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Ready for disaster: understanding malicious IT security threats (part 3 of 3)

Posted by Rebecca Ney on Mar 25, 2019 2:27:00 AM
Rebecca Ney

Ready for disaster: understanding malicious IT security threats (part 3 of 3)

Far from the comical, frenzied hacking of bad 90s movies and suspend-your-logic law procedurals (*cough* NCIS *cough*), the cybercrime of today is savvy, invasive and destructive. And it’s rising at an alarming rate.

Recently, Australia’s government was breached by what national security agencies are calling a “sophisticated” cyber attack. While the scale of the damage is yet to be determined, it’s thought that the country’s parliamentary network was compromised by foreign forces. With the power to disrupt the world’s political equilibrium, it’s clear that cybercrime is no longer easy pickings for comedic relief.

 

The common types of cybercrime that businesses need to guard against

Cybercrime is the malicious targeting of an organisation’s network to steal, change or delete important data and information. The most severe attacks can have catastrophic implications for a business’s productivity, longevity and reputation. Here are the most common invasions:

  • Ransomware: Often arriving as an unassuming attachment, ransomware is a form of cryptovirology that restricts access to files and networks via encryption. Victims can only regain access by paying a ransom to the perpetrators.
  • RATs: A Remote Access Trojan attack gives cyber criminals access to a victim’s system remotely. This exposes a person or business to malicious activity and data looting.
  • DDoS: It’s all-out-attack when it comes to distributed denial-of-service. DDoS overwhelms a system’s resources from a number of infected host machines commanded by a cybercriminal. This form of attack is also used to take down system defenses and pave the way for other, more malicious, invasions.
  • IP Spoofing: Convincing a system the attacker is a trusted ally is the greatest trick cybercriminals have ever pulled. Hackers send a packet with a trusted IP address to a target host in the hopes that the host will accept the infiltrating packet.
  • Malware Attack: It’s all in the name. Malicious software or ‘Malware’ are programs that invade and damage computers or networks. It’s an umbrella term for threats such as viruses, worms, and spyware to name a few.

To give you an idea of how prevalent cybercrime is in Australia, 64% of data breaches in the last quarter of 2018 were attributed to cybercriminal activity. So what’s an upstanding organisation to do in the face of such malicious determination? We’re glad you asked…

 

Safeguards against cyber invaders

Though cybercriminals are cunning and clever, they’re not omnipotent. And with the correct precautions, you can halt these faceless criminals in their digital tracks.

  • Implement a business-wide, full-service security suite for proactive protection against existing and emerging cybercrime activity.
  • Educate staff on the importance of strong passwords. These should comprise at least 10 letters, numbers and symbols, as well as varied capitalisation.
  • Ensure your operating system and its software are updated and patched regularly.
  • Encrypt your wireless network as well as all of your drives, folders and files.
  • Have a firewall in place to block any malicious attacks.
  • Administrative rights should be set up in such a way that only the select few can install programs on company hardware.
  • Use a recovery solution service — such as DRaaS — that replicates your entire IT environment to recover data and resources following a paralysing security breach or system crash.

 

DRaaS — the definitive fallback following a cyber attack

DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) duplicates your entire IT environment and stores it offsite for quick restoration in the event of a malicious breach. This mitigates the operational damage and data loss a cyber attack can cause.

To help you find out how disaster-ready your IT infrastructure is after a cyber attack, we’ve created a handy tool. Click here to see how you score.

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AUTHOR

Rebecca Ney

Head of Marketing

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