The Era of Cyber-crime – Don’t Fall Victim

There has been an increase in cyber-attacks on high profile companies recently – JP Morgan Chase, Target and Home Depot as well as breaches in online services such as iCloud, Dropbox and Snapchat.

A cyber-attack is defined as – any type of offensive action employed by individuals or whole organizations, that targets computer information systems.

With each new attack it’s increasingly clear, no company is immune to cyber-attacks and preparation is key to mitigating risk.  This preparation must start with a commitment at the very top of the company. With a top-down approach and directors who are actively engaged, companies stand a greater chance of protecting their shareholders’ interests in cyberspace.

The companies that are most often targeted are financial institutions, healthcare organisations, major retailers and online/cloud storage services.

The most recent attacks, used methods that are:

  • Sophisticated – exploiting weak points, using backdoor controls and advanced malware.
  • Social – targeting specific people with social engineering and stealing and using valid credentials.
  • Stealthy – implemented in a series of low profile moves that are undetectable to standard security or hidden among thousands of logs collected daily.

Ideally the perfect solution to threats like this would be to set up security measures that provide multiple layers of defence. Firewalls, intrusion detection systems, malware scanners, integrity auditing procedures, and local storage encryption tools can each serve to protect your information technology resources in ways the others cannot.

Secure your network by:

  • Installing an antivirus-Antivirus and anti-malware software is essential in an arsenal of online security weapons. It is the last line of defence, should an attack occur.
  • Implementing a strong firewall – In order to have a well-protected network, firewalls are crucial to any company or individual. A firewall protects a network by controlling internet traffic coming into and flowing out of a business. Firewalls are a standard feature included in any reputable antivirus.
  • Updating programs regularly – Making sure your computer is “properly patched and updated” is a necessary step towards being fully protected. There is little point in installing software if one does not maintain it. Frequently updating programs patches any recent issues or vulnerabilities that have been discovered, which could be exploited.
  • Securing laptops – Because of their portable nature, laptops are at a higher risk of being lost or stolen than average company desktops. It’s important to take some extra steps to make certain your sensitive data is protected. Panda’s range of cloud solutions, monitor and secure laptops that have been moved outside the company’s network.
  • Ensuring smartphone protection – smartphones hold great amounts of data these days, that one should consider them almost as valuable as company computers — and they’re much more easily lost or stolen. As such, securing them is a must. One must look at encryption software, password protection and remote wiping. All of these features are included in Panda Cloud Systems Management.
  • Monitoring Diligently – manage devices on a network and keep up to date with what takes place on the network and device. Products such as; Panda Cloud Systems Management. Through a single sign-on console one is able to monitor devices connected to a particular network and maintain said devices from a remote location.
  • Taking care with email and web browsing – It’s not uncommon for employees to click on links or downloading attachments that they believe are harmless — only to discover they’ve been infected with a virus, or worse. Email security platforms such as Panda Cloud Email Protection automatically filter spam and malware, minimising internet traffic and ensuring mail has been screened before delivery. With regards to web browsing, Panda Cloud Office Protection Advanced allows organisations to control what employees look at on the web through URL filtering.
  • Educating employees – Teaching employees about safe online habits and proactive defence is crucial. Make sure employees understand how important the company’s data is, and all the measures they can take to protect it.

As we all know ‘prevention is better than cure’ most organisations could improve value and security by adopting a preventive approach to cyber-crime.

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