If you think of 2016 being the “mainstream” year for hackers, then 2017 will be their year of creativity and innovation. We are sometimes asked why, with all the brilliant minds working on cyber security, how can the hackers keep developing new methodologies and always seem to be one step ahead. The answer: the people developing these new tactics are pretty darned smart, too, and they have the advantage of being able to go off in different direction directions, while we have the task of constantly being on the alert so we can figure out where they are going.
Stephen Gates, a leading research intelligence analyst, tells us that the rates of ransomware and the following extortions will increase. In fact, the next generation of self-propagating worms paint a rather gloomy scenario. Unlike their earlier versions, these worms can infect hundreds of devices very quickly. You may be familiar with the attack on the San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency that encrypted 2,000+ computers, most likely through this type of self-propagating worm. Gates expects this type of attack to become more commonplace.
Norman Guadango, a cyber security specialist at one of the country’s leading consumer-grade data storage solutions, says that almost 20% of small businesses have suffered a data loss in the past year and that the costs associated with these attacks often run between $82,000 and $256,000 each. This can include ransom payments, lost productivity, time spent recreating data, forensic cyber teams, and lost business.
Adding to the complexity is the fact that new versions of the viruses, ransomware and other forms of malware are constantly being mutated by their developers. They are also becoming more sophisticated in their methods of deployment. For example, one of the scenarios common today is, after gaining entry into your system, placing a snippet of code somewhere in one of your files and just let it sleep there for a while, eventually "phoning home" and letting its owner know it is there are ready for action. This vulnerability is then sold online to both amateur and professional hackers who are then free to cause all sorts of harm. Of course, only a small fraction of these attacks actually break through the security systems generally in place, but it only takes one.
A recent ransomware attack on one of our clients showed that they withstood 65,000 attacks over a two-day period, including cyber-attacks from Russia, China, Bulgaria, India, Israel and five other countries. But, again, all it takes is one. This company will be the subject of a case study that will be released over the next week or two, so keep an eye out for it.
At DynaSis, we work with a national team of cyber security professionals and together we have created some of the most advanced, effective, unique and proprietary cyber security software available today. Whether you are a DynaSis client or not, please consult with your managed IT service provider to make sure your defenses are secure and up-to-date. Learn More