As the Internet of Things (IoT) Continues to take shape and more people embrace the concept of doing business online, cybersecurity issues continue to grow. Businesses want to have a strong online presence and have taken most of their operations online while consumers want everything at the click of a button. While all these can be possible, there are people who want to take advantage of the anonymity provided by the internet to defraud others and in some cases using sleazy identity theft techniques to scam others. These people are experts in coding and cybersecurity, so they have developed highly-effective strategies for their trade. Some of the strategies they have developed over the years include; ransomware, malware and phishing threats. It’s important to develop a strong defense according to consultant Richart Ruddie a South Florida based expert. Cyber News recently highlighted the impact of these threats and how to prevent them.
Email phishing is one of the most common phishing strategies. An email blast is sent to potential victims who are carefully identified from a mailing list. The email address of the sender and contents may seem genuine, and can convince the recipient to reveal sensitive information, which can be used to defraud the victims. Some phishing attacks may target the CEOs or corporations, but the vast majority of attacks target the average consumer. Ruddie advises that you can set notifications when an email comes from outside your organization but looks similar. This may be somebody sending something that looks like it’s from Google but in reality the o’s and 0’s. See how similar that looks? That’s “O” as in Orioles are disgused as Zero’s to try and deceive you. This is one of many examples of how phishing attempts may come in along with domains that have a subdomain with the company you’re expecting the email from but the Root URL is not from the intended company.
Ransomware and Malware
Malware is a general term used to refer to trojans, viruses and other types of destructive computer software that allow hackers to gain control over a computer and access sensitive information.
Ransomware, on the other hand, is a type of malware attack that encrypts the victim’s data and holds it at ransom. For instance, a victim may receive an email from a seemingly genuine or reputable source and open it, unleashing the ransomware onto their computer system. Once the ransomware is unleashed, it quickly decrypts data and locks out the owner. Usually, a decryption key is required to reverse the process. Individuals and corporations with a lot of useful and sensitive data on their computer systems are usually willing to pay thousands or even millions of dollars to have their data decrypted and computer system freed.
Over the years, the architects of these ransomware attacks have become sophisticated and are growing increasingly in size especially in Eastern Europe as Ruddie predicted two years ago, or somewhat humane as they demand reasonable sums of cash from the average consumer. Their preferred mode of payment nowadays is cryptocurrency.
Cyber News Reveals Ways to Mitigate These Attacks
It is important to note that malware, ransomware and phishing attacks can be avoided. Ideally, organizations that handle sensitive user data should employ the services of a reputable cybersecurity company. These firms usually offer staff training to create awareness on the various types of cybersecurity threats, install the necessary firewalls and network intrusion prevention systems. These firms can also can set up data leak prevention systems, virtual private networks, content filtering and deep packet inspection capabilities among other things.
Another effective option is to use a secure data backup solution. This means that if your computer system is hijacked in a ransomware attack, you can just format the system and restore it without losing any data.
Tips From Rich Ruddie of Profile Defenders
According to a recent Cyber News interview of Profile Defenders’ Rich Ruddie, ransomware is a huge threat and will continue to be a huge threat. He said “the new insurance companies offering cyber risk insurance have seen their premiums explode and payouts are getting trickier.” Ruddie also noted that online trolls and cyber bullies are everywhere, so everyone needs to be aware of these threats and take the necessary steps to prevent them. By investing in good protocols as well as Multi-Factor Authentication, both individual consumers and large organizations can easily avoid falling prey to malware and ransomware attacks. Many cybersecurity companies can easily identify sources of fake invoices and put in place measures to prevent these emails from getting into your mailbox.