Forget phishy W2 requests of employees, most companies are aware and don’t fall victim to such child’s play. So hackers are stepping up their game, are you?
The most challenging aspect of working in cyber-security is keeping up with cyber-criminals, by actively anticipating their next steps. Cyber-criminals are raising their game in response to better and more sophisticated security practices.
Everyone pictures a hacker as a young person in their late teens to early twenties, wearing a dark hoodie, spending hours on end typing in front of three computer monitors. They’ll be lone cyber warriors, motivated by a heady combination of fame, injustice, or innocent mischief-making.
In 2018, there was a rise of ransomware – malicious software that either threatens to publish data or permanently block access to it unless a ransom is paid. These new capitalist cyber-criminals were motivated by great financial rewards who treat their criminal activities as a profession.
This new type of hacker is willing to go through great lengths to craft hand-delivered, highly-targeted ransomware attacks distributed automatically through millions of emails.
Interactive Attack Style
Cyber-attackers are able to find and stake out victims, think laterally, react quickly and in real-time, troubleshoot to overcome roadblocks, and wipe out back-ups so the ransom must be paid. This “interactive attack style,” where hackers manually make their way through a network step-by-step, is now increasing in popularity.
The hacker’s goal is to break into the victim’s network and maximize the chances of the ransomware succeeding. The adversary will attempt to stop the attacker in their tracks with their security software operating as one of the several layers of overlapping protection.
Impact on Cyber-Security
Writing ransomware that won’t be detected by security software is no easy task, and attackers often achieve this by exploiting operating system vulnerabilities that give them privileges and, therefore, access.
By becoming an administrator, the hacker will be permitted to disable security processes and force the deletion of files, bypassing the protections put in place to stop the attackers by uninstalling security software directly.
Secure Your Digital Life
Since criminals have become more sophisticated in their implementation of sending phish emails along with other attacks, people need to learn how to protect their online information such as banking and identity. These hackers aren’t only drafting and sending out hundreds of emails to anonymous users. Some are targeting employees and looking them up on social media to gather more personal details for their spear phishing schemes.
So, how can you secure your digital life and protect your company against phishing, spear phishing, and ransomware?
- Technological Defenses. Anti-spam filtering, firewalls, and email software will flag attention to suspicious links before allowing the employee to click them. Research indicates that asking employees if they are sure they want to click on a link causes employees to rethink decisions.
- Education. Training remains one of the most successful and efficient means to reduce risk to your data. The best offense is a good defense. This means that in order to protect the company from phishing emails, employees must know what phishing emails are and how to spot them.
PrilockSecurity provides a Security Awareness Training & Phish Simulation for you, small businesses, large business, as well as mom and dad at home!
- Policies and Procedures. The employee must also know the protocol he or she must follow if they think they have come across a phishing email. Lastly, the employee must know who to call if they think they have clicked a link they believe is a phishing email.
Implementing these methods will help protect your company against phishing emails and cybercriminal activity. By increasing awareness, you are reducing risk!