We get it: It’s not easy trying to run a business and keep up with breaking cybersecurity headlines. But education is critical when it comes to preventing attacks. This is not an area where you want to get caught sleeping.
That being said, we have you covered. Here are some of the biggest stories that you need to know in cybersecurity this week:
WannaCry is still spreading: Last Friday, a global cyberattack erupted that has since spread to at least 150 countries.
In this case, the unidentified hacking group used a form of ransomware called WannaCry to target Microsoft Windows users. According to CNN, the ransomware asks infected users to pay $300 in bitcoin to regain control of their information, while threatening to increase the amount every three days. To date, more than 300,000 computers have been infected with WannaCry — yet victims have only paid a total of about $80,000 in ransom.
What should you do if you get infected? First of all, understand that making a payment will not guarantee that your data will be safely returned. In fact, you may not even get a response back. If you get infected, contact your security advisor or law enforcement.
It’s also important to instruct your employees to be on full alert while opening email and surfing the Internet this week. Suspicious links should be avoided. And be especially wary about pop-up notifications and system alerts as they may contain links ransomware. Remember: Ransomware has to be downloaded and executed in order to cause harm to your system.
Majority of Americans still feel safe: Despite the fact that cybercrime is spreading like wildfire, many Americans still don’t feel like they are personally at risk. According to Reportlinker, 55 percent of Americans still feel that their data is safe from cyberattacks. And 52 percent of Americans feel that the U.S. is prepared to face a cyberattack. What’s more, 36 percent believe that hackers only target government entities.
With this in mind, it’s time to start panicking about your employees’ online habits. Chances are likely they may be operating machines with an invincible attitude which could cause a great deal of harm.
Beware of bootleg software: Experts believe that the WannaCry ransomware attack may have been exacerbated by the large number of companies — specifically in China — that are using bootleg versions of Windows. As the New York Times explained, pirated software is not typically registered with a developer and so it often results in missed security patches. Running software without security patches can allow malware to enter a system undetected.
11 year-old hacks bear: In other news, a group of cybersecurity experts were shocked during a conference in the Netherlands this week when an 11 year-old boy successfully hacked into their Bluetooth-enabled devices and used them to seize control over a connected teddy bear.
In doing so, the boy proved to the audience how easily smart objects can be turned into cyberweapons.
“IOT home appliances, things that can be used in our everyday lives, our cars, lights refrigerators, everything like this that is connected can be used and weaponised to spy on us or harm us,” the boy stated.
Take a look around your office, and notice all of the connected objects that you see. Any one of these devices could be used by hackers to break in and spy on your organization.
Cybersecurity is a booming business: Companies offering anti-hacker insurance are raking in profits from businesses and consumers who are concerend about cybercrime. In fact, the market for cyberinsurance may triple to $10 billion by 2020.
Many companies are also turning to cybersecurity firms for advanced protection against cybercrime. As Reuters explained, stocks rose for several cybersecurity firms across the world following Friday’s attack. Businesses are now taking this time to reassess their network security strategies, and plan for future attacks.
Apex Technology Services is a managed services provider (MSP) serving greater New York City and beyond. Apex can work closely with your team to provide ongoing risk assessment, security patching and other critical services. Apex also offers comprehensive cybersecurity training programs for employees.
To learn more about Apex, click here.