Several big name organisations have suffered from cyber security nightmares this year with most of those affected suffering a substantial knock to their reputations and finances.
This article will look at how you and your organisation can avoid having a Cyber Security Nightmare this Halloween.
You’ve spent hours creating a piece of work that you’re proud of. You are just about to save it when your screen flickers and a pop-up appears telling you that unless you pay up, you will be unable to use your machine. Even worse, if you don’t pay up before a deadline, your hard work will be erased and lost forever! Unfortunately, Ransomware is a growing nightmare with the number of incidents growing sharply in recent years.
Ransomware is a type of malware that takes control of a machine and prevents users from accessing their files. Often, it is triggered by a user clicking on a malicious link, either on a website or in an email, much the same way as other malware. The main difference is that Ransomware tries to force victims into paying a ransom through online payment methods in order for them to regain access to their system or their data.
To ensure the above scenario does not become reality, do not click on any suspicious links on websites or in emails. At a minimum, ensure you maintain backups of the files that are most important to you and do it regularly!
Organisations must be wary of the insider threat. A disgruntled member of staff can cause serious damage if they are suitably motivated to do so. Although, the actions of an insider does not even have to be a malicious act, it can also be in the form of accidental security breaches. A staff member inadvertently opening an untrustworthy email and infecting their businesses network with malware is a common form of the threat. According to various reports, a massive £2.2 trillion is lost globally to insider threats.
Viruses and Malware continue to be the most common type of online threat. Using a reputable anti-virus and keeping your machines up-to-date with the latest patches is the most effective way of protecting against them. Always be vigilant when on the internet and never click on dubious-looking links or open suspicious emails. Sticking to the Halloween theme, there is a virus out there called ‘zombie viruses’.
A zombie is a computer connected to the Internet that has been infected by a virus or Trojan and can be used to perform malicious acts at the behest of someone in a different location. Zombie computers can spread spam e-mails and are often used as botnets to launch denial of service attacks. The spooky thing about a zombie is that the owners of the infected computer are unaware that their machine is being used in such a way. A coordinated DDoS attack by multiple zombie machines is even called a zombie horde attack!
Don’t become a target this Halloween. Adopt good cyber hygiene practises, invest in protection and seek the advice of the professionals at PGI Cyber.