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6 top network security threats and how to beat them

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It’s a war zone out there. In the seemingly endless game of cyber cat and mouse, accurate intelligence remains the best tool for beating attackers at their own game.

Here’s an analysis of today’s six top network threats and tips for how to identify and quash them.

1. Ransomware

Ransomware is easily the greatest network threat, since it gives attackers the biggest bang for the buck with a relatively low probability of getting caught. “There’s also a low bar in the skill category to break into this sort of thing,” says Andy Rogers, a senior assessor at cybersecurity and compliance firm Schellman. “There are plenty of Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) businesses that will be more than willing to ensure you have the tools you need to unleash a ransomware campaign.”

These “service-providers” face minimal risk, since they themselves aren’t launching any attacks. “It’s a pretty sweet deal for them,” he says. Additionally, the payment comes in the form of cryptocurrency, so they are difficult to track.

Ransomware has become one of the world’s most profitable criminal industries due to its cloak of anonymity and potentially high payout. “Many of the recent high profile supply chain attacks, like Colonial Pipeline in 2021, have been ransomware attacks where hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid state drives (SDDs) were encrypted and the hackers used them to demand ransoms for upwards of $4.4 million in cryptocurrency,” Rogers notes.

Establishing solid security policies and procedures, including security awareness training, is the best way to avoid becoming a ransomware victim. Rogers recommends monthly system and applications patching, as well as segregating vulnerable systems that can’t be patched from critical systems and data. “Maintain regular  backups of your data and do it in such a way that they can’t be written to by ransomware,” he adds. 

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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