Monthly Archives : December 2018

Threats in 2019

2019 Trends and Threats

What will we see in 2019 for Information Security ?

We were having a discussion the other day around threats and hackers in 2019, and what we can expect and what we have been reading thats ‘on the horizon’ for 2019.

No doubt, more focus, more attacks, more targeted attacks. For the defenders they will be looking for solutions that dont tie up the ever dwindling budget for IT Security. Well I say IT Security, we prefer the term Information Security, as thats what we are all trying to do, secure the business information assets and making sure our organisations dont appear as another statistic on the ICO’s website.

Cloud Applications

As more and more businesses are shifting their applications and data to the cloud, threat actors will look to target systems and applications around Office 365, crafting techniques and exploits to get access to the applications, not just the data. We are advising businesses to go multifactor authentication wherever they can.

Budgets and Spending

Spending is on the increase for CyberSecurity (and I hate that term Cyber), in the attempt to beef up security and reduce the attack vector, but attacks still happen. Its only a matter of time before Execs and Security Management begin to ask “How much is enough ?” as budgets are cut. Businesses are on the look for efficient ways to protect against cyber attacks.

Vendor Attacks

Security vendors may experience targeted attacks as the security architecture gets more and more complex, and attackers look to target the weakest link in an ever expanding data chain.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is ever expanding and will probably see a swathe of botnet recruitment of unwitting devices. A great example of how much power that criminals can wield with connected devices – The 2017 Reaper Botnet

Hardware based attacks

You may or may not have seen hardware based attacks with Spectre and Meltdown, which can result in a hacker, once exploited, gaining access to screen views and data. In 2019 we expect to see a shift away from software based attacks to hardware.

Spectre vs Meltdown

Sophisticated Scams and Phishing attacks – targeted

We all get the bulk emails and attempts to swindle you out of Bitcoin or attempt to get you to pay an invoice or pay “HMRC” under the threat of the wrath of them. Most are easily recognisable, but we expect to see more targeted, researched attacks taking place on businesses.

One example is a business we have worked with, where a mailbox had been hacked and communications with the accounts team was redirected to a separate folder so any comms about “Paying Invoices” were private so to speak. The attackers can even use language and phrasing of the sender so not to cause any suspicion.

Another example is a report around bank fraud – getting phone calls which all seem genuine trying to get access to your account in order to make sure things are secure. The advice is if you get any calls or emails like this – independently call them back (ie call your bank directly not on their number 🙂 and if its an email – manually type your bank details into the computer to log on and check yourself )

Happy to hear thoughts on whats next – what have we missed ? Comment below

Three reasons your own people are more dangerous to your business than hackers – Insider Threat

Insider Threat to your Business

Who poses the biggest cybersecurity risk to your business? If your first thought was a Kremlin cyber-warfare unit, or a dark-web king-pin, you are wrong. The most likely source of a data breach at an SME is one of its own employees aka the insider threat.

According to recent research 54 per cent of breaches at small and medium-sized businesses come from an employee or contractor’s negligence. The number, alarmingly, had increased from 48 per cent when firms were asked the question a year earlier.

If you add in the 7 per cent of breaches that are caused by malicious insiders, then 61 per cent of all data breaches come from people on a company’s own payroll. That is almost double the number that are caused by hackers, who account for 33 per cent.

In reality the number which originate from employees could even be higher – in an astonishing 32 per cent of cases firms said they couldn’t even determine the root cause of a data breach. That is arguably the most disturbing statistic of all. If you don’t know how your data leaked, how can you protect yourself in future?

SMEs were asked: What was the root cause of data breaches at your company?

Graph showing the insider threat

Source: Ponemon Institute LLC. Respondents could choose more than one answer.

how do employees cause breaches?

Those numbers might surprise you, but in our experience they ring true. So how do employees cause breaches? Generally, there are three ways.

The first is carelessness. There’s a hundred ways to lose a laptop. Someone can leave it on a train or in a pub, and if the password is easy to guess it can be a goldmine. Once a thief is in you can be certain that he’ll strip it of every bit of data he can – emails, passwords, addresses, dates of birth. Given that he’s already nicked a laptop, he probably won’t hesitate to flog the lot to a fraudster.

The second is being too trusting. On their private email people are always on their guard for phishing emails. But work ones? The company’s systems will filter out anything dodgy, won’t they? It is because people make this assumption that phishing attacks from work emails are so successful. Once they are in, fraudsters don’t exactly shout about it. We’ve all heard too many stories about high-turnover businesses who didn’t realise for months that money was being nicked.

The third common cause of data breaches is revenge. It’s far less common than a cock-up, but as I mentioned above, it accounts for 7 per cent of data breaches at SMEs. If a disgruntled employee decides to pinch personal data or mangle your CRM system, for example, the damage could be irreparable.

How can we help ?

It’s not too difficult to stop any of this happening. All you need are proper systems and training, but we see time and time again that SMEs decide that they can save money on IT security. That’s understandable, but the cost of not doing it properly could be far higher.

To talk to us about how to protect yourself from the insider threat and data breaches today by getting in contact with us here or calling 07958 545129