IT Security Tips – January
2016 was a good year for hackers all over the world. Security breaches, stolen user data and even hacked elections; not even one day without hacking news passed by.
If you think the creators of malware, viruses and phishing software are taking some time off after this successful year you are terribly mistaken.
At Skydoo, we’re looking out for the biggest IT security threats for businesses in 2017:
- DDoS Attacks
In 2016 many “smart devices” such as routers were attacked and used by hackers to take down individual websites with a flood of internet traffic. These hacks are called distributed denial of service attacks. The most famous DDoS botnet of 2016 was without doubt “Mirai”, who not only shut down individual websites but also Internet service providers and backbone companies, causing system blackouts in many different countries. DDoS attacks can be directed at many different targets: they can, for example, turn off the central heating system of large buildings. The versatility of DDoS attacks can be very dangerous and will cause many problems in 2017.
Ransomware is a big business for hackers. With these programs the data on a computer can be encrypted and is therefore made inaccessible for its owner. Hackers usually attack individuals or organisations and ask for a ransom payment in return for decrypting or not leaking the hacked data. In late 2016 some hackers actually did not ask for ransom money anymore, instead they asked the affected users to infect two more users if they wanted to get their data back. In 2017 ransomware will gain attention in the field of IT security.
- Mobile IT Security
Many companies still have a BYOD (Bring your own device) mentality and allow their employees to use their own (unsecured) mobile devices. These are very easy targets for hackers via phishing e-mails or fake apps. Mobile fraud applications are growing fast. It is therefore highly important to build awareness and ban certain applications from phones used for professional purposes.
One would expect that at some point, phishing websites and phishing e-mails would disappear. In fact, from July till September 2016 over 364.000 phishing websites were detected by the APWG, and the predictions for 2017 speak of even more new phishing sites every quarter. Thankfully, anti-phishing solutions can help your company quite effectively.
- Duplicated Social Media Accounts and Hoaxes
In the last years, the number of social media profile duplicates surged. At first, these profiles targeted individuals to steal information. Nowadays they are used to breach professional networks. Even some of the Fortune 500 CEOs’ profiles were duplicated. You can imagine why this is extremely dangerous. Not only delicate company data but also an enterprise’s reputation can be on the line. Another related topic is the matter of fake news. In 2016 a high number of false news about different companies was shared on social media and often even taken on by real news outlets. These hoaxes can have huge reputational as well as financial impacts and they are predicted to increase in 2017.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the above threats, please contact us here.