a meeting starts the temperature of the room adjusts according to the number of people in the room.
One security challenges that we face with these IoT devices is the insufficient tests and updates. Often the device is secure when it is first sold to the consumer but is eventually prone to hackers if it doesn’t get enough updates. In the past, early computer systems had similar problems. This was somewhat resolved through automatic updates. Other challenges faced due to the security of IoT devices include the use of default passwords, ransomware attacks and data privacy.
Ransomware is a malicious software attack. It threatens to publish victim’s data or blocks access to data unless the ransom is paid. The cost of downtime and repairs due to a ransomware attack can have a large impact on an organization. It was found that some industries such as healthcare providers, legal firms and educational institutions are more prone to ransomeware attacks but no industry is off limits.
In order to stay protected be sure that you have a back-up and recovery plan in place. This way if something happens you can restore your data quickly and reduce downtime. Next, keep your softwares up to date. This is why working with an IT provider can be beneficial as they will monitor your systems to ensure things are up-to-date and running smoothly. In the event of a crisis, an IT provider can improve response times to get your organization up and running again in no time.