Black hackers (aka – the ill-intentioned ones) have considerably increased its attacks by the use of Malware. Some of the most extensively used ones by attackers since the coronavirus lockdown started, are the malware called Phishing as well as Ransomware.
Individuals who are working from home and accessing company data stored in the office’s infrastructure, while they lack on network security in their homes, the attacker is more easily able to access company as well as personal data as they may manage to breach a device seating in their home network and by doing so the rest of both company and home networks become compromised thereafter.
It is advised that we are mindful of the below:
- Default passwords changed to something else (use a complicated one and get used to it?) – routers, security cameras, any device that is connected to the network. This could include an IoT (Internet-Of-Things) device such as a digital picture frame, a smart heater, a smart fridge, or any other device which may have an IP address assigned to it
- Change your password once in a while
- There has been a large amount of phishing attacks happening via emails since the lockdown started. So be mindful of the emails you receive if you suspect something is wrong, then don’t click on links and attachments as it may infect your device and consequently expose your network in a whole.
- While it is good practice to update all of your applications frequently, updating your Operating System as well as your Antivirus software is certainly a must in order to prevent malware from being executed while surfing on the internet.
- Be mindful of links on websites which you feel it may not be legitimate as it may execute codes on your computer without you knowing. Modern browsers save various personal information such as credit card numbers, addresses, usernames and passwords. If a malicious code is run on your computer, it may very well be that it collects these personal peaces of information without your consent.
Definition of a Ransomware Attack
Ransomware may encrypt all of your data by simply clicking a link or an attachment you receive through an email, SMS or any other means. The attacker can then request a ransom payment in order to provide you with a key with the promise of decrypting your the data. In many cases, even after paying the ransom, data may still be lost as it remains encrypted. According to the InfoSecurity Magazine article (link below) regarding company losses due to Ransomware attacks, it totalled to more than $170 billion dollars in 2019.
Be mindful when dealing with data that is deemed important to you while connected to the internet. Make sure you create backups while storing it in a different physical location and in most cases, it proves to be very efficient if these backups are stored with a trusted cloud service provider.
Definition of Phishing Attack
Phishing attacks occur by posing as somebody else and asking you to click on attachments and links within the content of a message.
As an example, an email received may appear as if it is coming from your bank and it may make you believe that you are safely clicking on a link while in fact, the sender is an attacker who is using a similar domain name as the sender, or he may have designed the email content to look just like the content from the real website (in this case he uses the bank’s logo, colours, email formatting, etc).
An attacker may include pieces of code in pictures or any other document for when the victim access it, the script is run on the background without the victim being aware of it being run and it may be sending sensitive information. Sometimes the attack is so elaborated that the attacker directs the victim to a website that looks exactly like the real website so instead of being on the legitimate bank’s website, the victim is directed to this fake one which has been designed and coded to send the attacker information naively provided by the victim.
Avoid this by checking the exact recipient’s domain name to ensure it comes from a legitimate address. Additionally, always have an updated antivirus installed on the machine where you are accessing the resource from and ensure that you don’t access private information through an untrusting device.
By design, in a secure environment, IT Professionals will have already put some thought on the above in order to segment the network securely with best practices in addition to making sure a backup & restore plan is in place.
You may contact Procopio for in case you believe that you need some help with identifying and resolving the above requirements.