Cybercrime continues to be a growing problem. Hackers and cybercriminals are becoming increasingly adept at exploiting security weaknesses and new or current situations. CERT.be, the federal Computer Emergency Response Team, clearly notices an increasing number of attacks. Are you already armed against DDoS attacks, ransomware and supply chain attacks?
Phishing, watch out for disguises!
The numbers speak for themselves: CERT.be received no less than 3.2 million reports of suspicious messages in 2020. Phishing still appears to be the way many hackers penetrate computers and corporate networks. The cybercriminals cleverly respond to current events or they disguise their text message or e-mail as an 'urgent' message that comes from the boss, the tax authorities, the bank or another well-known organization. Those who fall for such phishing messages sometimes lose a lot of money.
Ransomware, all your data held hostage?
Phishing is a major threat not only to individuals, but certainly to businesses as well. For example, the attachment or link in the phishing email may also contain ransomware - a cyber threat that companies are increasingly facing. An employee who clicks on the shady link triggers "hostage software" that encrypts all company data. On the screen appears the compelling demand to pay a ransom to undo the encryption.
Most organizations cannot function for long without their IT and their data. Usually there is a backup, but if it is also connected online to the primary environment it is not spared from attack. The Centre for Cybersecurity in Belgium (CCB) noted that cybercriminals are even deliberately - and unscrupulously - targeting their ransomware at organizations where continuity and availability are sometimes vital. For example, even hospitals appear to be targets, and a lab that analyzes coronation tests was also attacked.
Tip of the iceberg
In recent years, the number of ransomware attempts has been rising constantly. In 2020, the CCB received some 82 reports of ransomware, but the center itself calls that "just the tip of the iceberg." This is because companies are reluctant to hang on to the big bell that they were victims of ransomware. Financial damage is one consequence, but the image of the company also takes a hefty hit. In any case, the CCB expects ransomware to continue to be a growing problem in 2021, as it can generate a lot of money for the hackers.
DDoS, an abundance of requests
A Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attack has been around for much longer than today. Hackers then take down - or greatly slow down - your servers by overloading them with a huge number of page requests. According to the CCB, a DDoS attack does not pose any risks in itself, but it is also often used to cover up another - more damaging - attack, or as an extra means of blackmail during a ransomware attack, for example.
Supply Chain attack, choose your partners carefully
To outsmart companies, cybercriminals always look for the weakest link in the security chain. This is often the end user, who you should certainly remind regularly of the risks of unsafe behavior. A less secure partner or supplier with access to your company network can also be a weak spot in your defenses. Even if you have taken all precautions yourself, you can still fall prey to a supply chain attack.
IT security is for experts
How can you, as a company, arm yourself against all these forms of cybercrime? IT security is pre-eminently something you should leave to experts. They can help you in all areas: screening the existing situation, implementing reliable technology, continuously monitoring the entire network including backups, and training your employees.
Often, companies do not even know that they are the victim of a DDoS attack. Signs that may indicate a DDoS attack are an extremely slow network, websites that are unavailable or a noticeable increase in spam.
A booter or stresser is an online service that allows hackers to carry out fee-based DDoS attacks. Through the booter service they gain access to a number of 'bots' - hacked 'zombie computers' - from which they abuse the computer power and bandwidth.