Act Now to Avoid These Security Nightmares
As the dark and eerie night of Halloween approaches, it’s time to watch horror movies, read chilling books and tell scary stories in the dark. IT professionals certainly have plenty of stories to share. Frightening tales of rotten user behavior, terrifying new cyber threats and horrifying cyberattacks from days gone by haunt IT teams. While every cyberattack scenario is a nightmare for IT professionals and the companies they secure, three terrifying cyberattacks, in particular, stand out from the rest. These are the monsters that keep IT professionals awake at night: ransomware, business email compromise (BEC) and supply chain attacks.
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Ransomware: The cryptic extortionist
Our first encounter with the unknown brings us face-to-face with the malevolent specter of ransomware. This digital creature creeps into organizations through various entry points, often exploiting vulnerabilities in software or human error. Once inside, it encrypts sensitive data, holding it hostage until a ransom is paid in cryptocurrency. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment report highlighted the fact that the number of known ransomware attacks in the U.S. increased by 47% from January 2020 to December 2022 and is expected to rise this year too.
What makes ransomware particularly hair-raising is its ability to paralyze an entire organization. Victims face a horrifying dilemma: pay the ransom and hope for the safe return of their data or resist, potentially losing critical information and suffering financial losses. These attacks have been known to cripple hospitals, businesses and even city governments, with the financial damage running into the millions. If the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks continue at the same rate as they have been for the rest of the year, cybercriminals could rake in close to $900 million by the end of 2023.
IT professionals always need to be on guard against ransomware threats, and there are a few actions they can take to reduce their organization’s risk of a ransomware attack. This menace is a primarily email-based cyberattack, so making improvements in email security is a smart way to protect companies from ransomware. Security awareness training for employees, particularly using phishing simulations, is an effective and cost-effective way to prevent the spread of this digital plague.
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Business email compromise (BEC): The phishing poltergeist
Next, we delve into the twisted world of BEC, a cunning and deceitful apparition. BEC attacks typically begin with an attacker compromising a legitimate email account or impersonating a high-ranking executive within an organization. Once this cyber spirit gains access, it sends convincing emails to trick employees into revealing sensitive information, transferring funds or executing unauthorized actions.
The horror of BEC lies in its subtlety and social engineering prowess. These attacks are often orchestrated with meticulous research and patience, allowing attackers to remain hidden until they’ve caused significant harm. Victims may not realize the deception until it’s too late, and their organization is haunted by financial loss, reputational damage and legal consequences. According to Microsoft, BECs of all kinds are escalating. Their researchers have noted a 38% rise in BEC attacks over the last four years.
BEC is one of the most dangerous threats that today’s businesses face. However, the good news is that protecting businesses from BEC doesn’t require a wand or a spell. Instead, companies can take smart precautions to minimize risk. Once again, security awareness training is a must to help employees learn to resist sophisticated email threats like BEC — 97% of employees cannot spot a sophisticated phishing email without training.
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Supply chain cyberattacks: The haunting infiltrators
The third terror we must confront is the ominous supply chain cyberattack. These insidious entities infiltrate an organization through its trusted vendors, partners or suppliers. Cybercriminals compromise the supply chain to introduce malware, manipulate software updates or exfiltrate sensitive data, leading to a cascade of damaging consequences. This is a menace that is continuing to grow as the world becomes increasingly interconnected and businesses become increasingly specialized.
The horror of supply chain attacks is their potential to affect not just one organization but an entire network of interconnected entities. An attack on one supplier can ripple through the supply chain, endangering data integrity and the trust between organizations. This digital terror knows no bounds and can disrupt essential services or critical infrastructure. The MOVEit cyberattack spree is a great example of how fearsome supply chain attacks can be for businesses.
To shield against supply chain nightmares, experts must conduct thorough risk assessments, pursue secure vendor relationships and establish strict monitoring and access controls throughout the supply chain. About 90% of global IT leaders believe their partners and customers are making their own organization a more attractive target for cyberattacks like ransomware.
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Ward off the monsters of cybersecurity with the right solutions
The perpetrators of these terrifying cyberattacks prey on unprepared organizations and exploit their weaknesses. Staying one step ahead of these phantoms requires unwavering vigilance, continuous education and a strong security posture. Armed with the right tools, like the solutions Kaseya offers, IT professionals can face these digital monsters head-on and keep organizations safe from their horrifying grasp.
Datto EDR — Detect and respond to advanced threats with built-in continuous endpoint monitoring and behavioral analysis to deliver comprehensive endpoint defense (something that many cyber insurance companies require).
New Feature: Ransomware Rollback
Ransomware Rollback is a unique and powerful antimalware technology that identifies known and unknown types of ransomware and kills the encryption process once an attack begins. It is a lightweight software that tracks changes on endpoint disk space, providing rollback functionality for files and databases impacted by ransomware attacks. The feature is architected to restore deleted files, such as those hit by a wiper attack or files deleted by accident. It truly is the best defense against ransomware attacks and your best shot at warding off cybercriminals.
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See how the path from attack to recovery works for businesses in an infographic. DOWNLOAD IT>>
BullPhish ID — This effective, automated security awareness training and phishing simulation solution provides critical training that improves compliance, prevents employee mistakes and reduces a company’s risk of being hit by a cyberattack.
Dark Web ID — Our award-winning dark web monitoring solution is the channel leader for a good reason. It provides the greatest amount of protection around with 24/7/365 human and machine-powered monitoring of business and personal credentials, including domains, IP addresses and email addresses.
Graphus — Automated email security is a cutting-edge solution that puts three layers of AI-powered protection between employees and phishing messages. It works equally well as a standalone email security solution or supercharges your Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace email security.
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