Did You Manage To Survive 2017’s Wave of IoT Hacks and Ransomware?

IoT hacks and ransomware

It was predicted that by the end of 2017, the number of cyber attacks could reach over 180 million. The economic damage caused by cyber criminals is often massive. Yet it is a saddening fact that up to 70% of these attacks go unnoticed. Generally speaking, the incentive to hack is financial. The criminals operate within underground black markets – buying and selling stolen data illegally. Personal health information, personal identity information, credit card data, bank account information, and social security numbers are some of the data targeted by cyber criminals. Let’s find out more about the cyber threat vectors that have gained significance prominence:

Enterprise-Targeted Ransomware Attacks

Ransomware works by infecting malware into a single or a network of computers, and then encrypting critical files on the disk. Oftentimes, the administrator needs to act within a limited time frame: pay the ransom (usually via cryptocurrency) and unlock the affected files or risk losing all your precious data. The fee tends to vary from tens of dollars to thousands of dollars. Those attacks have become mainstream, and are continuing to reign terror. It has been observed that ransomware designers are constantly coming up with new methods to execute their attacks. For instance, they can now exploit vulnerable web servers to gain access to the targeted organization’s network.

Internet of Things (IoT) Attacks

IoT is undergoing constant expansion, and this affects everything from enterprise security monitoring to residential home appliance systems. That’s why new security challenges are becoming pervasive. There are also devices that aren’t meant to be internet-enabled. However, those devices are now online and may be vulnerable to attacks. Proactive testing needs to be in place to prevent networks from becoming any more vulnerable than they should. As hackers are always on the lookout for new entry points to gain unauthorized access into our business and home networks, it is imperative that you get ample protection from cyber threats.

Compromised Industrial Control Systems

Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition, legacy, bolted-on, and other connected systems and networks can pose significant risks. Older systems tend to be prime targets of ransomware attacks and other forms of hacking. It is not because these systems are built to control transportation, waste treatment, water, natural gas, and electricity networks – it is simply because they are not designed with cyber security in mind.

Cyberwarfare

Cyberwarfare is real and has forced companies to be more reactive to unforeseen threats. Governments around the world are pouring significant sums of money into making sure they can fight their battles on the Internet, and one might just get caught in the crossfire. This type of warfare involves digital attacks on the data, systems, and networks of another state, with the intent to destroy and disrupt. For example, it will make accessing certain online services impossible.

Cyberwarfare can be used as a standalone attack or form part of a military campaign. In any case, you will want to have access to cloud backup. One that protects both your physical and virtual backups. Is there anything one can do to increase his or her survival rate when it comes to such attacks? Sure! You need to make sure your systems are patched and updated, regularly scan for vulnerabilities, conduct penetration testing, restrict user permissions, and raise user awareness. Although those practices may sound like a job for Captain Obvious, a lot of people are overlooking them!