CyberSecurity

Small Business Security Defenses to Protect Websites and Internal Systems

Small businesses have a big target on their back when it comes to cybercrime – after all, they often don’t have the same resources as larger businesses to invest in robust security defenses. But that doesn’t mean small businesses are helpless against attacks. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the key security defenses small businesses should have in place to protect their websites and internal systems. In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is more important than ever for businesses of all sizes. However, small businesses are often the target of cyberattacks because they are seen as easier prey. This is why small businesses need to have strong security defenses in place to protect their websites and internal systems.

Common Cybersecurity Threats Facing Small Businesses

One of the most common threats is phishing, where criminals send emails or texts impersonating a legitimate company in an attempt to trick you into sharing sensitive information or clicking on a malicious link. Another common threat is ransomware, where criminals lock up your data and demand a ransom to unlock it.

Other threats include malware, which can infect your systems and allow criminals to gain access to your data; denial of service attacks, which can take your website offline; and SQL injection attacks, which can exploit vulnerabilities in your website’s code.

Cybersecurity Defenses Every Small Business Should Have

While large businesses have the resources to invest in comprehensive cybersecurity defenses, small businesses often do not. This leaves them vulnerable to a variety of attacks that can jeopardize their website, their data, and their whole operation. There are some basic cybersecurity defenses every small business should have in place to protect themselves from the most common attacks. These include:

Web Application Firewalls

A WAF can monitor traffic to and from your website and block malicious requests. This can help to stop attacks before they even reach your systems. There are several different WAFs on the market, so it is important to do some research to find the one that best suits your needs.

In addition to a WAF, there are several other security defenses that small businesses should have in place. These include firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems. By implementing these defenses, you can help to protect your business from cyber-attacks.

Intrusion Prevention Systems

An IPS monitor your network for suspicious activity and can block or divert attacks before they reach your systems. This type of system is important for small businesses because it can protect against sophisticated attacks that may otherwise go undetected. In addition to an IPS, small businesses should also have a firewall in place. A firewall can help to block unauthorized access to your network and can also help to control traffic flowing into and out of your network.

Finally, it is important to keep all of your software up-to-date. This includes both your operating system and any applications that you use. Regular updates will help to close any security holes that may be exploited by attackers.

Endpoint Protection

Endpoint protection is a type of security software that helps to protect devices that are connected to your network. This can include computers, laptops, smartphones, and other devices. Endpoint protection can help to prevent malware and other malicious software from infecting these devices. It can also help to block unauthorized access to your network and data.

There are several different endpoint protection solutions available. Some are designed for specific types of devices, while others can be used on multiple types of devices. There are also cloud-based and on-premise solutions available. Small businesses should choose a solution that is right for their needs and budget.

Intrusion detection and prevention systems

If you’re running a small business, you can’t afford to neglect security. Even if you don’t have a lot of sensitive data, you could still be a target for hackers who want to use your site to launch attacks on other sites. And if your site is hacked, it could damage your reputation and cost you money to clean up the mess. One of the best ways to protect your site is to install an intrusion detection and prevention system (IDP). an IDPS can monitor your network traffic and look for suspicious activity. If it detects an attack, it can block the attacker and alert you so you can take action.

Encrypting sensitive data

If you have sensitive data on your site, you should encrypt it to protect it from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. Encryption is a process of transforming data so that it can only be read by someone with the proper key. There are many different encryption algorithms available, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for your needs. Some factors to consider include:

  1. How strong is the encryption? Stronger encryption is more difficult to break, but it can also be more resource-intensive.
  2. How fast is the encryption? If you’re encrypting large amounts of data, you’ll want an algorithm that’s fast enough to keep up.
  3. How easy is it to use? You’ll need to be able to encrypt and decrypt data quickly and easily.

Regularly backing up data

Backing up data is another important security measure. If your site is hacked or attacked, you’ll want to be able to restore your data from a backup. That way, you won’t have to start from scratch. There are many different ways to back up data, so it’s important to choose a method that’s right for your needs. Some factors to consider include:

  1. How often do you need to back up data? If you have a lot of data, you’ll want to back it up more often.
  2. How easy is it to restore data from a backup? You’ll want to be able to quickly and easily restore data if you need to.
  3. How secure is the backup? Make sure the backup is stored in a secure location and that only authorized individuals have access to it.

Anti-virus and anti-malware software

As a small business, it is important to protect your website and internal systems from malware and viruses. There are several security defenses you can put in place to help protect your business, including:

  1. Install anti-virus and anti-malware software on all of your devices, including computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
  2. Make sure that all of your software is up to date, as outdated software can be more vulnerable to attack.
  3. Segment your network so that critical systems are isolated from the rest of the internet.
  4. Restrict access to sensitive data and systems to only those who need it.
  5. Regularly back up your data in case of an attack or system failure.

Encryption

One of the most important security defenses for small businesses to have is encryption. Encryption is a process of transforming readable data into an unreadable format. This is important for protecting information stored on your website or internal systems from being accessed by unauthorized individuals. There are various methods of encryption, so it is important to choose the one that best meets the needs of your business. One popular method of encryption is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). SSL uses a public and private key system to encrypt data. The private key is only known by the owner of the website or system, while the public key can be accessed by anyone.

To decrypt data, both the public and private keys must be used. Another type of encryption is AES (Advanced Encryption Standard). AES uses a different algorithm than SSL and is considered to be more secure. It is important to note that even with encryption, it is still possible for data to be accessed by unauthorized individuals if they have the proper tools and know-how. Therefore, it is important to also have other security defenses in place in addition to encryption.

Employee training

One of the best ways to protect your small business website and internal systems is to train your employees on security protocols. Make sure they know how to spot potential threats, and what to do if they encounter one. Teach them about basic password security, and remind them to never click on links from unknown sources. By educating your staff on best practices, you can help keep your business safe from cyber-attacks.

Conclusion

There are many security defenses that small businesses should have to protect their websites and internal systems. Some of the most important include firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention systems, antivirus and anti-malware software, and password management. By implementing these measures, small businesses can help safeguard their data and reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

A Detailed Guide to the Different Types of Cyber Security Threats

Cyber security threats come in all shapes and sizes – from viruses and malware to phishing scams and ransomware. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the different types of cyber security threats out there so that you can be better prepared to protect yourself against them.

Types of Cyber Security Threats

Phishing

Phishing is a type of cyberattack where attackers pose as a trustworthy entity to trick victims into giving up sensitive information. This can be done via email, social media, or even text message. Once the attacker has the victim’s information, they can use it for identity theft, financial fraud, or other malicious activities.

Malware

Cyber security threats come in all shapes and sizes, but one of the most common and dangerous types is malware. Malware is short for malicious software, and it refers to any program or file that is designed to harm your computer or steal your data. There are many different types of malware, but some of the most common include viruses, worms, Trojans, and spyware.

Viruses are one of the oldest and most well-known types of malware. A virus is a piece of code that replicates itself and spreads from one computer to another. Once a virus infects a computer, it can cause all sorts of problems, from deleting files to crashing the entire system. Worms are similar to viruses, but they don’t need to attach themselves to files to spread. Instead, they can spread directly from one computer to another over a network connection.

Trojans are another type of malware that gets its name from the Greek story of the Trojan Horse. Like a Trojan Horse, a Trojan appears to be something harmless, but it’s hiding something dangerous. Trojans can be used to steal information or give attackers access to your computer.

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a type of cyber-attack that relies on human interaction to trick users into revealing confidential information or performing an action that will compromise their security. Cyber-attackers use psychological techniques to exploit victims’ trust, manipulate their emotions, or take advantage of their natural curiosity. They may do this by spoofing the email address or website of a legitimate company, or by creating a fake social media profile that looks like a real person. Once the attacker has established trust, they will try to get the victim to click on a malicious link, download a trojan horse program, or provide confidential information such as passwords or credit card numbers.

While social engineering can be used to carry out a variety of attacks, some of the most common include phishing and spear phishing, vishing (voice phishing), smishing (SMS phishing), and baiting.

SQL Injection

SQL injection is one of the most common types of cyber security threats. It occurs when malicious SQL code is injected into a database, resulting in data being compromised or deleted. SQL injection can be used to steal confidential information, delete data, or even take control of a database server.

Hackers

There are many different types of cyber security threats, but one of the most common is hackers. Hackers are individuals who use their technical skills to gain unauthorized access to computer systems or networks. They may do this for malicious purposes, such as stealing sensitive information or causing damage to the system. Hackers can be highly skilled and experienced, and they may use sophisticated methods to exploit vulnerabilities in systems. Some hackers work alone, while others are part of organized groups. Cyber security professionals must be vigilant in identifying and protecting against hacker attacks.

Password Guessing

One of the most common types of cyber security threats is password guessing. This is when someone tries to guess your password to gain access to your account or system. They may try to use common passwords, or they may try to brute force their way in by trying every possible combination of characters. Either way, it’s important to have a strong password that is not easy to guess.

Data Breaches

A data breach is a security incident in which information is accessed without authorization. This can result in the loss or theft of sensitive data, including personal information like names, addresses, and Social Security numbers. Data breaches can occur when hackers gain access to a database or network, or when an organization’s employees accidentally expose information.

Denial of Service Attacks

A denial of service attack (DoS attack) is a cyber-attack in which the attacker seeks to make a particular computer or network resource unavailable to users. This can be done by flooding the target with traffic, consuming its resources so that it can no longer provide services, or by disrupting connections between the target and other systems.

DoS attacks are usually launched by botnets, networks of computers infected with malware that can be controlled remotely by the attacker. However, a single attacker can also launch a DoS attack using multiple devices, such as through a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

DoS attacks can be very disruptive and cause significant financial losses for businesses and organizations. They can also be used to target individuals, such as through revenge attacks or attacks designed to silence dissent.

There are many different types of DoS attacks, and new variants are constantly being developed. Some of the most common include:

• Ping floods: The attacker sends a large number of Ping requests to the target, overwhelming it with traffic and causing it to become unresponsive.

• SYN floods: The attacker sends a large number of SYN packets to the target, overwhelming it and preventing legitimate connections from being established.

Botnets

What are botnets?

A botnet is a network of computers infected with malware that allows an attacker to remotely control them. This gives the attacker the ability to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, send spam, and commit other types of fraud and cybercrime.

How do you get infected with botnet malware?

There are many ways that botnet malware can spread. It can be installed when you visit a malicious website, or it can be delivered as a payload in an email attachment or via a drive-by download. Once your computer is infected, the attacker can then use it to add to their botnet.

How do you know if you’re part of a botnet?

If you notice your computer behaving strangely—for example, if it’s suddenly very slow or unresponsive—it may be a sign that your machine has been recruited into a botnet. You might also see unusual network activity, such as sudden spikes in outgoing traffic.

Cross-Site Scripting

Cross-site scripting (XSS) is a type of computer security vulnerability typically found in web applications. XSS enables attackers to inject malicious code into web pages viewed by other users. When a user views a page, the malicious code is executed by their browser, resulting in the unauthorized access or modification of data.

XSS attacks can be used to steal sensitive information like passwords and credit card numbers or to hijack user accounts. In some cases, attackers have used XSS to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Conclusion

Cyber security threats are becoming more and more common, and it’s important to be aware of the different types that exist. This guide has provided an overview of some of the most common types of cyber security threats, as well as some tips on how to protect yourself from them. Remember to stay vigilant and keep your computer security up-to-date to help mitigate the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber-attack.

How Often Do Ransomware Attacks Happen?

A ransomware attack is a type of malware that infects your computer and locks you out of your files. It then uses powerful encryption to keep those files away from you until you pay the perpetrator a ransom. Did you know that these types of attacks happen so often, and have been happening more in recent years? In this article, I’ll share some information on just how prevalent they are, what can happen with these types of viruses embedded in your system, and what it could mean for the future of computing technology.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom to decrypt them. It’s a growing threat to businesses and individuals alike, as it can be used to target anyone with an Internet connection. Ransomware attacks are becoming more common, and they can be devastating to the victims. Businesses are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks, as they often have more valuable data that criminals can exploit. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the risks of ransomware and take steps to protect your data.

Which organizations are commonly targeted with ransomware?

Small businesses are the most common target for ransomware attacks. This is because they often don’t have the same level of security as larger businesses and can be more easily targeted. Hospitals, government agencies, and other critical infrastructure organizations are also common targets because these types of organizations often have sensitive information that criminals can exploit for financial gain.

Why are ransomware attacks becoming more common?

There are several reasons why ransomware attacks are becoming more common. First, cybercriminals can make money by exploiting vulnerabilities in software and attacking businesses and individuals. Second, many people don’t have effective cybersecurity measures in place, which makes them susceptible to ransomware attacks. And finally, business executives and individuals have become more reliant on technology, which makes them vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Pros and cons of paying off a ransom demand

There’s no question that ransomware attacks are on the rise. But what should you do if you’re hit with a demand for payment? Some experts say it’s best to pay up, while others argue that it’s a dangerous precedent to set. Here, we explore the pros and cons of paying off ransomware demand.

On the pro side, paying the ransom may be the quickest and easiest way to get your data back. And it’s worth considering if the data is mission-critical and you don’t have a recent backup.

However, there are several risks to consider before paying off a ransomware demand. First, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get your data back after paying. Second, you’re effectively giving into extortion and encouraging future attacks. And finally, by paying the ransom, you could be inadvertently funding other criminal activities.

Ultimately, whether or not to pay a ransomware demand is a decision that must be made on a case-by-case basis. But it’s important to weigh all the risks and potential consequences before making a decision.

Following are some famous ransomware attacks:

WannaCry

It’s still one of the most talked-about cybersecurity threats out there because it was so widespread and because it hit so many big names. WannaCry infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries, and it encrypts your files unless you pay a ransom. The attack caused billions of dollars in damage, and it showed just how vulnerable we all are to ransomware.

Bad Rabbit is one of the most popular forms of ransomware right now. It first emerged in late 2016 and has since been used in attacks against major organizations like hospitals, media outlets, and even government agencies.

One of the things that make Bad Rabbit so dangerous is that it uses “drive-by” attacks to infect victims. This means that all you have to do is visit an infected website and your computer will automatically get infected. And once your computer is infected, the ransomware will start encrypting your files right away.

NotPetya

On June 27, 2017, a major ransomware attack known as NotPetya began spreading rapidly throughout Ukraine and quickly spread to other countries. The attack caused widespread damage, with many organizations losing critical data and systems. Despite the damage caused, the number of ransomware attacks has been declining in recent years.

Locky

According to a recent report from Symantec, the Locky ransomware attack happened an average of 4,000 times per day in 2016. That’s a staggering increase from the mere 400 attacks that occurred daily in 2015. And it’s not just businesses that are at risk – individuals are also being targeted by these sophisticated cyber criminals

Sodinokibi (REvil)

According to a recent blog post by cybersecurity firm Symantec, the Sodinokibi (also known as REvil) ransomware has been on the rise as of late, with a significant uptick in attacks being observed in the past few months. The blog post notes that this particular strain of ransomware has been targeting both individual users and businesses to extort money from its victims. In many cases, the attackers behind Sodinokibi are reportedly using sophisticated social engineering techniques to trick victims into clicking on malicious links or opening malicious attachments, which can then lead to the ransomware being installed on the victim’s system.

Once installed, Sodinokibi will begin encrypting files on the infected system and will also attempt to gain access to any connected network shares. The attackers will then demand a ransom from the victim in exchange for decrypting their files. The blog post notes that the average ransom demanded by Sodinokibi attackers is currently around $12,000, although some victims have reportedly been asked to pay much more.

While Symantec’s blog post doesn’t provide any specific numbers on how often Sodinokibi attacks are happening, it’s clear that this particular strain of ransomware is becoming increasingly prevalent.

CryptoLocker

CryptoLocker is a type of ransomware that encrypts files on your computer, making them impossible to open unless you pay a ransom. This malware is usually spread through email attachments or fake websites that look legitimate. Once your computer is infected, you have a limited time to pay the ransom before your files are permanently encrypted.

SamSam

According to a report from Symantec, the SamSam ransomware attack occurred an average of once every 24 hours in 2018. That’s up from an average of once every two hours in 2017. In total, there were more than 5,000 SamSam attacks in 2018, which is a 250% increase from the year before.

One of the best ways to protect against a SamSam attack is to have good backups in place. This way, if your organization is hit by this ransomware, you will be able to restore your data from a backup and avoid having to pay the ransom.

Ryuk ransomware

According to a recent study, ransomware attacks are happening more and more often. They’ve become so common that one type of ransomware, called Ryuk, has even been given its nickname: “The Apocalypse Ransomware.”

Ransomware attacks are becoming increasingly common, with Ryuk ransomware being one of the most prevalent strains. According to a recent report, Ryuk ransomware was responsible for nearly $150 million in damages in the first half of 2019 alone. While businesses of all sizes are at risk of a ransomware attack, smaller businesses are often the most vulnerable. This is because they typically lack the resources and expertise to effectively defend against these types of attacks.

Conclusion

As we continue to move across the internet, more and more organizations are being targeted by ransomware. This type of attack encrypts all the data on a victim’s computer, then demands payment for the attacker to release the encryption key. If your organization is unlucky enough to be targeted by ransomware, you must take steps to protect yourself and your data.

Is Office 365 Safe from Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks users’ computer files and demands a payment from the user to release them. Recently, ransomware has become more common, with multiple high-profile attacks hitting victims across the globe. While most people are familiar with the idea of ransomware, many may not know that office 365 is also susceptible to this type of attack.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and then demands a ransom payment from you to decrypt it.

Ransomware encrypts your data using strong encryption methods. Once it has encrypted your data, the ransomware will typically demand a ransom payment from you to decrypt it.

Security threats that businesses must be aware of

One of the most common office security threats is ransomware. This is a type of malware that encrypts files on a computer and then demands payment from the victim to release the files. In recent years, ransomware has become increasingly common, as it is an effective way to steal money from businesses.

Another common office security threat is hacking. Businesses must constantly monitor their computer systems for signs of hacking, as this can lead to theft of confidential information or even loss of data. Hackers may also use hacking to gain access to corporate servers, which could give them access to sensitive information.

Businesses must also be aware of scammers trying to steal their money. Scammers may call businesses claiming to be from the IRS or another government agency, and demand payment to avoid prosecution. They may also try to sell fraudulent goods or services to businesses.

By taking precautions against these various office security threats, businesses can protect their data and finances from harm.

How to prevent ransomware from affecting your business?

There are several ways that ransomware can infect your computer. One way is through a malicious email attachment. Another way is by clicking on a malicious link in an online message.

Once ransomware is installed on your computer, it will start encrypting your files. This means that the malware will change the file’s encryption code so that only the ransomware program can read it.

The easiest way to protect yourself from ransomware is to make sure that you have up-to-date antivirus software and firewall protection. You should also avoid opening suspicious emails or links, and always keep your computer clean and free of viruses.

One of the most common ways that ransomware affects businesses is by encrypting data on the computer. To prevent this from happening, you can protect your business against ransomware by using a good security strategy. You can also protect your business against ransomware by keeping up with the latest threats and updates.

Don’t open suspicious attachments or links. Even if you know you should always trust email from your friends and family, don’t let yourself be fooled by thieves. Always be suspicious of anything that comes your way, and don’t open any attachment or link unless you know for sure it’s safe.

Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a cloud-based office suite that provides users with a variety of features, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, email, collaboration, file sharing, and video conferencing. It is available on several devices, including desktop PCs, tablets, phones, and even TVs. Office 365 is subscription-based and offers a variety of plans to suit everyone’s needs.

Benefits of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 provides many benefits, including the protection of your data from ransomware.

Microsoft Office 365 offers several security features that can help to protect your data from ransomware attacks. These features include Windows Defender Antivirus, Enhanced Protection for Business (EPB), and Advanced Threat Protection (ATP).

Microsoft Office 365 has several features that make it a great choice for businesses. First, it is highly secure. Microsoft office 365 uses encryption to protect your data from unauthorized access. Additionally, it has anti-spy features that help to keep your data safe from third-party snooping.

Microsoft Office 365 also offers several other benefits that make it a great choice for businesses. For example, it offers global collaboration capabilities so you can work with colleagues across the globe. It also has mobile app support so you can access your documents from anywhere.

If you are looking for a secure way to store your data and protect it from ransomware, then Microsoft Office 365 is a great option.

Disadvantages of Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft Office 365 is a popular office suite that is available as a subscription service. However, there are some disadvantages to using this software.

One disadvantage of Microsoft Office 365 is that it is vulnerable to ransomware. This means that hackers can infect your computer with a virus that encrypts your data and demands payment to release it.

If you are using Microsoft Office 365, be sure to keep up to date on security patches and antivirus software. Additionally, make sure that you do not store any important files on your computer that are not backed up.

How can a cybercriminal possibly infect your computer with ransomware using Office 365?

Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to infect computers with ransomware. One way that they may do this is by using infected documents that are created using popular office programs, such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

When you open an infected document, the cybercriminal will be able to install ransomware on your computer. Ransomware is a type of malware that can encrypt files on your computer and demand money from you to decrypt them.

If you are using Office 365, make sure that you are using the latest security updates and antivirus software. You can also try to install security software such as the Windows Defender Antivirus.

If you have been impacted by ransomware, do not panic. There are many steps that you can take to restore your computer to its normal state. Above all, avoid paying the ransom request!

How does Microsoft Office 365 help in preventing ransomware attacks?

Microsoft Office 365 provides users with a variety of security features that can help to protect them from ransomware attacks. One of the most important features of Office 365 is the ability to encrypt files before they are stored on the server. This helps to prevent attackers from being able to access the files if they are infected with ransomware.

Another important feature of Office 365 is the ability to create secure passwords. This helps to ensure that users are not vulnerable to password theft if their computer is hacked.

Finally, Office 365 provides users with security updates and alert notifications. This ensures that they are always aware of any new threats that may be affecting their computers.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that ransomware is on the rise, and it seems to be hitting businesses harder than ever before. That’s because ransomware is a very effective way to make money. It works by encrypting data on a computer, then demanding a ransom (in bitcoin, of course) for the information.

Of course, office 365 is not immune to ransomware attacks. They’re one of the most common targets. But there are some things you can do to protect yourself from this type of attack. First and foremost, always keep up-to-date with security patches and software updates. Second, create strong passwords for all your accounts and use different passwords for different accounts. Third, back up your data regularly (and store it offline if possible). And finally, contact your IT team immediately if you notice any unusual activity on your network or computers – ransomware can spread quickly through networks if left unchecked.

How to Create Your Own Ransomware Password

There is no worse feeling as an owner of a computer than knowing that that all of your personal data and financial information have been stolen, whether it’s by some random hacker, or even by yourself. For this reason, ransomware passwords became a big trend for many years now, yet who can remember those complicated passwords right?

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is malware that locks down your computer and asks for a ransom, in the form of either payment either in currency or in Bitcoin, in order to release the user. Victims can have their files deleted if they do not pay within a certain time frame. It’s important to be aware of this type of malware because it is becoming increasingly popular, and because it often targets people who are unfamiliar with security settings and file protection.

Encrypting ransomware encrypts all the data on the victim’s computer, making it unreadable unless they pay the ransom. Decryption ransomware asks the victim to pay a ransom in order to have their data decrypted. The difference between the two types of ransomware is that encrypting ransomware destroys data if the victim doesn’t pay the ransom, while decryption ransomware only asks for money and leave the data intact.

Why do people get ransomware?

There are a few reasons why someone might get ransomware: they may have inadvertently downloaded malicious software; their device may have been hacked; or their computer may simply be vulnerable to attacks by bad actors.

If you have recently been affected by ransomware, there are a few things you can do to make sure you are safe.

First, make sure that your computer is properly backed up and that you have a recovery plan in place.

Second, be vigilant when opening unexpected emails and files. If you think you might have been infected, don’t open the attachment or file – instead, contact your IT department or antivirus software vendor to determine if your computer has been affected and how to clean it.

How to create your own ransomware password?

When it comes to personal information and internet security, it is always important to take precautions. However, even with the most careful password management practices, it is possible for hackers to steal your login credentials and use them to access your personal information or resources online. Here are five ways that hackers can steal your login credentials:

1. Hacking into your account: If someone has access to your computer or account, they can easily steal your login credentials and use them to access your account. Make sure you are using a secure password and never leave your login information exposed on public webpages or in text messages.

2. Snooping through email: If thieves can gain access to your email account, they can see any passwords or login information you have stored in the email account’s message content.

3. Poking around in social media accounts: Many people store their login information for various social media accounts inside their profiles on those platforms. If an attacker obtains access to your social media profile, they could potentially extract your login information and use it to gain access to those accounts.

4. Phishing: In this type of attack , the perpetrators attempt to trick innocent users into performing an unauthorized action by impersonating a legitimate website, sending you what appears to be a legitimate message from them (such as a request for your login information), or claiming that they have obtained your personal information and are unlawfully using it. Don’t rely on sites or emails asking you to reveal sensitive information – don’t reveal such information. Keep your systems and procedures secure.

Why do people need ransomware password?

Ransomware password is a password that encrypts files on the computer if it is not entered correctly 10 times in a row. This means that once someone has your ransomware password, they can access all of your files even if you have a secure lock on them.

If your computer crashes or gets robbed, you’ll want to be sure to keep your ransom password safe. Ransomware passwords are specially designed to protect your files from being encrypted if you don’t input it correctly ten times in a row. In other words, even if someone steals or hacks your computer, they won’t be able to decrypt your files unless they know your ransom password.

Simply make sure that the password is at least six characters long and includes at least one number and one letter.

You might need ransomware password if:

-Your computer’s operating system is not up to date and you don’t have an ISO image or disc handy to restore your installation

-You misplaced your original Windows installation media and don’t have a backup

-You accidentally deleted your personal data files without backing them up

-You misconfigured your system without backing up

Those of you who have been downloading files through sites like torrent are likely to fall victim to ransomware. Most of the times, the user on those websites is unaware that what he’s doing and at the same time has no way to contact law enforcement authorities in case some issues arise.

So here’s what to do:

Back up all your computer files before anything else! If a system partition, turn off any security software or drive locks altogether and back-up THOSE BACKUP FILES as well. Restore them in a sheltered location to prevent these malicious items from getting installed or deleting important files or pictures.

The process of creating a new ransomware password

Password management tools make it easy to create strong but simple passwords for all of your personal accounts. And there’s no need to remember anything as long as you use the same password for all of your services. However, if you want to create a different ransomware password for each of your important files, that’s perfectly okay too.

If you’re ever a victim of ransomware, the first thing you’ll want to do is create a new password. This is essential in order to prevent the virus from gaining access to your computer files. Follow these simple steps to create your new ransomware password:

1. Create a unique password for each account you use on your computer. This includes not only your email and online banking passwords, but also your ransomware password.

2. Store your new ransomware password in a safe place. You never know when it might come in handy!

Tips and tricks when creating a ransomware password

Most people create passwords using easily guessed words or cumbersome combinations of letters and numbers. To make sure your ransomware password is safe-

Create a memorable password – make it easy for you to remember, but difficult for others to guess. Don’t use easily guessed words like “password” or easy-to-guess personal information like your birthdate. Instead, come up with a creative combination of letters, numbers and symbols that represent something significant to you (a favorite movie quote, your dog’s name, etc.).

Conclusion

If you’re like most computer users, you probably rely on passwords to protect your information. But what if you need to delete or change your password, and don’t have the original handy? Or what if you accidentally pick a weak password that’s easy to guess?

Ransomware has become an increasing problem in the past few years, with cybercriminals commonly using it to hold machines’ of users hostage until they pay a ransom.

Once you’ve created the perfect ransom password, be sure to store it securely so that even if your computer is stolen or infected with ransomware, your data will still be safe.

THE COMPLETE CHECKLIST OF CLOUD SECURITY BEST PRACTICES

Cloud computing has become a popular choice for organizations of all sizes and industries, with many benefits to offer. But not all the risks are immediately visible, and it can take some time to discover that they’ve been compromised. In this blog post, you will find best practices for ensuring cloud security so that your organization can avoid these risks and maintain maximum uptime. In this post, we’ll take a look at the most important cloud security practices. These are things that you should think about before taking your business into the cloud or updating your current security practices with new ones. Let’s dive in!

Why is it important to protect your data?

It is important to protect your data because otherwise it may be lost or stolen. The most common ways that data is stolen or lost include hacking (especially if the company doesn’t use strong passwords), wiping (data is deleted on a hard drive or in the cloud), and intercepting network traffic. There are many best practices to help prevent this, such as using strong passwords, keeping devices updated, and encrypting communications.

What are common threats to cloud computing?

One of the most common threats to cloud computing is hackers. To protect against this, you should always use strong passwords and update them regularly. You’ll also want to make sure to change your password if you happen to get hacked. Another common threat is malware. It’s important to scan your computer before connecting it to any public network, especially a public Wi-Fi network at an airport or coffee shop. You should also avoid websites that might have viruses or malicious software and don’t download anything from unknown sources.

A virtual private network (VPN) can help keep you safe. VPNs encrypt all of the data that you transmit, even though it will be transmitted across a public network. This means that your information is safe from hackers while you’re using public networks like Wi-Fi hotspots from places like Starbucks or airports. Finally, it’s important to back up your data regularly so nothing gets lost in case something happens with the cloud system for some reason and there’s been no recent backup.

What should I look for in a provider of cloud storage?

One of the most important parts of selecting a cloud storage provider is looking at the level of encryption that they offer. You want to choose a provider that has either AES 256-bit or AES 128-bit encryption. This ensures that your data is safe and protected. Another important part of selecting a cloud storage provider is looking at their security record. You want to find someone with a long history of protecting data, not breaching it. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your information is secure in their hands.

What are the best cloud security practices?

There are many different best practices for the security of a cloud. One such practice is to be selective about what data you store in the cloud. If you have sensitive data that isn’t necessary to store in the cloud, then this shouldn’t be done. The reason for this is because there’s no encryption with some public clouds and it can be accessed by anyone who finds it. Storing all of your info on a public cloud will give hackers access to everything and anything they want; so it’s best to leave out sensitive information that doesn’t need to be stored there.

Following is a checklist to practice to ensure cloud security:

First: Know your data

Many factors come into play when setting up a cloud. The first step is to know your data. You should be able to recognize what types of files you’re storing and what their purpose is. If you want to understand the data better, it’s best to ensure that you can restore everything in the event of a disaster. It’s also important to make sure that your backup strategy is comprehensive and in place.

  1. Identify data – it is important to know which data is important or sensitive and which are regulated data. Since it is data that is at risk of being stolen, it is necessary to know how data are stored.
  2. Tracking data – see, how are your data transferred or shared, who has access to them, and most importantly know where your data is being shared.

Second: Know your cloud network

A cloud network is a shared resource that all employees use. The issue with this type of resource is that it could be accessed and modified by many people at once, which makes it vulnerable to attacks. To mitigate this risk, your company should have a complete checklist of best practices for securing the cloud network.

  1. Check for unknown cloud users – check for the cloud services that are being used without your knowledge. Sometimes employees convert files online which can be risky.
  2. Be thorough with your IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) – several critical settings can create a weakness for your company if misconfigured. Change the settings according to your preference or opt for a customized cloud service.
  3. Prevent data to be shared with unknown and unmanaged devices – one way, is to block downloads for a personal phone which will prevent a blind spot in your security posture.

Third: Know your employees

When it comes to securing your company’s data, there are a few things you should know about your employees. What kind of devices do they use? What kinds of passwords are they given? Do they have access to any systems that would compromise your business? If you don’t know these things, you should start asking them questions before the next big cyber-attack hits. Basic employee checks can help you identify threats before they become a problem.

  1. Look for malicious behavior – cyberattacks can be created by both your employees and cyber-hackers.
  2. Limit sharing of data – control how data should be shared once it enters the cloud. To start, set users or groups to viewer or editor and what data can be accessed by them.

Fourth: Train employees

Companies should provide their employees with a checklist of cloud security best practices that they should follow for the company to be compliant. This will allow employees to know what steps need to be taken and what risks they may face when using cloud services. If a company has its servers, then it needs to ensure that all passwords are changed regularly, and records of passwords are stored securely. It is also important for companies to implement strong authentication methods on their cloud systems for them to know if an employee is accessing the system legitimately.

For an employee who is storing data in the cloud, it’s important to understand that there are many security risks involved. For example, malware attacks can occur if employees use public or untrusted Wi-Fi networks to connect their devices to the internet. Gaining access to company information is also possible. To solve these problems, companies should train their staff on how to secure cloud storage and communicate those procedures throughout the organization.

Fifth: You should be trained to secure cloud storage

The important thing to keep in mind is that managing your security is just as important as securing your company’s data. You should always train yourself to secure cloud storage and make sure that you have a good password for all of the online sites where you store or download data. You should be trained to understand and notice any changes in your data. This will also help you to make quick decisions in an emergency.

Sixth: Take precautions to secure your cloud storage

  1. Apply to data protection policies – policies will help in governing the different types of data. This will erase data, move data depending on the type of data, and if required coach users if a policy is broken.
  • Encrypting data – it will prevent outsiders to have access to the data except for cloud services providers who still have the encryption keys. This way, you will get full control access.
  • Have advanced malware protection – you are responsible for securing your OS, applications, and network traffic in an IaaS environment. That is why having malware protection is necessary to protect your infrastructure.
  • Remove malware – it is possible to have malware through shared folders that sync automatically with cloud storage services. That is why regular checks for malware and other viruses.
  • Add another layer of verification to sensitive data – it will only be known to authorized personnel.
  • Updating policies and security software – outdated software will provide less protection to your data compared to your advanced software.

Conclusion

The conclusion is to review the checklist for best practices and then have a conversation with your IT team about your cloud security structure. Many benefits of cloud computing make it worth considering.

 But also, as with any new technology, think through your security concerns before you go and make sure you’re not exposing yourself.

HOW IS BLOCKCHAIN DISRUPTING THE CLOUD STORAGE INDUSTRY?

What is blockchain and why people are using it?

It is a distributed database shared through nodes of a computer network. Blockchain helps to store the information electronically in a digital format. Blockchain is known for being used in cryptocurrency systems, such as Bitcoin. It helps in creating a secure and decentralized record of transactions.

Blockchain claims to guarantee the fidelity and security of the recorded data and trust without involving a trusted third party.

In the blockchain, data is stored in sets known as blocks holding sets of information. These blocks have a fixed amount of storage capacity and are closely linked with the previous block, therefore, forming a blockchain. When new information needs to be recorded, a new block is formed and after the information has been recorded, the block gets added to the chain.

Traditionally in databases, data are recorded in tables whereas, in blockchain, databases are formed into blocks. Each block creates a timestamp in the data structure. When a block is added to the chain, as a result, it creates a fixed timeline of data result, data structure creates an irreversible timeline of data which becomes fixed in the timeline. 

Blockchain is preferred due to various reasons. 

Blockchain is used in transactional fields, being approved by thousands of computers. This helps in eliminating human involvement. Blockchain doesn’t require to have the verification process done by a human. Even if a mistake, due to being separate blocks, the error will not spread out.

Just like eliminating the need for humans to verify, similarly, blockchain removes any need for a trusted third-party verification and thus eliminates the cost that comes with it. When doing the payment, payment processing companies incur a charge but blockchain helps in eliminating them as well.

Information stored in the blockchain is not located in its central location. Information is spread throughout various computers. This step reduces the chances of losing data since if a copy of the blockchain is breached then only a single copy of the information will be with the cyber attackers and the whole network will not be compromised.

Blockchain provides quick deposits all day and every day. This is helpful if money needs to be transferred or deposited to a bank in different time zones. 

Blockchain networks are confidential networks and not just anonymous. When transactions are made using blockchain, a person with the internet can view the list of transaction history but the person will not be able to access any information about the use nor can the user be identified. 

To store in blockchain about the transaction, a unique key or a public key is added to the blockchain on behalf of the transaction detail recorded in the blockchain.

After the transactions are recorded, they need to get verified by the blockchain network. When information is verified by the blockchain network then the information gets added to the blockchain. 

Most blockchain is entirely open-source software. This means it can be accessed by anyone and can be viewed by anyone which enables to review of cryptocurrencies. Thus, there is no hidden information about who controls Bitcoin or how is it edited. Hence, anybody can suggest new changes, and later on, if companies accept the idea, then the idea will be updated.

Several types of industries have started adopting blockchain in their companies. 

What is cloud storage and why do people use it?

Cloud storage help businesses and consumers to have a secure online place to store data. Having data online allows the user to access the data from any location and also the data can be shared with those who have the authorization to access it. Cloud storage also helps to back up data so that data can be recovered even from an off-site location.

Having access to cloud services allows the user to have upgraded subscription packages which will allow the user to have access to large storage sizes and additional cloud services.

Using cloud storage helps businesses to eliminate the need to buy data storage infrastructure which will help the company to have more space on the premises. Having cloud infrastructure eliminates the requirement to maintain the cloud infrastructure in the premises since cloud infrastructure will be maintained by the cloud service provider. The cloud servers will help companies to up their storage capacity whenever required just by changing the subscription plan. 

Cloud enables its users to collaborate with their colleagues which means that the users can work remotely and even after or before business hours. This is because users can access files anytime if they are authorized to. Cloud servers can be accessed with mobile data as well therefore using cloud storage to store files will bring a positive effect on the environment since there will be less consumption of energy.

Therefore, by eliminating the need to have employees for the on-premises data center, the company can employ for the tasks which have higher priorities.

Cloud computing provides various services such as 

  • Infrastructure as a Service,
  • Platform as a Service,
  • Software as a Service.

Difference between blockchain and cloud storage?

Where data can be accessed through the cloud anytime, in blockchain, it uses different styles of encryption along with hash to store data in protected databases. 

In the cloud, storage data are mutable whereas, in blockchain technology, data are not mutable. 

Cloud storage provides services in three formats and in blockchain it eliminates the need to use a trusted third party.

Cloud computing is centralized which means that all the data are stored in the company’s centralized set of data centers where blockchain follows decentralization.

A user can choose their data to be either public or private or a combination of both but in blockchain, its main feature is providing transparency of data.

Cloud computing follows the traditional method of database structure data stored will reside in the machines involving participants. Whereas, blockchain claims to be incorruptible where online data registry is reliable with various transactions. This states that participants using blockchain technology can alter the data by taking necessary approval from each party involved in the transaction.

Following are the companies which provide cloud computing services:

Google, IBM, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, and Alibaba Cloud.

Following are the projects which use blockchain technology:

Ethereum, Bitcoin, Hyperledger Fabric, and Quorum.

How is blockchain disrupting the cloud storage industry?

Mainly why blockchain is moving ahead with progress and is getting more preference is due to the fact that it is more secure due to the elimination of trusted third parties. Also keeping the data in a decentralized manner also makes the blockchain technology more secure. Not to forget that data gets secured in a block thus, cyber attackers can’t access the whole chain of data since they are separated and need different unique keys. Therefore, blockchain is less vulnerable to attackers and there is reduced systematic damage and widespread data loss. 

Also, it is next to impossible if someone wants to alter the data since the transactions are governed by a code and it is not controlled by a third party. 

Many companies have jumped to providing blockchain services along with their cloud services. That is because providing blockchain services cost less expensive as many small organizations collaborate and provide the shared computing power and space to store data. 

Following are some companies that are using blockchain technology, as per 101Blockchains:

Unilever, Ford, FDA, DHL, AIA Group, MetLife, American International Group, etc.

Salesforce has launched Salesforce Blockchain which is built on CRM software. 

Storj provides blockchain technology services enabled with cloud storage networks which help in facilitating better security and lowering the cost of transactions for storing information in the cloud.

533 Million Facebook Users Data Breached


Facebook is by far the largest and most popular social media platform used today. With 2.8 billion users and .84 billion daily active users, it controls nearly 59% of the social media market. With that many users, one can only imagine the amount of data produced and collected by Facebook every second. A majority of the data collected is personal information on its users. The social tech platform collects its user’s names, birthdays, phone numbers, email addresses, locations, and in some cases photo IDs. All of this information can be maliciously used if it got into the wrong hands, which is why numerous people are worried about the latest Facebook data breach. 

Microsoft Exchange Server Hack – Everything You Should Know



What happened with the Facebook Data Leak?

The most recent Facebook data leak was exposed by a user in a low-level hacking forum who published the phone numbers and personal data of hundreds of millions of Facebook users for free. The exposed data includes the personal information of over 533 million Facebook users from 106 countries. The leaked data contains phone numbers, Facebook IDs, full names, locations, birthdates, bios, and, in some cases, email addresses.

The leak was discovered in January when a user in the same hacking forum advertised an automated bot that could provide phone numbers for hundreds of millions of Facebook users for a price. A Facebook spokesperson is claiming that the data was scraped because of a vulnerability that the company patched in 2019. Data scraping is a technique in which a computer program extracts data from human-readable output coming from another program. The vulnerability uncovered in 2019 allowed millions of phone numbers to be scraped from Facebook’s servers in violation of its terms of service. Facebook said that vulnerability was patched in August 2019.

However, the scraped data has now been posted on the hacking forum for free, making it available to anyone with basic data skills. The leaked data could be priceless to cybercriminals who use people’s personal information to impersonate them or scam them into handing over login credentials.

Who’s Running on AWS – Featuring Twitter



What caused the Facebook data breach?

When Facebook was made aware of the data exposed on the hacking forum, they were quick to say that the data is old from a break that occurred in 2019. Basically, they’re saying this is nothing new, the data has been out there for some time now and they patched the vulnerability in their system. In fact, the data, which first surfaced back in 2019, came from a breach that Facebook did not disclose in any significant detail at the time. Facebook never really let this data breach be publicly known. 

Uncertainty with Facebook’s explanation comes from the fact that they had a number of breaches and exposures from where the data could have come from. Here is a list of recent Facebook “data leaks” in recent years:

  • April 2019 – 540 million records exposed by a third party and disclosed by the security firm UpGuard
  • September 2019 – 419 million Facebook user records scraped from the social network by bad actors before a 2018 Facebook policy change
  • 2018 – Cambridge Analytica third-party data sharing scandal
  • 2018 – Facebook data breach that compromised access tokens and virtually all personal data from about 30 million users

Facebook eventually explained that the most recent data exploit of 533 million user accounts is a different data set that attackers created by abusing a flaw in a Facebook address book contacts import feature. Facebook says it patched the weak point in August 2019, but it’s uncertain how many times the bug was exploited before then.



How can you find out if your personal information is part of the Facebook breach?

With so much personal information on social media today, you’d expect the tech giants to have a strong grip on their data security measures. With the latest Facebook breach, a large amount of data was exposed including full names, birthdays, phone numbers, and locations. Facebook says that the data leak originated from an issue in 2019, which has since been fixed. Regardless, there’s no way to reclaim that data. A third-party website, haveibeenpwned.com, makes it easy to check if you’re data was part of the leaked information. Simply, input your email to find out.  Though 533 million Facebook accounts were included in the breach, only 2.5 million of those included emails in the stolen data. That means you’ve got less than a half-percent chance of showing up on that website. Although this data is from 2019, it could still be of value to hackers and cybercriminals like those who take part in identity theft. This should serve as a reminder to not share any personal information on social media that you don’t want a stranger to see.



Open Source Software

Open-source Software (OSS)

Open-source software often referred to as (OSS), is a type of computer software in which source code is released under a license. The copyright holder of the software grants users the rights to use, study, change and distribute the software as they choose. Originating from the context of software development, the term open-source describes something people can modify and share because its design is publicly accessible. Nowadays, “open-source” indicates a wider set of values known as “the open-source way.” Open-source projects or initiatives support and observe standards of open exchange, mutual contribution, transparency, and community-oriented development.

What is the source code of OSS?

The source code associated with open-source software is the part of the software that most users don’t ever see. The source code refers to the code that the computer programmers can modify to change how the software works. Programmers who have access to the source code can develop that program by adding features to it or fix bugs that don’t allow the software to work correctly.

If you’re going to use OSS, you may want to consider also using a VPN. Here are our top picks for VPNs in 2021.

Examples of Open-source Software

For the software to be considered open-source, its source code must be freely available to its users. This allows its users the ability to modify it and distribute their versions of the program. The users also have the power to give out as many copies of the original program as they want. Anyone can use the program for any purpose; there are no licensing fees or other restrictions on the software. 

Linux is a great example of an open-source operating system. Anyone can download Linux, create as many copies as they want, and offer them to friends. Linux can be installed on an infinite number of computers. Users with more knowledge of program development can download the source code for Linux and modify it, creating their customized version of that program. 

Below is a list of the top 10 open-source software programs available in 2021.

  1. LibreOffice
  2. VLC Media Player
  3. GIMP
  4. Shotcut
  5. Brave
  6. Audacity
  7. KeePass
  8. Thunderbird
  9. FileZilla
  10. Linux

Setting up Linux on a server? Find the best server for your needs with our top 5.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open-source Software

Similar to any other software on the market, open-source software has its pros and cons. Open-source software is typically easier to get than proprietary software, resulting in increased use. It has also helped to build developer loyalty as developers feel empowered and have a sense of ownership of the end product. 

Open-source software is usually a more flexible technology, quicker to innovation, and more reliable due to the thousands of independent programmers testing and fixing bugs of the software on a 24/7 basis. It is said to be more flexible because modular systems allow programmers to build custom interfaces or add new abilities to them. The quicker innovation of open-source programs is the result of teamwork among a large number of different programmers. Furthermore, open-source is not reliant on the company or author that originally created it. Even if the company fails, the code continues to exist and be developed by its users. 

Also, lower costs of marketing and logistical services are needed for open-source software. It is a great tool to boost a company’s image, including its commercial products. The OSS development approach has helped produce reliable, high-quality software quickly and at a bargain price. A 2008 report by the Standish Group stated that the adoption of open-source software models has resulted in savings of about $60 billion per year for consumers. 

On the flip side, an open-source software development process may lack well-defined stages that are usually needed. These stages include system testing and documentation, both of which may be ignored. Skipping these stages has mainly been true for small projects. Larger projects are known to define and impose at least some of the stages as they are a necessity of teamwork. 

Not all OSS projects have been successful either. For example, SourceXchange and Eazel both failed miserably. It is also difficult to create a financially strong business model around the open-source concept. Only technical requirements may be satisfied and not the ones needed for market profitability. Regarding security, open-source may allow hackers to know about the weaknesses or gaps of the software more easily than closed source software. 

Benefits for Users of OSS

The most obvious benefit of open-source software is that it can be used for free. Let’s use the example of Linux above. Unlike Windows, users can install or distribute as many copies of Linux as they want, with limitations. Installing Linux for free can be especially useful for servers. If a user wants to set up a virtualized cluster of servers, they can easily duplicate a single Linux server. They don’t have to worry about licensing and how many requests of Linux they’re authorized to operate.

An open-source program is also more flexible, allowing users to modify their own version to an interface that works for them. When a Linux desktop introduces a new desktop interface that some users aren’t supporters of, they can modify it to their liking. Open-source software also allows developers to “be their own creator” and design their software. Did you know that Witness Android and Chrome OS, are operating systems built on Linux and other open-source software? The core of Apple’s OS X was built on open-source code, too. When users can manipulate the source code and develop software tailored to their needs, the possibilities are truly endless.

Malvertising Simply Explained

What is Malvertising?

Malvertising (a combination of the two words “malicious and advertising”) is a type of cyber tactic that attempts to spread malware through online advertisements. This malicious attack typically involves injecting malicious or malware-laden advertisements into legitimate online advertising networks and websites. The code then redirects users to malicious websites, allowing hackers to target the users. In the past, reputable websites such as The New York Times Online, The London Stock Exchange, Spotify, and The Atlantic, have been victims of malvertising. Due to the advertising content being implanted into high-profile and reputable websites, malvertising provides cybercriminals a way to push their attacks to web users who might not otherwise see the ads because of firewalls or malware protection.

Online advertising can be a pivotal source of income for websites and internet properties. With such high demand, online networks have become extensive in to reach large online audiences. The online advertising network involves publisher sites, ad exchanges, ad servers, retargeting networks, and content delivery networks.  Malvertising takes advantage of these pathways and uses them as a dangerous tool that requires little input from its victims.

Protect your business’s data by setting up a zero-trust network. Find out how by reading the blog.

How Does Malvertising Get Online?

There are several approaches a cybercriminal might use, but the result is to get the user to download malware or direct the user to a malicious server. The most common strategy is to submit malicious ads to third-party online ad vendors. If the vendor approves the ad, the seemingly innocent ad will get served through any number of sites the vendor is working with. Online vendors are aware of malvertising and actively working to prevent it. That is why it’s important to only work with trustworthy, reliable vendors for any online ad services.

What is the Difference Between Malvertising and Adware?

As expected, Malvertising can sometimes be confused with adware. Where Malvertising is malicious code intentionally placed in ads, adware is a program that runs on a user’s computer. Adware is usually installed hidden inside a package that also contains legitimate software or lands on the machine without the knowledge of the user. Adware displays unwanted advertising, redirects search requests to advertising websites, and mines data about the user to help target or serve advertisements.

Some major differences between malvertising and adware include:

  • Malvertising is a form of malicious code deployed on a publisher’s web page, whereas adware is only used to target individual users.
  • Malvertising only affects users viewing an infected webpage, while Adware operates continuously on a user’s computer.

Solarwinds was the biggest hack of 2020. Learn more about how you may have been affected.

What Are Some Examples of Malvertising?

The problem with malvertising is that it is so difficult to spot. Frequently circulated by the ad networks we trust, companies like Spotify and Forbes have both suffered as a result of malvertising campaigns that infected their users and visitors with malware. Some more recent examples of malvertising are RoughTed and KS Clean. A malvertising campaign first reported in 2017, RoughTed was particularly significant because it was able to bypass ad-blockers. It was also able to evade many anti-virus protection programs by dynamically creating new URLs. This made it harder to track and deny access to the malicious domains it was using to spread itself.

Disguised as malicious adware contained or hidden within a real mobile app, KS Clean targeted victims through malvertising ads that would download malware the moment a user clicked on an ad. The malware would silently download in the background.  The only indication that anything was off was an alert appearing on the user’s mobile device saying they had a security issue, prompting the user to upgrade the app to solve the problem. When the user clicks on ‘OK’, the installation finishes, and the malware is given administrative privileges. These administrative privileges permitted the malware to drive unlimited pop-up ads on the user’s phone, making them almost impossible to disable or uninstall.

How Can Users Prevent Malvertising?

While organizations should always take a strong position against any instances of unwarranted attacks, malvertising should high on the priority list for advertising channels. Having a network traffic analysis in the firewall can help to identify suspicious activity before malware has a chance to infect the user.  

Some other tips for preventing malvertising attacks include the following:

  • Employee training is the best way to form a proactive company culture that is aware of cyber threats and the latest best practices for preventing them. 
  • Keep all systems and software updated to include the latest patches and safest version.
  • Only work with trustworthy, reliable online advertising vendors.
  • Use online ad-blockers to help prevent malicious pop-up ads from opening a malware download.
Scroll to top