Staying secure online is a greater challenge today than ever before. Email is a common pain point for businesses because it’s a surprisingly easy target. Your employees get hundreds of emails every day, and if they are not vigilant in their security practices, your company can become the victim of one of the thousands of corporate data breaches experienced every month. Here’s an overview of some of those fast-growing trends in cybercrime and a few tips on how to protect yourself and your customers.
Ransomware has grown in popularity among the hacker community in recent years, and current trends show that is unlikely to change anytime soon. In fact, ransomware accounted for 64% of all malware traffic in Q3 of 2017 according to the recent Proofpoint Threat Report. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system or files until a sum of money is paid. For both corporate and citizen victims, it’s often well worth the risk to pay up, making this form of cybercrime highly profitable for hackers looking to turn their skills into cash. The best tip to protect yourself against ransomware is to be very careful what files you download, particularly from unverified sources.
Malicious email has picked up, rising 85% from Q2, as a direct response to one of the world’s most prolific cyber criminals launching a widespread ransomware campaign. But ransomware isn’t the only way hackers seek to gain access to your private information or your money. Malicious URLs are also up 600% from last quarter. Email fraud is up by almost 30%, and banking trojans have accounted for nearly a quarter of all malicious email traffic. Email is an easy way in for cybercriminals if you or your employees are not careful. Make sure you know who the sender is, be careful what you click on, never provide personal identification information over email, and above all make sure you are cautious of any content sent from unfamiliar sources.
Attackers are quick to register lookalike domains that can be used to prey on the incautious internet user. Typosquatting and domain spoofing are two problems that continue to wreak havoc on the security of the average internet user. The ration of suspicious domain registrations far outweighs defensive registrations today by a massive 20 to 1. Defensive registration of brand-owned domains has fallen by 20% compared to a year ago. That means companies are doing less to protect their prospective customers and hackers are taking advantage of the lack of interest. Similarly, fraudulent support accounts on social media are quickly becoming a big problem too. These so-called “angler phishing” attempts doubled from last year, with 10% more phishing links on branded social channels, and 5% more fake customer support accounts seen over the previous quarter.
These threats to global security are a very real concern, but the best practices that will keep you and your team safe remain the same. Be careful who you trust online.
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