Posts Tagged ‘malware’

Protect Your Website from Digital Pirates

September 3, 2017

By being proactive, you can improve your chances of not being a Cyber Attack victim.

Don’t let your company become the next victim of a Cyber Attack

Among the most deadly to small businesses is Ransomware.

As a source of danger, disruption, and money drain, Ransomware is climbing as a source of woe to more and more companies each month.

By holding a company’s online assets hostage, Cyber Pirates use Ransomware to extort payments from large and small enterprises.  It also locks the company’s computers, preventing them from continuing as part of day-to-day activities.  More even than the funds demanded, this aspect of the problem is more dangerous to small business and other companies.

Before a Ransomware attack disrupts your company there are things you can do to reduce your vulnerability.

The first thing is to learn what Ransomware is.

RANSOMEWARE IS A MALICIOUS SOFTWARE PROGRAM

THAT HOLDS BUSINESS COMPUTER ACTIVITIES HOSTAGE OR THREATENS TO RELEASE SENSITIVE DATA TO THE PUBLIC FOR A HANDSOME FEE.

Cyber Pirates use many ways (emails, network traffic, user behavior, application traffic, and more) to insert Ransomware.  Usually attacks are made using a “Trojan” that is disguised as a legitimate file, such as an innocent looking email from someone you know and trust instructing you to check out pertinent information.  Unknowingly you click the link, which activates the download of the malware and the hacker can encrypt your files until you supply the payoff.

“A Ransomware variant will infect between 30,000 to 35,000 devices a month, with some variants reaching up to 150,000 infections,” according to Barracuda.com.  But, most these attacks can be prevented. Don’t become a statistic.

To keep your website running well and guard against potential threats as well as cyber attacks, follow these Tips:

  1. Be aware of suspicious emails, websites, and apps. In order for Ransomware to work someone has to unknowingly download malware onto their device.
  2. Run daily, weekly or minimally monthly backups of all of your files. If a cyber-attack occurs, having back-up from your most recent version will help you recover your website.
  3. Host your website on a secure server. Dedicated servers with a variety of weapons (Firewall Protection, Anti-Spam and Anti-Virus Protection, HTTP Intrusion Protection, Daily security audits and more) help monitor threats, prevent website attacks, and fight cyber security attacks when they do happen.
  4. Have an SSL certificate for your website to initiate a secure session with browsers. Look at your URL, if it has HTTP (or even better HTTPS) in it you have the “Secure” stamp of approval.
  5. Update your plugins to patch bugs and potential vulnerable areas. No website is self-sustainable, so keep your website backend up to date to guard against possible threats.
  6. Use Strong Passwords and 2-Factor Authentication: make sure that your website password is complex (an eight-character password with numbers, symbols and mixed-case letters is harder to guess) and updated bi-monthly and you have dual authentication for website access is crucial.
  7. List good and bad IP addresses: Whitelist all trustworthy IPs, and Blacklist all bad or suspicious IPs.
  8. Monitor for attacks on a daily basis. Sign up with a hosting and support company that offers Daily Attack Monitoring so that you know quickly when an attack happens and respond to it.

 

In summary, always try to prevent threats before they happen.  But, that is not always possible.

Many resources are available to help you protect your company, its data and reputation; here are a few:

Additional Tip: Never pay a fee for the return of your data.  Why?  You may not get your data back.  A copy could be retained for further fee(s) and/or the data could be used against your business.  And, you will probably be put on a ‘payer list’ that is distributed in the digital pirate world marking you as an easy target that pays a fee when threatened or held hostage.

The time to act against Ransomware is now, before it infects your computers.

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Cyber Security Is A Growing Business Focus

October 1, 2015

Cyber Security, the concern of nations and large corporations, is now a focus of small- and medium-size business (SMB) leaders.

The number of small business owners concerned about cyber security increased from 56% a year ago to 60% today reported SurePayroll.

Moreover, 85% of small business owners responding said they were willing to inconvenience customers for security.

Governments and larger corporations are vitally concerned about the criminal threats to vital information. The threat is growing each day and SMBs need to be as vigilant and proactive.

Here are 10 cyber security tips for small- and medium-size businesses:

  1. Train employees to be careful in how they handle sensitive materials and communications.
  2. Protect electronic components from viruses, spyware, and other malicious code.
  3. Provide firewall security for internal connections.
  4. Download and install software update for operating systems and applications as they become available.
  5. Make backup copies on a regular basis and don’t be afraid to do this on a random basis.
  6. Control physical access to computers and network components.
  7. Build security features into Wi-Fi networks and update frequently.
  8. Require individual user accounts for each employee.
  9. Limit employee access to data and information while limiting authority to install software.
  10. Change passwords on a regular basis and require employees to do so as well.

Small businesses should also sacrifice customer convenience to better insure cyber security. SurePayroll reports 85% of respondents said they would do so should it help foster better safeguards.

Above all, be vigilant at all times as the criminal element is constantly refining their efforts to secure data and information.

If you have other tips on cyber security, please share them with us.