Cyber Predators may be half a world away, but the internet puts them at your front door
The intensity and approach of cyber predators is growing at a rapid rate because our society has so quickly and fully adopted the “always connected” way of doing business and personal lifestyle. Remember that your business is connected to the same internet as the bad actors. They may be half a world away, but the internet puts them at your front door. These predators are typically experienced, well-funded, and can automate their exploits so they only deal directly with their victims after they have established some kind of malicious control over their system. They send millions of emails every week to entice victims to click a link or open a file that starts the process. If only a fraction of them are successful, their “business” is still profitable. The automation of most of the work means they can run exploit campaigns against thousands of businesses with little effort on their part.
There are serious consequences if cyber predators succeed in getting a foothold in your business. If they can entice you to click on a malicious link or open a malicious file they can breach the defenses of your network and install software on your PC that spreads across your network. You may never know they are there or what they have done until it is too late. They will undoubtedly install a “back door” into your network so they have a persistent presence. Install key stroke loggers to capture your passwords as you type them. Neutralize your antivirus and firewall. Think about all the places you go on the internet in a week, such as your bank, business partner websites, and even your trading house. The cyber predator may also encrypt everything and demand that you pay a ransom to get it back. If they find your clients’ personal data they may steal it to sell to others, or hold it for ransom by threatening to publicly reveal to your clients that you failed to protect the data they entrusted to you.
Although it’s hard to know for certain what lies ahead in the cyber security threat landscape, the more aware you are, the more prepared you will be to break the chain of events leading to a breach. The Internet never sleeps and criminals can obtain your valued clients’ sensitive and private information on a 24/7 basis. In the next article we will examine what is actually happening under the covers when they do attack and what it would look like to you and your business.
|Cyber security is not a “once and done” proposition (2 of 3)|
About the Author
Kevin Baker has been working in the information security field for eighteen years. His roles included a security engineer, risk manager, people leader and program builder. Kevin's security practice in financial services security and compliance has extended to both international and domestic markets. He is currently the Information Security Leader for Westfield Insurance.