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An Overview Of Cybersecurity Threat Trends

By Tom Seest

Are Cybersecurity Threats Increasing?

It’s no secret that cyber security threats are on the rise. Cyber experts from major companies have noted a dramatic increase in the number of cyber attacks, particularly from criminals with nefarious intent. The good news is that there are ways to protect yourself and your company. You should keep your software up-to-date and make sure you’re using the latest versions.

This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-sky-man-arm-6620719/.

Are Ransomware Attacks Increasing?

As the number of people online continues to grow, so do the cyber security threats. One study found that healthcare organizations saw a 123 percent increase in attacks per customer in 2017. While it may seem like paying a ransom is the only option, a more effective approach is to prepare for the cyber threat and take precautions before it strikes.
Cybercriminals have gotten very creative in recent years, using new methods to extract money from their victims. In some cases, they even require payment in cryptocurrency, making the victims unable to trace the criminals behind the attacks. One reason for this is the rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. These digital currencies use cryptography to secure transactions and control the creation of new units. This makes them easier to hide from the law.
The first step in preventing ransomware attacks is to implement an effective network monitoring tool. A network monitoring tool can report all network traffic, which could help detect any potential ransomware activity. Another option is to deploy a network intrusion detection system, which can detect the threat at its early stage.
Ransomware attacks are growing in number and complexity. The WannaCry outbreak demonstrated that ransomware attacks are both a viable and profitable method of cybercrime. Since then, dozens of variants have been created. The recent COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in remote work have also played a role in the recent surge. In addition, organizations that use remote work methods have created gaps in their cybersecurity defenses, which the cybercriminals took advantage of. As a result, ransomware attacks are increasing in number and price.
The main method of infection is through the remote desktop protocol (RDP). This remote access allows the attacker to remotely access an enterprise network computer, download malware, and execute the malware. Some variants also make use of the EternalBlue vulnerability in order to get access to the data on a computer.
Recent cyberattacks have targeted a wide range of organizations, including government offices and banks. For example, a hacker group linked to the Chinese government has targeted a major telecom provider in Afghanistan. The hackers hacked the company’s corporate mail server and stole gigabytes of data. This group also targeted the political systems of several member states of the European Union. In addition, the EU has formally blamed Russia for the Ghostwriter cybercampaign.
A good response to a ransomware attack is vital for a smooth recovery. It is imperative to implement an automated and protected backup solution. This will allow for a smooth recovery after the cyberattack and avoid the need to pay a ransom. In addition, it is important to protect data from loss or corruption. Furthermore, functional backups will allow data to be recovered in case of a disk hardware malfunction.
Several types of ransomware have been introduced in the market recently. Some are more sophisticated than others. The REvil ransomware group, for example, targets large companies and has the highest ransom demands.

This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-sky-man-arm-6620720/.

Are Social Engineering Attacks Increasing?

Social engineering attacks are designed to exploit users’ lack of knowledge and trust. They often pose as a legitimate problem or promise a reward if the victim responds quickly. However, the attackers are not telling the truth – they are merely misleading the user. The goal of social engineering attacks is to obtain valuables or disrupt data, but many users are unaware of what they can do to protect themselves.
One way to protect yourself from social engineering attacks is to be aware of suspicious emails and phone calls. These emails or texts can pose as legitimate business communications or malicious attempts to compromise corporate systems. However, if you are unsure of the origin of the email or phone call, you can double-check the authenticity of the message.
An example of an effective social engineering attack occurred in the security company RSA in 2011. The attackers sent two phishing emails to small groups of RSA employees over two days. The emails contained an Excel file with malicious code to install a backdoor through an Adobe Flash vulnerability. The attackers never revealed what information they obtained, but they did compromise RSA’s SecurID two-factor authentication system, which cost the company $66 million.
Social engineering attacks can occur in various forms, from a single email to months of social media chats. The attacks may also be initiated in person. Once you have given your personal information to a stranger, they can access all of your networks and steal your information. You should also be cautious about who you meet on social media sites, as these people may be attempting to swindle you.
As more people move online, the need for cybersecurity training is even greater. Cybercriminals are increasingly targeting less secure channels such as social media, collaboration tools, and search apps. Their preferred method of hacking human data is through social engineering. According to a recent report by SlashNext, social engineering attacks are set to increase by 270%.
Social engineering attacks use social engineering techniques to gain access to a target’s computer or other devices. Often, the attackers pose as trustworthy sources in order to gain trust and information. They may call random numbers within an organization and pretend to be technical support specialists. Once the victim gives out personal information, the hacker can use the computer to launch malicious software or collect information like passwords.
Organizations can prevent these attacks by improving employee awareness and implementing simple technical measures. Many large-scale companies fall prey to social engineering attacks. It’s a common practice for spectators at major sporting events to send pictures or videos to their contacts through social networks. These pictures and videos are commonly used to spread harmful software.
Social engineering attacks are one of the most common cyber security threats today. They target organizations that have untrained employees. Even those who are trained can fall victim to these attacks. The tactics used to lure people into giving out sensitive information are constantly evolving. Ransomware, for example, is a type of social engineering attack that locks out computer users and bars access to data. In most cases, ransomware is the result of social engineering, so preventing it is critical to the security of an organization.

This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-sky-man-arm-6620721/.

Does Unpatched Software Contribute to the Cybersecurity Threats?

One in three cyber attacks is the result of unpatched software. This means that companies must run security patches on all their systems, regardless of the size or industry. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to do this, which means that their systems are more vulnerable than they realize. Unpatched software leaves sensitive information vulnerable to malware and ransomware attacks. These attacks can compromise the integrity of the primary system, exposing sensitive data and even extorting money from the organization.
Unpatched software increases the risk of cyber-attacks and is as dangerous to organizations as unused software. Most organizations aim to achieve a ninety percent patch success rate, but a failure rate of even ten percent leaves an organization vulnerable to cyber attacks. According to a recent study from Ponemon Institute, unpatched software is responsible for 60% of all breaches. And of those breaches, 34% of companies knew about the vulnerability before an attack.
The WannaCry ransomware attack was a prime example of an attack caused by unpatched software. This ransomware targeted companies, including the National Health Service of Great Britain, Telefonica, and computers in Ukraine and Taiwan. The malware developers used a tool called EternalBlue to exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows XP. The attack cost the National Health Service millions of dollars and disrupted over one thousand appointments.
Many organizations are unable to respond effectively to these vulnerabilities because they are unpatched. A result is an increasing number of cyber security threats. The CVE Program Report estimates that there will be over 18,000 new vulnerabilities by 2020. The COVID effect, which affects the number of vulnerabilities, makes this problem even more problematic. Additionally, because so many employees work from home or use personal BYOD devices, it’s difficult to manage the large volume of unpatched software across the organization. This problem is further compounded by the fact that asset management systems struggle to keep track of software assets. Further, there is no standard way to communicate vulnerabilities to dispersed teams. As a result, unpatched software can remain unpatched and vulnerable for months or even years.
Despite these challenges, it’s important for organizations to implement a comprehensive cybersecurity assessment. It should include a CVE analysis and comprehensive risk scoring to identify vulnerabilities. By doing this, organizations can ensure that they have adequate protection against cyber attacks. Furthermore, outsourcing patch management to a managed services provider can help strengthen their IT security posture and reduce the workload on in-house teams.
In addition to the high cost of cyber attacks, unpatched software is also one of the biggest causes of data breaches. According to the National Cybersecurity Alliance, a security breach costs a business an average of $120,000. Moreover, half of the small companies that experience a successful cyber attack go out of business within six months. Keeping up with software patches is difficult, and the volume of vulnerabilities means that a company can quickly fall behind.

This photo was taken by Mikhail Nilov and is available on Pexels at https://www.pexels.com/photo/nature-sky-fashion-man-6620725/.