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Cyber Security Staffordshire

The 3 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities You Need to Ensure Your Business Doesn’t Have

You need to take cyber security seriously, regardless of the size of your business. Criminals are targeting both small and large businesses, and you need to check for any weaknesses in your security regularly. Here are 3 Cyber Security Vulnerabilities you need to ensure your business doesn’t have.

Summary

  • Check your Antivirus software regularly and keep it up to date
  • Do you have Weak Login Credentials / have any of your accounts been compromised
  • Lack of Ransomware Protection

VULNERABILITY #1 – LACK OF ENDPOINT SECURITY

Many businesses don’t have or regularly check their endpoint security solutions such as antivirus programs. This leaves their business susceptible to cyber attacks such as ransomware and malware.

Some endpoint solutions rely on virus definitions or signatures to detect an attack. Some out of date software is often inadequate.

Many cyber criminals can bypass definitions quickly and undetected. Some solutions don’t monitor for unexpected and unusual behaviour that typically happens during a cyber attack.

The best way to combat these issues is to invest in an endpoint solution that involves next-generation antivirus, response and behavioral analysis.

What is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint security Is when you secure the endpoints and / or entry points of devices such as desktops, Laptops and mobile devices etc. It has evolved a lot since the more traditional anti virus solutions of the past. It provides a more sophisticated approach when it comes to malware and ransomware.

As virus threats get more sophisticated, it’s good practice to implement this level of protection. The new systems are designed to detect, analyse and block suspicious activity while they are in progress.

Please get in touch if you would like to know more or have any questions about Endpoint Security.

VULNERABILITY #2 – COMPROMISED OR WEAK CREDENTIALS

Cyber Security Staffordshire

Cyber criminals can easily compromise your Username and Password if you haven’t got the right protection in place. For instance, an unsuspecting team member may fall victim to a phishing email and enter their login information into a fake website.

With these compromised credentials, an attacker can gain access to your business data.

There are a number of ways to combat this, such as by enabling MFA (Multi Factor Authentication) on your systems. MFA provides an extra layer of security.

It ensures that users are who they say they are by requiring two pieces of information in order to sign in. This is usually their password and an additional verification, such as a one time access code, in order to login.

Even if the password is compromised, the chances of the additional verification factor also being compromised is very low.

What is Multi Factor Authentication?

When you sign into any account online, you usually go through a process called authentication. Effectively proving your identity to the website you’re logging into. For many years this has been achieved by using a username and a password.

This is however a very insecure method of authentication. That’s why now almost every bank, some social media websites and online stores use additional authentication.

You may hear Multi Factor Authentication called Two-Step verification or Multifactor authentication. They all work the same way. You still login using your username and password but there is an additional layer of security. This can be a pin number text to your mobile phone or a unique code generated by a separate application.

VULNERABILITY #3 – LACK OF RANSOMWARE PROTECTION

Ransomware is the name given to a cyber attack, where the cyber criminals attack your system and network and encrypt your files making them inaccessible.

This can cause chaos for small and large businesses. In 2017 a notorious ransomware attack called “WannaCry Outbreak” cost the UK £92 million and global costs in the region of 6 billion. This also affected the NHS and all of their computer systems were brought to a standstill.

Even though victims paid the ransom all of the data was virtually unrecoverable. So it’s not just ransomware protection you need. It’s a redundancy plan to make sure all of the data is backed up elsewhere and is accessible in the event of a cyber attack.

The majority of victims in these types of attacks are told to pay the ransom using a crypto currency such as bitcoin. They will then send a passcode, allowing you to get back into your system and files.

Make sure you have software and processes in place to prevent these kinds of attacks. Ensure your systems are up to date with the latest updates installed, ensure you are using a modern endpoint security solution and a working backup solution to ensure you’ve got something to fall back to if the worst should happen.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of Malware that adds encryption to a victims files and information. Any data on your computer or network can be compromised. This then stops the IT admin or users from being able to access any critical data.

You wouldn’t be able to access any files, databases or programmes on your devices. It does this by using asymmetric encryption. This is a type of cryptography that generates a pair of keys allowing you to encrypt and decrypt files. The hacker generates a unique key which is given to the victim when the ransom has been paid.

Most ransware is distributed via emails or more targeted attacks. In most cases, once your computer has been compromised. It will give you between 24/48hrs to pay the ransom allowing you to gain access to your data.

HERE TO HELP

Anyone running a successful company should have the steps above in place. To ensure your business isn’t a sitting duck for cyber criminals, by implementing reliable defense strategies and keep. So if you’re looking for assistance with your Cyber Security and based in Staffordshire. Reach out to us for a quick, no obligation chat to see how we can protect your business from cyber attacks. Call us on 01543 889 444


Ransomware – 7 Facts You Need to Know

Ransomware is the name given to a cyber-attack by cyber-criminals where they attack your system and network and encrypt your files making them inaccessible. They then demand a payment for a passcode so you can get back into your system and files and get working again. Here are the top seven things you need to know.

1: It can happen to you

Thinking “it won’t happen to me” is all the cyber-criminals need, they rely on your false confidence. Attacks on government, healthcare, education or financial institutions gets publicity but organisations of all types and sizes get attacked.

2: Ransomware spreads fast

Ransomware is malicious software known as malware and can infect an entire network. It only takes one person in one department to open a ransomware file and every single computer on your business network can be infected, very quickly. The virus can also spread between businesses too. The WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017 first detected in Europe, had in four days, spread to 116 countries.

3: Ransomware targets people

A common method is to send phishing emails in the hope people enter their access credentials. Businesses can get targeted communication emails where the attackers get to know your business first, then send an email impersonating a supplier or customer, and ask you to update details or another action by clicking on a link or downloading a file.

4: Ransomware is costly

Once ransomware has locked down your system you will need a password or decryption key to unlock it and regain access to your files. This will only be supplied once you have paid the ransom to the criminals that attacked you, if they keep their end of the bargain, they are crooks after all.

In Coveware`s analysis of Q3 in 2019 the average ransom payment increased by 13% to 41,198 US dollars compared to Q2 and that does not include the cost of downtime, lost revenue and long term brand damage along with the additional cost removing the ransomware, forensic analysis and rebuilding systems

5: Ransom requires Cryptocurrency

The ransom payment is usually made by bitcoin or another cryptocurrency as it is difficult to trace. Your business will need to buy cryptocurrency with actual cash then transmit the ransom and it doesn’t help that bitcoin is not something you can charge back like a credit card.

6: A recovery plan can help

Planning in advance can help you respond if you do get attacked. Document plans to disconnect infected computers from your network as quickly as possible and power down any machines that might be vulnerable to attack to avoid further spread of the virus.

You should also decide in advance whether your business would pay a ransom. Weighing the costs and benefits before any attack can help you react more strategically.

7: Take action

You don’t have to wait and worry about the consequences of any attack, there are many things you can do to help prevent this type of attack.

  • Filter traffic preventing it from coming into your network in the first place
  • Scan inbound emails for known threats and block certain attachment types
  • Use antivirus and anti- spam solutions and regularly upgrade and patch vulnerable software
  • Allow remote access to your network only from secure virtual private networks
  • Educate all users on the various threat methods used by attackers
  • Back up all your data to more than one location so that you can restore any impacted files from a known source.

Ransomware can happen to any business at any time. If you need any help implementing the best solution to keep your business safe give us a call today on 01543 889 444.


More Than A Virus, Common Malware to Watch Out For

The term “virus” is often used to describe many different types of infection a computer might have. Virus, when used as a blanket term, can describe any number of potential computer programs. What these programs have in common are they are typically designed to cause damage, steal data, or spread across the network.

Malware describes software designed to act maliciously on a personal computer. The name ‘malware’ is a shorthand for ‘malicious software’ and describes exactly what it is. A computer virus is a single type of malware that can cause harm to your PC, but it is only one of many.

Virus Removal Staffordshire

Adware

Short for advertising-supported software, adware is a type of malware that delivers advertisements to your computer. These advertisements are often intrusive, irritating, and often designed to trick you into clicking something you don’t want. A common example of malware is pop-up ads that appear on many websites and mobile applications.

Adware often comes bundled with “free” versions of software that uses these intrusive advertising to make up costs. Commonly it is installed without the user’s knowledge and made excessively difficult to remove.

Spyware

Spyware is designed to spy on the user’s activity without their knowledge or consent. Often installed in the background, spyware can collect keyboard input, harvest data from the computer, monitor web activity and more.

Spyware typically requires installation to the computer. This is commonly done by tricking users into installing spyware themselves instead of the software or application that they thought they were getting. Victims of spyware are often be completely unaware of its presence until the data stolen is acted on in the form of fraudulent bank transactions or stolen online accounts.

Virus

In technical terms a computer virus is a form of malware that is installed inadvertently, causing damage to the user. A typical virus may install a keylogger to capture passwords, logins, and bank information from the keyboard. It might steal data, interrupt programs, and cause the computer to crash.

Modern virus programs commonly use your computers processing power and internet bandwidth to perform tasks remotely for hackers. The first sign of this can be when the computer sounds like it is doing a lot of work when no programs should be running. A computer virus is often spread through installing unknown software or downloading attachments that contain more than they seem.

Ransomware

A particularly malicious variety of malware, known as ransomware, prevents the user from accessing their own files until a ransom is paid. Files within the system are often encrypted with a password that won’t be revealed to the user until the full ransom is paid.

Instead of accessing the computer as normal, the user is presented with a screen which details the contact and payment information required to access their data again.

Ransomware is typically downloaded through malicious file attachments, email, or a vulnerability in the computer system.

Worm

Among the most common type of malware today is the computer worm. Worms spread across computer networks by exploiting vulnerabilities within the operating system. Often these programs cause harm to their host networks by consuming large amounts of network bandwidth, overloading computers, and using up all the available resources.

One of the key differences between worms and a regular virus is its ability to make copies of itself and spread independently. A virus must rely on human activity to run a program or open a malicious attachment; worms can simply spread over the network without human intervention.

If you would like us to make sure your systems stay safe from malware, give us a call at 01543 889 444 or fill in the form below

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