Why and how cyber crime is booming
2019 saw the biggest rise on online scams, phishing, ransomware attacks and compromised corporate and personal data in human history. Never before organized criminals had been able to execute such far reaching, long distance, damaging attacks to individuals, business and organizations. From small business going bankrupt to entire cities shutting down services for extended periods of time as cyber criminals ransom, extort and financially erode the foundation over which our digital modern society is built upon, Information.
Welcome to the future
Like taken from a chapter of a dystopian sci-fi novel, the current state of cyber security is worrisome, to say the least. As we enter 2020 the rate and sophistication of the attack techniques criminals use keeps growing exponentially.
Cyber crime is booming these days with thousands of new malware, ransomware threats released every single day, the pressure over individuals and corporate networks IT managers keeps surging by the minute.
This first chapter of our guide will serve to educate you, on the globalized scale of the problem and how every small business should be enforcing higher protections standards in 2020. Our guide also contains steps you can take to educate yourself and your employees and protect your business critical information.
You might think it is all about backups. Hint, the solution is more than performing backups to more than 1 location.
“No company or individual is immune from the danger of ransomware.”
Bad actors worldwide employ the newest technology and massive resources to perform continuous, persistent, and pervasive attack on Los Angeles Business and American technological assets in general, sometimes for profit, other times to gain access to customer’s data and business intelligence.
Ransomware is defined as a piece of software, maliciously introduced on your computer system and network that will take away access from your data and the ability to use it, by encrypting it and holding it in ransom. You will have to pay the hackers a hefty sum to regain access and sometimes prevent it from being maliciously published on the world wide web as penalty for not paying.
All kinds of ransomware share this common aim. To lock your hard disk drive or encrypt your documents, asking for a reward, usually to be paid in crypto-currencies to get your information back.
It’s the type of malware which frequently targets both technical and human flaws by trying to deny the target company access to its most sensitive information and systems.
A bad actor utilizes a phishing attack or other sort of hacking to obtain entrance into a computer system or network. One way ransomware gets in your pc is in the email attachments which you might inadvertently download.
Whenever your data, programs, and systems come under a ransomware attack, it can be a frightening and challenging situation to handle and bring your workforce and IT systems back into production.
When a strain of malware infects a computer system, bad actors will encrypt most commonly-used document formats –as well as your whole hard disk, locking you from accessing your data, your documents and computer systems, Sometimes preventing your entire workforce from operating your business, bringing your productivity to a screeching halt.
The most effective approach to prevent ransomware would be to be more proactive by preventing strikes from occurring in the first place. In the following guide, we’ll discuss how to stop, mitigate and to avoid ransomware and hackers in general.
By the numbers: How frequent are ransomware attacks?
“Ransomware is on the rise; statistics put this number at almost 750% of attacks in the previous year.”
- The ransomware attack on Baltimore is especially revealing as its impacts continue to be felt. While the mayor rebuffed the criminals’ demand for $76,000, an early projected impact of the attack stands at $18.2 million. To date, Baltimore has already expended nearly $4.6 million on recovery efforts. (Goldberg Segalla LLP)
- Over 500 US schools were hit by ransomware in 2019 (Catalin Cimpanu for Zero Day).
- In 2019 alone ransomware generated over $25 million
- The average cost of ransomware attacks to businesses: over 100,000 Dollars per incident
- Criminals have graduated from targeting consumers to mainly target small business, institutions and larger organizations with the financial resources o pay a larger ransom.
50% of cyber-security experts do not believe their business are prepared to survive a ransomware attack.
49 % view the federal government as having the greatest responsibility to protect cities from ransomware attacks.
56 % would disapprove of their local government using tax dollars to pay a ransomware hacker.
75 % of Americans are worried about ransomware threats to their personal data.
Other notable findings from this study included the general American public awareness and concerns related to ransomware to be:
Most Los Angeles and the American public, in general, share a common concern about ransomware attacks in cities, public institutions, and health organizations across the country, as noted in the “Local Government and Ransomware Study” from IBM Security and market and public opinion research firm Morning Consult indicated.
Chapter 2Why user awareness and education are the most important factor in avoiding security threats in 2020?
Most, if not all security breaches start by a user, at some level being fooled into doing something they shouldn'tIn this chapter of our security guide I'll cover
- Why is employee education important ?
- What is phishing and how criminals use it to compromise you ?
- What is social engineering ?
- Ransomware, why, how, where ?
- Human psychology and how criminals will weaponize to take down your business.
Chapter 3Backup , Backup , then ... Backup
The first line of defense is having information you can restore in a worst case scenarioIn this chapter of our security guide I'll cover
- Why backups are so important ?
- How many backups do I need ?
- Are backups going to protect me against ransomware ?
- The good, the bad and the ugly of most planned backup solution.
- What types of backup are there ?
- What types of backups are ransomware proof solutions ?
Chapter 4Segmenting, compartmentalizing, protecting network infrastructures
Segmenting your network, compartmentalizing , protecting network infrastructures via switches and network hardware can protect from company wide destructionIn this chapter of our security guide I'll cover
- What is network segmentation ?
- How network segmentation can help limit hackers reach ?
- How can I implement network segmentation measures ?
- What hardware might help me prevent at the network level a far reaching ransomware attack ?
- How to avoid lateral spreading attacks ?
Chapter 5Invest Unified Threat Management Systems & Firewalls
Having a global cloud backed Unified Threat Management Systems introduces real-time updates, protection and detection at the network levelIn this chapter of our security guide I'll cover
- What are UTM Systems and why do I need to invest in one ?
- How does a UTM system helps in protecting my business from hackers ?
- How a cloud backed UTM gains intelligence and detects new threats
- What is a good UTM system and firewall ?
A strategy is vital and needs to be the basis of an organization’s security plan.
1- Establish a disaster recovery plan, detailing who must contact who.
2- Ascertain what equipment you would have to lease or purchase to keep operations moving — plan for your present hardware to be inaccessible for days during recovery.
3- Keep explicit directions on where information is stored and how to recover it.
4- Employ a policy of backing up frequently to stop ransomware from causing data encryption.
5- Employ a disaster recovery agency or specialists on ransomware recovery, there might be tools available to get your data back.
6- Provide telephone numbers for calling vendors who could have the ability to revive the systems they supply for you.
7- Avoid a Ransomware Attack With Proper Planning and Disaster recovery measures.
Companies must stay vigilant in the present day and age of information where breaches and ransomware attacks become more commonplace, as criminals become more insidious and persistent in their penetration methods.
Use these strategies to maintain your company’s information assets secure and prevent a ransomware assault before it begins.