• Layla Eshack

Don’t Get Tricked!

October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month!

We are here to help you stay safe. Here are the top “tricks” you need to be aware of this month:

#1: Phishing

Phishing is the most common type of cyber attack. It occurs when someone sends malicious emails or links while disguising themselves as a trustworthy source. Often times phishing emails can come from what appears to be a legitimate source, such as a bank or government agency. The idea is to get the email recipient to share information or click on a malicious link or attachment.

Phishing is THE most common way that hackers collect private information. Studies show that one in 99 emails is a phishing email.

99% of cyber attacks result from someone clicking a link.

In order to stay safe, DO NOT click on links from unknown senders. You should only click on links or download attachments when they are from someone you know or you were expecting them.

In these pandemic times, hackers are taking advantage of the fear and unemployment rates. A recent trend is for hackers to impersonate the government. Government agencies such as the IRS typically operate through the mail, and you should be suspicious of any calls or emails from someone claiming to be the IRS.

#2: Ransomware

Ransomware is a strategy hackers use to claim your system using malicious software. They block access to the system and data until a ransom of money is paid.

Ransomware attacks can be targeted at individuals or businesses and may demand various amounts of money, often a cryptocurrency such as BitCoin.

For businesses, this can be devastating. Ransomware attacks can close operations and pressure business owners to pay the ransom just to be able to function again, but the ransoms can be so high that the damage is impossible to come back from.

If your system becomes compromised, it can be too late. Preventative measures should be taken, such as strong password security policies and user training regarding safe cybersecurity practices. Talk to your IT professional about how your business is staying safe.

#3: Insider Threats

It can be easy to overlook the vulnerability of your computer system if you only consider external threats. Insider threats are dangers posed by those who have (or had) legitimate access to your system. These can be accidental or intentional.

Examples of insider threats include a careless employee, a sneaky former employee, a compromised 3rd party vendor, or a deceptive spouse.

Organizations sometimes fail to consider the true risks that insiders pose to their cybersecurity. Yet, internal risks are every bit as dangerous and damaging as the external ones, even if there is no malicious intent.

Check out our blog post on the Dangers of Insider Threats:


#4: Malware

Malware is software designed to damage your computer system. It can be easily downloaded onto a device by clicking on a link or downloading an attachment with malware (such as in a phishing email).

The uses of malware can vary. Sometimes this malicious software can be used to steal valuable information. Sometimes it can be used to lock your system and conduct a ransomware attack. A virus is considered a type of malware, although a virus will replicate itself and spread through multiple programs.

Your computer system should have anti-malware and anti-virus software in place.

Talk to your IT professional about what you are currently doing to stay safe, and how you could reduce risk.

Questions? Call Critical IT Solutions to see if your business qualifies for our free risk assessment. 240-442-2960

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