The landscape of cyber threats is constantly shifting. Online criminals continuously find new methods to hack into your computer; and security software evolves endlessly to keep up with these malicious attempts. 

The 2018 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report identifies four major threats to cybersecurity.  According to this mid-year report, malware, ransomware, encrypted attacks, and cryptojacking have all quickly risen, thereby increasing the risk of computer infections.  Don’t become a victim to these online dangers.  Here’s more about these four online hazards.

Malware

Malware is malicious software that is intended to disable or damage computers.  By employing worms and viruses, hackers can easily access your personal information once infected.

The use of malware from January 2018 – June 2018 has outpaced the first half of last year by 102%.  In fact, there have been 5.99 billion reported malware attacks from January through June alone.  Plus, over 12,000 new malware variants have been discovered in that same time span.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and demands a ransom to unlock them. There has been an astounding 229% increase in ransomware attacks in the first six months of 2018 (compared to 2017).  The dramatic increase combined with new ransomware variants is a great incentive to keep your network secure.

Encrypted Attacks

Encryption is the process of converting data into scrambled code.  It is meant to allow authorized personnel to view data and can be applied to files or information transferred over the internet.

Most known websites are encrypted through TLS or SSL connections, but bad actors have found ways to get around these security measures.  That is, hackers use encryption to bypass security precautions on computers.  This form of hacking has become widely popular and has increased by 275% in the first half of 2018.  That’s 1.4 million encrypted cyberattacks in just six months.  Comparatively, the first six months of 2017 only had 509,000 recorded attacks.  This has set a record high that is quickly drawing concern.

Cryptojacking

A newer form of computer hacking, cryptojacking, is when a bad actor breaks into a computer network, infects it with malware, then uses the computing power of the network to illegally mine for cryptocurrency.

Statistics show that cryptojacking is quickly becoming common within the dark web.  In fact, Q1 of 2018 showed that compared to the previous quarter, there has been a 629% rise in coinmining malware.  Furthermore, in June of 2018, a cybersecurity team discovered over 40,000 devices infected by malware as part of a cryptomining scam.  These devices were spread across industries such as finance, education, and government. The good news is, cryptojacking doesn’t steal data, just computing power.  But an attack will slow down your processing speeds and permanently wear down your battery; subsequently affecting the lifetime of your device.

How to Help Protect Your Business Against Cyber Threats

  • Keep your firewall and other security services updated to adjust to newly-discovered threats.
  • Have a reliable data backup process that includes periodic test restores.
  • Avoid encrypted attacks by using secure websites, two-factor-authentication, and by discussing security measures with your IT provider.
  • Train your employees to recognize dangerous emails.

October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month.  If you’d like to know more about how CRU Solutions can help your business avoid cyber threats, contact us.