In What Ways Does Global Shortage of Cybersecurity Specialists Cost Businesses?

Businesses face difficulties when it comes to hiring the right specialists to help them protect their networks from growing hacks and attacks. When surveyed, IT professionals said that lack of cybersecurity specialists was their most important challenge. In addition, the World Economic Forum ranked cybersecurity as one of the “top risks to stability in the world” in its 2019 list.

This lack of cybersecurity could cost mid-sized organizations and enterprises greatly. After 2017’s WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware attacks, the threat of being victimized on the cyber scene has increased considerably, with over 4 billion records being compromised in data breaches. These attacks cost each organization an average of 3.86 million dollars. Large-scale breaches cost up to 350 million dollars (according to the Ponemon Institute).

As per the cybersecurity organization “ISC2”, there is a 3 million security experts shortage in the world, the most identified in Asia, with the region having 2.15 million vacancies. There is a lack of trained professionals to fill an array of essential cybersecurity roles, like intrusion analysis, security education, and threat and incident and risk management.

The Danger of Mistakes

Mistakes made by office staff also expose businesses to bigger risk nowadays. Deceitful phishing scams and suspicious e-mail attachments are at the top of the list, allowing hackers to get unauthorized access to computer networks. What swings the door open to cyber attackers is a lack of security experts to alert office staff of these scam tactics, as well as train them to identify them and avoid them.

The increase in the number of hacking attacks over the last decade is also one of the main risks for businesses. The ever-growing number of networks, as well as the use of cloud services, are music to the ears of many cyber criminals. Originally, cyberattacks were initiatives of individuals and amateurs, but now have increasingly become the result of state-sponsored cyber criminals, cyber-gangs, or even anarchists. Consequently, businesses trying to react effectively to these growing trends have been employing more and more cybersecurity professionals.

Training is a Solution

Of course, the shortage points to one obvious aspect of the issue: lack of adequate education to encourage people to think about cybersecurity as a career option. It is one of the popular fields for youngsters, but most of them are drawn to roles of app designers and developers because those have more glamour attached to them.

However, many initiatives are underway to address this issue. Thankfully, salaries for cybersecurity specialists are on the rise because their shortage makes them more sought-after. Supporting schools to pass on knowledge about prospects in the field is part of a good long-term strategy, which may yet produce positive outputs.

All you Want to Know about Cryptojacking

The act of any hacker taking advantage of your system resources using malicious software, and effectively posing a threat to you, can basically be called cryptojacking. Meanwhile, cryptocurrency is what is mined from a computer secretly and without authorization, by means of cryptojacking.

While working on computers, you may have undetected software getting installed in there without your knowledge, much the same way that malware typically gets in. This software starts to run in the background with you none the wiser, and this is how cryptojacking happened originally. Algorithms get completed in the background, and in many cases, the hacker does not even need to install software to make this happen. The worst part is that you could potentially be victimized from merely visiting an unsafe website.

The Workings of Cryptojacking

When any malicious software is installed on the computer, illegal access to the system is made possible, just like with any other malware attack. More precisely, software labeled under cryptojacking would utilize the processing power of the computer without the owner’s assent, and start solving algorithms. This lets the hacker “earn” units of some type of cryptocurrency, which then get deposited into his or her wallet.

Unlike other malware, cryptojacking running in the background would not affect the entire operation of the computer, or at least, it stays unnoticed by the user. Software grouped under the cryptojacking category are designed in such a way that they carry out their work in a stealthy and discrete manner, in order to avoid detection. This even proves to be a relative plus in some instances in that, as a user, if you cannot resolve the hacking issue, you can still keep using your PC for the most basic stuff.

What is In-Browser Cryptojacking?

In-browser cryptojacking can be one of the deadlier types of intrusion, given that no form of installation or downloading is required to let it enter. The codes run automatically, utilizing the resources of a computer which has just finished visiting a spurious website. The popularity of JavaScript is something that cryptohackers take advantage of a lot – scripts allow cryptojacking to start functioning in the background after you load the website.

Advertisements can pop out in small browser windows which a lot of users simply ignore out of habit, but that is unwise. Even so, the processing power that these scripts steal, form a smaller percentage of what the CPU can give. While viewing a page, these programs can finish off pending algorithms with quite an ease. Cryptojacking turns up in direct mode at times, and sometimes the user gets asked for consent.

How to Steer Clear of Cryptojacking?

Playing it safe does not guarantee full safety from cryptojacking, just the same way it does not always keep you safe from viruses and malware. “Keeping distance” is not only largely ineffective these days, but also strenuous over the long term. Your best way forward is opting for a good antivirus program capable of detecting such attacks and intrusions in real-time.

If while loading a webpage you see your PC consuming more power than normal, or if it is working too slow, take note of it. This generally only happens if a website fails to limit the resources which it draws from your PC. If it tries to get as much of the machine working as possible, then you would definitely see either or both of the signs mentioned above.

Cryptojacking blockers carry a great deal of utility when trying to tackle the running of unknown browser scripts in the background. They work as browser extensions to keep websites from using your PC for mining cryptocurrency.

5 Steps for Data Protection in the Cloud

Many companies are migrating to cloud solutions nowadays, which makes data protection measures more critical than ever. Cloud storage is a great way to access your data on multiple devices from different locations, collaborate with your colleagues easily, and share data instantly. However, cyber hacks are increasing, and companies should ensure taking appropriate precautions to protect themselves.

Here are 5 steps to get you started:

1. Use a Cloud Security Technology

Now, more than ever, organizations are storing company data in the cloud and therefore are in need of an advanced cloud security technology to safeguard their critical information. There are several new technologies out there with a sole purpose of providing companies a control point for managing all their cloud activity. These technologies will allow you to have control of who, when and where is storing and accessing sensitive data within your organization.

It will also block access to anyone trying to open your data outside of a specific geographical area, as well as prohibit access to new devices unknown to the system. In addition, depending on your company’s internal and external policy, you can enforce transport rules (DLP) to ban unauthorized sharing of sensitive data. Not to mention that it gives you access to the cloud usage history and activity, which enables your business to identify potential threats and breached accounts to enable forensic investigations.

2. Create A Strong Password

A lot of people get lazy and prefer to use passwords that are easy to recall. However, it is important to stress to your employees and yourself the importance of cloud security. By creating a strong password you make it harder for hackers to break in and invade your privacy and confidential information. It also prevents a domino effect, as once they access one account, they can easily break the codes of other accounts within your organization. Make sure that the password is at least 12 characters long with a combination of letters, special characters and numbers.

3. Reset Your Password Periodically

Employees should be encouraged to update their passwords at least every 90 days. This extra step of security will make it harder for hackers that make periodic attempts to break the code. Don’t forget to avoid using the same password across different platforms. If all employees follow these principles, then the odds will be on your side and you will divert these hackers away from your company’s cloud.

4. Use A Password Management Software

Having trouble remembering all your passwords? Try using a password management app to safely store all your different passwords. These types of software will encrypt the data and even generate sophisticated passwords. Even if a hacker manages to break the code and access your files, they will still not be able to read the data as they will be encrypted. Services like LastPass and Dashlane will do just that for you.

5. Always Have A Backup

Cloud is a great place to store all your documents, but you should still have local backups. A cloud cyber attack could cause loss of all important data and documents, hence the importance of having a safety net in case that happens. Additionally, be sure to do manual backups since automatic backups can be hackable. Make a habit of doing this at least once a month to ensure the safe protection of your data.

7 Ways to Safeguard Your Company’s Data

When hackers violate confidential information, it is what we call a “data breach”. It’s very hard to trace them and so it is critical for companies to take measures to safeguard their data. Companies can get in legal trouble if their customers’ personal information gets exposed.

Here are 7 tips you should be following to protect your data:

1. Always install trustworthy applications

There are several bots on the web targeting specific weaknesses of certain versions of WordPress websites, for example, to attempt data breaches. Do your research and install trustworthy security applications and plugins, to prevent this type of hostile violations. For advanced data protection seek web application firewalls.

2. Get a web application firewall

A web application firewall (WAF) filters the content of specific web applications, monitors data passing through your database, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from a web application. It is the ultimate data security tool. You could also install a cloud-based WAF for a fairly affordable monthly subscription.

3. Perform regular software updates

Run software updates on a regular basis, especially when related to security fixes. As soon as you see a software update, review it and act fast as your network might be vulnerable and an easy target for cyber attacks.

4. Set Network security guidelines

It is important to set specific guidelines for your employees when it comes to network security, as they might not be familiar with all the ways they may be offering hackers a free pass. Therefore, conducting ongoing security trainings will increase your staff’s awareness and knowledge on protecting sensitive data while avoiding common mistakes.

A few of the things that must be included in your guidelines are:

  • Frequent change of logins
  • Use of strong and unusual passwords
  • Expiry date of login details due to inactivity
  • Limited number of login attempts
  • Use of captcha for resetting passwords
  • Data encryption
  • Malware detection
  • …and many more

5. Schedule security assessments

Schedule periodic internal security assessments, but also hire a data security expert if needed to conduct a thorough evaluation of your security systems to improve your privacy solutions.

6. Don’t Use Auto-Fill Forms

Auto-fill forms can be convenient for users but put your data security in jeopardy. If a hacker gets access to a user’s device, the auto-fill saved login data on that device can be a portal for inserting code into your website and violating your data. Advise users to keep their usernames and passwords private, and clear their browser history and cookies regularly.

Schedule periodic internal security assessments, but also hire a data security expert if needed to conduct a thorough evaluation of your security systems to improve your privacy solutions.

7. Keep File Uploads Separate

Another way for hackers to access your data is if you don’t keep file uploads separate from your web server. Ideally, you want to keep all the uploaded files outside your root directory.

Always make sure to take the appropriate precautions to avoid a hostile data breach. After all, with today’s technology most cyber attacks can be prevented.