Specific cyber crime threats and how companies are dealing with them

Cyber Security

Cyber security attacks and cyber crime always seem to dominate the news in USA and also in many other countries across the world.

Neither individuals nor large companies are immune to the offensive and malicious attacks that target computer networks, personal computer devices as well as infrastructures. According to a recent survey conducted by Linedata, a distinguished NYSE Euronext listed information technology vendor that provides IT solutions to investment management companies across the world, cyber crime might be the greatest disruptor of business activities in the next six years.

Linedata interviewed IT executives working in 200 reputable companies and discovered that 36% of them were seriously concerned about cyber crime threats. Common cyber crime threats DDOS (distributed-denial of service) attacks and hacking are the most common threats that affect companies. DDOS Distributed-denial of service attacks usually prevent authorized access to internet-based services by jamming communication links with huge traffic.

These effectively prevent users from gaining access to the internet-based services since the affected systems are rendered incapable of handling the huge volume of traffic. DDOS attacks are usually executed using botnets- controlled and compromised computers that involuntarily and simultaneously send messages to targeted servers and/or computers. Hacking Hacking is one of the primary and most common methods of infiltrating networks.

Cyber criminals hack targeted computer systems by injecting specialist software with the primary objective of gaining unauthorized access to systems and networks. Taking administrative control of the targeted systems and networks is usually their secondary objective. These attacks can compromise stored data on individuals’ networks, commercial data, products, sensitive information as well as strategic plans.

Other common cyber crime threats include:

Phishing: where fake emails ask for personal details and confidential information. Ad clicking: allow cyber criminals to remotely instruct victims’ computers to click on certain malicious links. Webcam management: where cyber criminals hijack victims’ web cameras. Screenshot management: allows criminals to take screenshots of the victims’ computer screens without their knowledge. Key logging: situations whereby criminals record everything that people type on their keyboards.

Ransomware: these are malware which lock and/or encrypt valuable digital files. The criminals demand payment of ransom before unlocking the affected files.

Examples of companies that have fallen victim Are you aware that there have been several high profile cyber crime attacks on some of the leading companies in America, Europe, Asia as well as Africa?

They include Ashley Madison (one of the leading Canadian companies that provide online dating services) and United Kingdom’s Talk Talk (a firm that deals with broadband and phone products/ services). Recently, JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, experienced a case where the addresses, emails, names and telephone numbers of 76 million clients got compromised as a result of a cyber attack. How are companies dealing with cyber crime threats?

The following are efficient and effective methods used by large corporations to deal with the menace:

1. All employees are made aware of cyber crime threats and how fast they are evolving.

They are also educated on the critical roles that they must play in safeguarding the organizations’ data and systems.

2. Companies patch operating systems, firmware and software on digital devices via centralized patch management systems.

3. They ensure anti-malware and anti-virus solutions are set to carry out regular scans and automatically update.

4. Companies ensure proper management and use of privileged accounts. Users aren’t assigned administrative access until and unless there’s absolute need. Additionally, they ensure that administrator accounts are only used if and when necessary.

5. They properly configure access controls to files, network share permissions and directories. For instance, if users need to read specific information, they are denied write-access to the particular directories or files.

6. The companies always ensure that macro-scripts from the office files are disabled before transmission via emails.

7. They apply security controls such as software restriction policies to prevent software from executing from certain spyware and malware locations. For instance, temporary folders aren’t allowed to support internet browsers, decompression or compression programs.

8. Companies ensure that all their data is backed up on regular basis. The integrity of backup systems is also verified.

9. They make sure that their back-up systems are properly secured. They also make sure that the systems are disconnected from the networks or computers.

Cyber security attacks and cyber crime always seem to dominate the news in USA and also in many other countries across the world. Neither individuals nor large companies are immune to the offensive and malicious attacks that target computer networks, personal computer devices as well as infrastructures.

According to a recent survey conducted by Linedata, a distinguished NYSE Euronext listed information technology vendor that provides IT solutions to investment management companies across the world, cyber crime might be the greatest disruptor of business activities in the next six years.

Linedata interviewed IT executives working in 200 reputable companies and discovered that 36% of them were seriously concerned about cyber crime threats.

Common cyber crime threats

DDOS (distributed-denial of service) attacks and hacking are the most common threats that affect companies.

DDOS

Distributed-denial of service attacks usually prevent authorized access to internet-based services by jamming communication links with huge traffic. These effectively prevent users from gaining access to the internet-based services since the affected systems are rendered incapable of handling the huge volume of traffic.

DDOS attacks are usually executed using botnets- controlled and compromised computers that involuntarily and simultaneously send messages to targeted servers and/or computers.

Hacking

Hacking is one of the primary and most common methods of infiltrating networks. Cyber criminals hack targeted computer systems by injecting specialist software with the primary objective of gaining unauthorized access to systems and networks. Taking administrative control of the targeted systems and networks is usually their secondary objective.

These attacks can compromise stored data on individuals’ networks, commercial data, products, sensitive information as well as strategic plans.

Other common cyber crime threats include:

Phising: where fake emails ask for personal details and confidential information.

Ad clicking: allow cyber criminals to remotely instruct victims’ computers to click on certain malicious links.

Webcam management: where cyber criminals hijack victims’ web cameras.

Screenshot management: allows criminals to take screenshots of the victims’ computer screens without their knowledge.

Key logging: situations whereby criminals record everything that people type on their keyboards.

Ransomware: these are malware which lock and/or encrypt valuable digital files. The criminals demand payment of ransom before unlocking the affected files.

Examples of companies that have fallen victim

Are you aware that there have been several high profile cyber crime attacks on some of the leading companies in America, Europe, Asia as well as Africa? They include Ashley Madison (one of the leading Canadian companies that provide online dating services) and United Kingdom’s Talk Talk (a firm that deals with broadband and phone products/ services).

Recently, JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, experienced a case where the addresses, emails, names and telephone numbers of 76 million clients got compromised as a result of a cyber attack.

How are companies dealing with cyber crime threats?

The following are efficient and effective methods used by large corporations to deal with the menace:

1. All employees are made aware of cyber crime threats and how fast they are evolving. They are also educated on the critical roles that they must play in safeguarding the organizations’ data and systems.

2. Companies patch operating systems, firmware and software on digital devices via centralized patch management systems.

3. They ensure anti-malware and anti-virus solutions are set to carry out regular scans and automatically update.

4. Companies ensure proper management and use of privileged accounts. Users aren’t assigned administrative access until and unless there’s absolute need. Additionally, they ensure that administrator accounts are only used if and when necessary.

5. They properly configure access controls to files, network share permissions and directories. For instance, if users need to read specific information, they are denied write-access to the particular directories or files.

6. The companies always ensure that macro-scripts from the office files are disabled before transmission via emails.

7. They apply security controls such as software restriction policies to prevent software from executing from certain spyware and malware locations. For instance, temporary folders aren’t allowed to support internet browsers, decompression or compression programs.

8. Companies ensure that all their data is backed up on regular basis. The integrity of backup systems is also verified.

9. They make sure that their back-up systems are properly secured. They also make sure that the systems are disconnected from the networks or computers.