It’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month! Let’s Talk About 4 Cyber Crimes on Rise

National Cybersecurity Awareness MonthLately, the Internet had been reminding us that we are days past in October, and almost halfway through National Cybersecurity Awareness Month already.

The National Cybersecurity Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity.

In essence, how we can be better digital citizens.

As the holiday season is approaching fast, it is a crucial time for business owners who are promoting their products and services. The use of the Internet to market your products and services is vital now. It is also the time when hackers try to profit the most.

However, as years are passing by, we are witnessing a sharp rise in different cybercrimes including, malware, phishing, online scams, ransomware and data breaches.

In this article, we’ll talk about four different cybercrimes that we think have gained traction in the last few years and what small steps we can take to amp our cybersecurity.

Tricking you into Ransomware

ransomwareThe cases of ransomware attacks have been widespread. We can also say it is one of the most profitable cybercrimes.

Ransomware completely infects the user’s system. It locks down every file it finds with encryption. Once the user is unable to access the files on the system, the attacker demands an online payment in return for the key to unlock your data.

Hackers are now targeting industries where downtime is expensive, politically hazardous or life-threatening. Think of sectors like manufacturing, law, government or healthcare. These industries cannot afford any number of off-hours.

According to Verizon Breach Investigations Report, ransomware attacks accounted for over 70% of all malware incidents in the healthcare sector over the last two years.

What can you do about it?

Let’s just say precaution is better than cure!

Treat emails from untrusted sources with caution and stay away from dubious websites. Another thing especially important is to back up your files regularly. So, in case your files get locked, you can recover most of them without paying the ransom with a recent backup.

Also, consider installing endpoint anti-malware that is smart enough to detect ransomware by its behaviours, not its fingerprints.

Increasing Online Breaches

While we analyzed the 2018 Cyber Incident & Breach Trends Report from Online Trust Alliance (OTA), and it revealed that over five billion sensitive records had been exposed in online breaches in the past year.

It is particularly troubling because most users re-use the same password across multiple sites. This gives undue advantage to the cybercriminals. Not just this, there is also the practice of credential stuffing or finding other sites where stolen credentials will work.

This tends to be a big problem. Think if one of them is your online banking account, or you are an I.T. staffer at your company with administrative-level privileges.

What can you do about it?

Start with the best practices for password creation. And, we cannot stress less – the longer, the better!

Apart, multi-factor authentication is completely needed for your most sensitive accounts. Our team at GRIP I.T., every time, encourages our clients to stop reusing passwords across multiple accounts. Also, consider using a password manager to keep track of all your passwords securely.

Phishing Emails are Getting Craftier

PhishingBelieve it or not, phishing remains one of the most effective tools for cybercriminals. Phishing emails invite malware onto your system when you unknowingly click on a poisoned link or an attachment. According to IBM’s cybersecurity research, 29% of all successful malware attacks used this tactic.

What can you do about it?

When processing your emails, please remain vigilant and check for all red signals. Cybercriminals are getting creative with their tactics to attract you to click on links and attachments. For instance, they now scan your social media accounts to find your interests and details about your personal life. Consequently, they craft your email that looks like a neighbourhood association or alumni group that you know or work with.

Cryptojacking your System

A relatively new form of attack is a big money-maker. Here the cybercriminal gets malware onto your system and quietly earns money from a process called crypto mining. This process is essential for the functioning of different cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.

While you’ll not lose data but the crypto jacker would steal your CPU cycles, memory, power and cooling resources. According to McAfee, it grew by a whopping 4000% in some years only.

Consider this, it’s like a criminal drive your car all night while you were peacefully sleeping, and as soon as you wake up in the morning to get ready for the office, you find your car back in the driveway.

What can you do about it?

Just check for your system's performance regularly. Notice any sudden drop in the performance or if you witness any activity while you expected the computer to be idle.

Sometimes people assume that their system slowed down because of the recent O.S. update. Our team always prioritize investing in anti-malware solutions that can detect and terminate cryptojackers automatically.

In the End

While you may have tougher security processes in place, cybercriminals are brainstorming creative ways to go past your measures. According to Herjavec Group, cybercrime would cost the world some $6T annually by 2021.

While you can start with these simple suggestions, you’ll also want to incorporate a cyber protection solution. A broader solution can be designed to protect your data while countering attacks like ransomware and cryptojacking.

And, if you want to dive deeper and want professional to maximize your cybersecurity, get in touch with us at GRIP I.T.

Are you part of a law firm? We have an upcoming webinar, “Protect your Law Firm from Advanced Security Threats,” on October 15th,2019. Register here to gain valuable insights from cybersecurity thought leaders and network with people like you that are fighting in the trenches of the cyberwars.