Learn More About the Most Common Threats to Digital Security
In a constantly-connected world, enterprise mobility security is more important than ever. As more departments fully digitize and automate operations, the potential number of at-risk entry points into an organization’s network and data stores only continues to increase. The shift to a more remote workforce leads enterprises to consider potential risks of home networks. As more frontline workers utilize more devices—often in constant contact with the network—to perform their duties, there are more potential portals for access.
Security is a priority for virtually every enterprise that understands the damage a single data breach can inflict. The costs to remediate these situations can run into millions of dollars, and just a single occurrence will damage your reputation, impacting future profit and growth. Thwarting potential attacks and mitigating the risk of breaches often falls to Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), who work with IT, audit and legal departments to develop the necessary security processes.
Today, we’ll explore the most prevalent avenues of malicious cyber activity—phishing and ransomware—and how to prevent a serious data breach.
Problematic Phishing Ploys Threaten Enterprise Mobility Security
Often, the human factor is the weakest link in the security chain. Attackers persuade and deceive employees to gain critical access and the most common way that is accomplished is through email. This, in a nutshell, is phishing.
Phishing emails are one of the most effective methods, designed strategically to prey on those receiving them. They’ve only improved at tricking their targets into taking an unsafe action, like clicking a malicious link or attachment. Fraudulent emails are often so effective at breaching your security because they appear to be from someone you know. Malicious actors strategically use email addresses one letter or number off from a reputable business email or send from a slightly different domain. If the email address of someone you know has been compromised, a phishing email may even come directly from one of your contacts.
It’s proven to be an effective tactic for cybercriminals. Phishing was the top threat action involved in data breaches in 2020 with as many as 30% of users targeted with phishing emails opening them, and 12% clicking on a link or attachment. Just as troubling for digital security teams and CISOs is the fact that 97% of users can’t recognize a sophisticated phishing email.
Best practices that should be relayed to all employees include extreme caution of any email that asks directly for personal information. Reputable companies will not ask for a password, username, financial information or a SSN online without prior contact. Vigilance of the sending names and addresses, email structure and the odd use of spelling, grammar and syntax are all key in identifying a phishing email.
Common Types of Phishing
As cybercriminals become more savvy in their online attacks, they’ve developed different types of phishing attacks to hone in on particular targets. From spear phishing and whaling, to vishing, smishing and search phishing, there’s no shortage of new schemes designed to deceive those targeted.
- Spear Phishing: Cybercriminals gather information through public sources like social media profiles or "About Us" pages to launch a more targeted attack.
- Whaling: Attackers alter and send malicious emails, which are often hard to detect because they are typically well-written and appear to be from company leadership.
- Vishing: Also called "voice phishing," scammers urge victims to give them money or information over the phone.
- Smishing: SMS phishing occurs through text messages and are often more trusted by victims than emails.
- Evil Twin: Cybercriminals collect sensitive information through fraudelent a WiFi network that apprears similar to a legitimate network.
- Search Phishing: Fake web pages promoting unbelievable sales, discounts or giveaways are optimized to rank for legitimate keywords on search engines.
- Zombie Phishing: Hackers target email contacts by replying in old, “dead” email threads to share a phishing link and infect more accounts.
- Angler Phishing: Scammers share malicious links through public posts and private messages on social media, often pretending to be customer service for a popular brand.
- Phishing URLs: Cybercriminals may use a link shortener to mask a phishing link or buy a slightly misspelled domain name to trick users into believing that they are from a well-known company.
Reckoning with Ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that restricts or limits users of a targeted organization from accessing their IT systems—servers, mobile devices, workstations—until a ransom is paid. Ransomware is a growing threat and is most commonly delivered through the use of a phishing email. Enterprise mobility security—in fact, all digital security—faces several challenges in dealing with ransomware.
A Moving Target
After the earliest ransomware attacks, experts prioritized having a backup in place to combat hackers. When the hackers began to gain access to the online backups, the advice then turned to making offline backups as the focus. But now, cybercriminals can copy, steal and then encrypt all of a company’s data.
As IT security strategies become more complex, hackers are also evolving and constantly adjusting to new security protocols. For many CISOs, this makes obtaining complete and lasting protection feel impossible.
Over the years, hackers have been emboldened to seek more and more from ransomware attacks. Data has proven the amounts asked for have increased exponentially since the earliest iterations. First-generation ransomware demanded easily accounted amounts—$100 to $1,000—but that’s no longer the case. Now hackers are asking larger companies for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars since they know insurance companies will often foot the bill.
More Aggressive Requirements
As the asking price for ransoms has increased, many insurance companies have responded by requiring more advanced measures, strategies and technologies like advanced email protection, multi-factor authentication and EDR (Endpoint Data and Response). This can make it difficult for CISOs to keep track of their company’s insurance protection, since policies are constantly changing to include new strategies and technologies.
Clearly, CISOs and their teams need to be proactive in order to stay on top of their IT protection. Here are several important steps for staying ahead of potential threats and top of enterprise mobility security:
Trust TRG for Complete Enterprise Mobility Security Solutions
Building a complete in-house security team to address sophisticated and prolific threats like those from phishing and ransomware requires an investment in people and technology you may not be prepared to make. Partnering with an MSSP gives you access to the tools you need, but isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Size, industry, geography and existing technology play a role in partner selection. An MSSP should be willing to customize services to suit your organization’s compliance requirements and governance policies.
TRG works as an extension of your team to provide a suite of solutions to monitor, advise, alert and respond to information security threats 24/7/365. With TRG, you don’t just get recommendations and security product suggestions—you get direct access to the collective expertise and experience of our seasoned information security professionals.
TRG’s enterprise mobility security is powered by MRK Technologies, a sister company of TRG under the TruWest Companies umbrella. MRK Technologies brings decades of experience, and the people, process and procedure to deliver unparalleled results.
Connect with TRG to learn more about enterprise mobility security and how we can implement proactive solutions to protect your organization’s data.