Picture this… In your office you have a bag filled with thousands of envelopes. In each envelope there is $242 in cash. Unbeknownst to you, a thief has gained access to your office, but you don’t realize this until 279 days later. How much is this going to cost your business?
Integrated Business Technologies Blog
Phishing attacks have been in the social consciousness now for a while, and for good reason: it is the predominant way that hackers gain access to secured networks and data. Unfortunately, awareness to an issue doesn’t always result in positive outcomes. In this case, hackers get more aggressive, and by blanketing everyone under a seemingly limitless phishing net, 57 billion phishing emails go out every year. If a fraction of those emails accomplish their intended goal, the hackers on the other end of them really make out.
The funny thing about ransomware is that they give them very strange names: Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam, it is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.
Now that the holidays have come and gone, you might have a couple of new gadgets in your home or office that connect to the Internet. Depending on what these gadgets are, you might have a serious security issue sitting right in front of you without realizing it. Some devices that don’t normally connect to the Internet--also known as Internet of Things devices (IoT)--aren’t as secure as you’d like them to be, particularly in a business environment.
If your business was breached, would it be better to keep it a secret, or should you disclose it to your clients? Uber has proven that trying to hide it is a mistake, and a costly one at that.
Every business in operation today needs to have some kind of comprehensive network security. Simply put, there are too many threats that can come in through an Internet connection for them to continue doing otherwise. The past year provides plenty of anecdotal proof of this fact, as a quick glance back can show.
The term “hacker” is possibly one of the best-known technology-related terms there is, thanks to popular culture. Properties like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Die Hard franchise have given the layman a distinct impression of what a hacker is. Unfortunately, this impression isn’t always accurate. Here, we’ll discuss what real-life hackers are like, and the different varieties there are.
Social media has been an emerging technology in recent years, and has produced many threats. Hackers have learned that they can take advantage of these communication mediums to launch dangerous new attacks on unsuspecting users. With enough ingenuity on a hacker’s part, they can potentially steal the identity of a social media user. Here are some of the best ways that your organization can combat identity theft through social media.
We are going to switch things up a bit and walk you through a retelling of a ransomware attack through the eyes of a business owner. Usually when we talk about these types of threats, we approach it from our perspective and talk about what you should do to prepare and what the threats are, but we wanted to try to show you what an event like this could feel like, for you, in your position, and in your own eyes. We hope that this will raise awareness of how crippling an event like this can be on your company, and we hope you let us know if this perspective helps you, your colleagues, and your staff get a more personal sense of what ransomware can do. Enjoy!
The Internet is rife with potential threats. Some are situational, but most are deliberate actions made by malicious entities who are trying to obtain any semblance of value from you or your company. Some of these exploits have been around longer than you’d imagine possible. This has been made evident by huge Internet-based companies such as PayPal and Facebook testing positive for a 19-year-old vulnerability that once allowed hackers to decrypt encrypted data.
If your business were to be struck by a Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack, would it be able to recover in a timely manner? Do you have measures put into place to keep them from hampering your operations? While most organizations claim to have sufficient protection against these dangerous attacks, over half of them have simply proven to be ineffective against DDoS.
Students generally love it when classes are cancelled for whatever reason, but thanks to a cybercriminal group called TheDarkOverlord Solutions, a school in Flathead Valley, Montana was disrupted for an extended period of time. This downtime resulted in a disruption of operations for over 30 schools, as well as the threat to the personal information of countless teachers, students, and administrators due to a ransomware attack.
The average business owner may already be aware of what are called phishing attacks - scams that attempt to deceive and trick users into handing over sensitive credentials. However, not all phishing attacks are of the same severity, and some are only interested in hauling in the big catch. These types of attacks are called “whaling,” and are often executed in the business environment under the guise of executive authority.
In a bizarre reminder of why security best practices are so critical to the world of IT, it has been reported that one of the largest collections of hacked and stolen login details are currently making the rounds in the Russian black market.
2015 was a brutal year for major corporations, as one by one they fell victim to hacking attacks. Major organizations like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Anthem, and even the United States Office of Personnel became victims of major hacking campaigns. A fact that’s often lost amongst these details is that not all hackers use their skill for evil actions, even if they are still illegal.
Virtually every kind of online account requires a password. Yet, due to the aggressive nature of hackers, passwords alone are no longer enough to protect your information. The best way to approach network security is to have more protections in place than just a flimsy password.
Let’s say you get an email from a close friend. It looks like it’s legitimate, until you check the contents of the message. It’s an advertisement, or it’s trying to get you to click on a link to see something “important.” Regardless of what the content of the message is, you should probably slap that bad boy in the Spam section of your email inbox. You’ve just been the target of email spoofing, and it’s more common than you might think.
One of the most masterful arts of deception that hackers use is the phishing attack, which attempts steal sensitive credentials from unwary victims. The anonymity afforded to criminals on the Internet is what makes this possible. Using phishing attacks, hackers attempt to steal credentials or personal records by forging their identities. What’s the best way to protect your business from these attacks?
This October is Cybersecurity Month! Some businesses think that they’re immune to hacking attacks because they’re “low profile” compared to huge corporations. However, the truth of the matter is that your organization is just as much at risk as they are. This month, take measures to keep your organization’s data safe, or risk losing everything in the fallout of a hacking attack.
Malware that targets ATMs isn’t a new concept. After all, ATMs use internal computers that can be hacked just the same as any old workstation. The prime difference is that hacking into an ATM allows for a direct dispensing of cash, rather than some crafty behind-the-scenes action. A new type of ATM malware, titled GreenDispenser, is a cause for concern in Mexico, and could spread to other countries if left unchecked.
Have you ever wondered what hackers do with all of the data they steal on a regular basis? Sure, they could go public with it like they did with the Ashley Madison and Sony hacks, or they could sell it and make some quick cash. Credentials like passwords, usernames, Social Security numbers, and more, can be sold for top dollar in illegal markets, but how much can your identity go for?
Ransomware is one of the most devastating computer viruses in today’s computing landscape. You may have heard of one of its most famous variations, Cryptolocker. It received a lot of attention when it dramatically hit the scene two short years ago. Thankfully, the threat from CryptoLocker has decreased after the GameOver Zeus botnet was taken down last year. Although, now we’ve got a new, more contagious strain of this ransomware to deal with known as Cryptowall.
One of the primary threats that business networks are trying to protect themselves from is malware. We’re all aware of how much damage a stray piece of malware can inflict on a business, as they can perform functions like lock down files, steal sensitive data, and distribute crippling viruses. In recent developments, studies are showing that malware is now involved in less than half of all reported hacking attacks, and that more sophisticated measures are now being taken to exploit unwary users.
For argument’s sake, do you think society today relies too much on technology? In the Information Age, both businesses and governments have to be more careful than ever about how they approach cybersecurity. However, what would happen if a massive cyber war were to render any and all computing systems in the United States inert? Granted, such a powerful, in-depth attack is unlikely, but it’s sometimes fun (and frightening) to examine the worst-case scenario.
Hackers are always coming up with new, unprecedented methods of hacking unsuspecting victims. Despite their best efforts, technology professionals have managed to keep up with threats, but this only forces threats to continue to innovate. In fact, some hackers are even capable of using radio signals to hack into an unconnected device and steal confidential corporate data.
In today’s society, we throw the word “hack,” around without a second thought. This is especially true in the realm of cyber security for businesses. Have you ever taken a moment to think about why the term “hacker” was chosen as the title for those who partake in sketchy online activity? What exactly makes a hacker, a hacker?
Normally in cybersecurity, we hear about hacking attacks and immediately sympathize with the victim. It’s usually an individual or a business that suffers the most; yet, a recent trend is showing that hackers are lashing out at one another in response to certain threats. In response to a hack from the cyberespionage group Naikon, another group, Hellsing, retaliated with their own attack.
Arguably one of the most imperative assets for any government is an IT infrastructure, and in 2015, the U.S. government is realizing that security breaches are some of the most dangerous cyber threats to watch out for. As evidenced by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, IT security is just as important as other matters of national security.
One would assume that software preinstalled on a new PC is secure and has been properly vetted by the manufacturer. This is the case 99 percent of the time, but an exception has recently been discovered with the Superfish app, which came installed on new Lenovo computers sold between September and December of 2014. How can you protect your PC from this fishy security threat?
Probably one of the more dangerous hacks so far in 2015, healthcare-provider Anthem has been breached by hackers and its data accessed. The breach may have provided the hackers with up to 80 million sensitive customer records, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, and much, much more.
The Internet is up to its ears with threats and hackers, but some of the most annoying malicious entities are bots. These are systems which can gather information from all kinds of sources. While some aren’t malicious in nature (think SEO bots which gather data from websites), there are those that aren’t so innocent. These tend to fall into the hands of hackers and attempt to steal information or send spam.
When a virus infects your computer, you may not know about it until it’s too late. Like a biological virus, the damage it does to your system can be minimized if it’s caught early on. Stopping a computer virus early is possible if you know what symptoms to look for. Is your PC infected? Here are four signs you’ve been hacked.
This holiday season might leave technology and entertainment supergiant Sony with nothing but a big lump of coal in its stocking. In a high-profile hack, hackers continue to leak Sony’s employees’ sensitive information like Social Security numbers, passports, and even personal emails. This is obviously an issue for the company, but so is its lack of IT security, as shown by their passwords being stored in a folder named “Passwords.”
Hackers come in all shapes and sizes, with varied levels of skills to boot. The generic garden-variety hacker will probably only try to hack your email and send spam, or steal your personal information. However, there are much worse threats out there, like APT hackers. This week, we’ll cover how you can spot these wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The latest threats can put a damper on your business plan and put your company at risk. Therefore, it's only natural to protect yourself from them. This new threat in particular, Cryptowall 2.0, has the potential to do plenty of heavy-duty damage to your business's network, if given the opportunity.
Crime might pay for those bold enough to do it, but that doesn't mean everyone should. Hackers likely don't take into account the fact that they are costing the world countless millions of dollars in damage only to further their own gain, and their influence can have far-reaching effects on people all over the world, let alone your business.
All of the security breaches and vulnerabilities of 2014 sure have made for an interesting year; first Heartbleed, then the Internet Explorer vulnerability, GameOver Zeus, and the Russian password-stealing gang. In light of these events, you really have to ask the question, "how can we fight these threats?" Symantec has told The Wall Street Journal that they feel antivirus technology is "dead."
The Internet is a vast ocean filled with all sorts of different creatures. Many are harmless, like the bottlenose dolphin, but once in a while you will encounter an aggressive shark. But no matter how powerful or intelligent these creatures are, they still wind up flopping around on the deck of some fisherman's boat. Why? Because fishermen know what they're looking for and how to capture it. The same can be said about Internet phishers.
When you were a kid, did you ever ask your parents for a cool new toy only to have your request denied because you were in the habit of breaking everything? Your parents would point out your destructive habit and tell you, "This is why we can't have nice things." As an adult, the coolest toy is the Internet and hackers want to break it.
Hackers have many different tools at their disposal to access your computer. Some of these tools can even control your machine! When a hacker controls your PC, your computer is now part of a network made up of other compromised devices that they control. This compromised network is known as a botnet, and you don't want to be part of it!
Are you aware of the value of your company's data? If you lost it all today, what would it cost your business in terms of productivity, downtime, and liability? Security precautions need to be taken in order to keep your data safe, including data backups. However, after you have a backup system in place, don't neglect the need to secure those backup files!