cybersecurity-wildfire

Do you remember the WannaCry virus? That ransomware virus that moved through networks like a wild fire?

WannaCry hero arrested for malicious hacking

The biggest problem with WannaCry (and recent infection outbreaks) is that they are hard to stop. Once inside your network, these viruses autonomously move and navigate the extents of a network. WannaCry may simply be pioneering how computer viruses infect business networks in the future.

What put many of us at ease earlier this spring is that WannaCry had a terminus. Soon after its outbreak, a British researcher was able to trigger a killswitch which ended the life of the virus.

But the problem is that the guy that stopped the WannaCry virus ended up getting arrested for malicious hacking of his own!

And the bigger problem is that while Marcus Hutchins was able to trigger a killswitch in the WannaCry virus, later iterations of the virus did not have an easy mechanism by which to stop infections. That means, more virulent strains are getting developed and once infected, businesses may not be able to easily stop the spread of infection.

If we can’t depend on security analysts and researchers to be above board with a mission to protect hard working businesses, how can we be sure our businesses are safe from the next attack?

While there’s never a 100% guarantee that disaster won’t hit us, there are ways to mitigate the risks and damages.

First and foremost, does your business strategy comply with current IT Security measures?

Making sure that your business strategy and operations comply to security measures will make all the difference when it comes to a potential attack penetrating through your network and compromising sensitive information.

Hackers identify users as the number one way to access your data! While finding software exploits to break into business networks may motivate some of the most talented hackers, many criminals simply break into sensitive data through privileged accounts (31% of attacks), via email accounts (27% of attacks) and by access through a user’s workstation (21%).

User activity, weak passwords, and phishing attacks make up over ¾ of attacks. That means your users need to understand cyber risks and your IT Support should be monitoring activity on your network for suspicious activity.

The take home: hackers find social engineering and targeting weakest users to be one of the most effective ways to get to your data.

Next, are you solely relying on conventional firewalls?

Hackers are also sneaking through conventional firewalls through your business applications (and through user credentials!).

Most conventional firewalls are insufficient to stop current hacking techniques. When a cyberattack targets normal business applications—maybe through an excel macro or a pdf download—they are able to bypass the firewall and penetrate your network through a software exploit.

Another successful way to penetrate networks is simply through stolen credentials. A user may have unknowingly emailed a password or had given up credential information to the wrong person. Regardless of how they are penetrating networks, criminals are getting through your conventional firewall without your IT Support even noticing something is wrong!

Bottom line: many businesses have a false sense of security that their IT support is keeping sensitive information safe, but eventually face the hard reality that it isn’t!

Last, are your users apathetic towards security?

Hackers are targeting user vulnerabilities because they are easy paths to your valuable data.

Why should you be concerned about your users being a liability when it comes to IT Security?

Most of your users are likely experiencing “Cyber fatigue”. Plain and simple, most of us are tired hearing about the latest attacks. We’re bombarded day in and day out with cybersecurity talking points and warnings. The fact of the matter is that we’re simply saturated with cyber information that many users don’t care anymore.

What constitutes cyber fatigue?

There are too many rules that many users don’t know how to prioritize keeping their information secure and getting their work done.

In fact, a recent survey of 1000 users identified that fatigue is rooted in hard to follow password policies (35% of respondents), information overload about cyberattacks (30%), having to deal with software updates (20%), and living in a state of constant security threats desensitizes the magnitude of a threat (15%).

Users need a reliable preventative security policies and processes in place to ensure that they aren’t opening doors to attacks. Modern business IT Security needs to create a smart ‘pliable’ network perimeter that accommodates user behaviors.

How can you integrate your user and perimeter security? How can you be certain that your network is preventing latest attacks? And in the event of a ransom attack, can you reliably restore your systems WITHOUT paying a hefty ransom? Contact us TODAY for a FREE comprehensive network security assessment.