If you are involved in information security, you know that the threats to your organization are ever-changing. When an exploit is discovered today, there is a good chance that it will be patched within days or weeks. However, new threats continue to appear and permeate throughout all aspects of our lives. Some of these threats may seem unlikely now but could become major risks down the road if not properly handled. And even though an emerging threat isn’t currently impacting your business, you should continually monitor its growth so you can find ways to defend against it before it presents itself as a threat.
Download this free eBook now! The insights presented in this guide will help you understand how attackers develop techniques for circumventing devices and applications with little effort.
In addition, you will learn how to better secure your organization from emerging cyber risks that may be encountered in the future.
1) How do attackers develop techniques for circumventing devices and applications with little effort?
Attackers exploit programming errors in operating systems, drivers, and even application software to increase their control over a computer or a system database. When hackers discover vulnerability in a device or an application they can use it to attack others without being noticed. Hackers often have the resources necessary to develop new exploits quickly when they find them. In some cases, viruses are even designed to avoid detection so they can remain undetected on your computer until their payload is triggered.
2) What is malware? And why does it matter?
Malware is a general term for any program that infects and spreads through your computer. There are different types of malware: viruses, worms, and spyware or adware to name a few. Malware can be found on mobile devices as well as desktops and servers. The impact that malware has on your organization depends on what it does when you click on it or when it executes in order to run its code. For instance, ransomware is one of the most popular types of malware today because hackers encrypt user files until they pay up in hard-to-trace cryptocurrencies. When this type of virus is executed it will lock all files so users can’t access them without paying for an encryption key. Since not everyone has money to spare, some users end up having to start their computers from scratch.
3) To what extent do compromised devices affect information security?
When hackers compromise a device, they are able to use it as part of a botnet to launch Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks on other servers or hijack other computers on the internet. This can cause significant damage to your business if you don’t have the necessary means to prevent these kinds of attacks. The best way to protect against botnets is by monitoring for unusual bandwidth usage, blocking access based on IP addresses, and not opening emails with suspicious links sent from unknown senders.
4) What are malicious browser add-ons? How serious is this threat?
Malicious browser add-ons such as toolbars, plug-ins, and extensions pose a serious threat because they can infect your browsers without you knowing. Browser hijackers are responsible for this type of malware. Hackers will often use them to redirect users to pages with malicious content or advertisements that make these types of threats difficult to remove because they change regularly. To avoid malvertising (malware hidden in online advertising) it’s best to install an ad blocker on your computer or mobile device.
5) What can you do to prevent ransomware?
As stated earlier, the best way to protect against ransomware is by backing up all important files on a regular basis so if one is encrypted there’s no need to pay the ransom since everything can be recovered from an earlier time.
6) Why is it important to monitor unusual bandwidth usage? Hackers can use malware or botnets to send spam and infect other devices on the internet. This type of activity often results in abnormal bandwidth usage so you should ensure that your network traffic is under control at all times.
7) What types of security vulnerabilities do open-source components create?
Many developers use open source libraries and frameworks when programming their applications to increase efficiency and avoid reinventing the wheel. However, these components pose a significant threat because many contain undiscovered vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit if they are not properly maintained. The best way to protect against this kind of threat is by patching any flaws when they are discovered using updates from the original developer or a trusted software library.
As you can see, malware is not something to take lightly. Hackers are constantly creating new viruses and finding new ways to exploit the ones that already exist. To avoid becoming a victim, be diligent in all aspects of information security and always back up your files.