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A Thorough Cybersecurity Strategy Begins with Knowing What You Are up Against

A Thorough Cybersecurity Strategy Begins with Knowing What You Are up Against

Since many modern businesses rely on technology, it becomes mandatory that they have an idea on how to best protect themselves against the myriad of threats that can be found online. Knowing what kind of threats that you may encounter is key to concocting a thorough cybersecurity strategy.

According to Cybersecurity Venture’s 2016 Cybercrime Report, the future of cybercrime is extraordinarily prosperous; costing businesses what is estimated to be over $6 trillion annually by 2021. Attacks today are 35 times more likely than they were only last year, and with almost two businesses-per-minute falling victim to a cyberattack, some companies have begun to implement changes that have cybersecurity professionals talking.

What Risks are Currently Out There?
If you keep an eye on our blog at all, you know that the most dangerous single threat to any organization’s network security strategy are the mistakes their employees can make. This is not to say that employees are deliberately sabotaging your organization’s networks, but if you were to look at the vast majority of security breaches on business networks they would start with some sort of social engineering or phishing attack that takes advantage of employee negligence. The mistakes employees make can let some pretty devastating malware onto your business’ network and can cause major operational problems. Some of the threats unknowing employees may let onto your network include:

  • Ransomware - The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) reported that there were 4,000 daily ransomware attacks in 2016. That number continues to climb. While ransomware defenses have improved substantially over the past couple of years, today’s ransomware is widely available and being utilized to lock out users from their own network and files. There is now mobile ransomware that does the same to smartphone users. Additionally, ransomworms have been developed that are, like other malware worms, self-replicating. This means that by getting infected with a ransomworm attack, any user that is compromised will automatically identify the user’s contacts and send each one an email. This string continues until, well, you get it: it’s bad.
  • Cybercime Syndicates - The hacker that most of us have in our mind’s eye--the brooding, out-of-work software engineer--still exists, but today, the lone-wolf hacker isn’t nearly as scary (or as dangerous) as syndicated hacking groups. Hacking syndicates aren’t just underground groups of angry millennials, they are large corporate-like entities that are set up for one purpose: to hack. Organizations with full-time employees, HR departments, and project managers are performing illicit and completely criminal acts collaboratively. There’s not much a small business can do against a mid-market size company looking to infiltrate the smaller business’ network.
  • Botnets - A botnet is a series of zombie computers that are controlled through a remote connection. Since the typical botnet consists of hundreds or thousands of infected computers, it allows hackers to gain leverage over any network by using it for a Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS). The sheer amount of computing strength that is available with a botnet allows hackers to target one single network, and inevitably take it down. While past botnets had to be cultivated, today a botnet can be purchased on the dark web the same way you would buy a pack a gum at a convenience store. This presents a lot of problems for IT administrators who are looking to keep threat actors out of their company’s networks.

There are plenty more threats where that comes from. From mercenaries who just make and distribute malware through seemingly innocuous applications, to jaded former employees or hacktivists out to “get even”, there are many entities out there on the open web looking to break into your network and take data that they may or may not be able to use. In order to protect yourself, consider partnering with the IT professionals at Austin Technology Group.

With our professional technicians proactively protecting your organization’s network, you can gain the peace of mind you need to actually focus on your business, not on the litany of threats that could be just lying in wait for you to make a mistake. Call us today at (512) 494-6978 to find out more about how we do network security.

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