Preventing Cryptomining, Ransomware, and Other Related Threats and Breaches

Thursday, July 18, 2019/Categories: Business Security Services

Information security threats today come in many forms. If your organization is not prepared to recognize, fend off, and address threats like cryptomining and ransomware, your company’s financial resources and information, as well as your clients’ and employees’ information, are at risk. As if that’s not bad enough, your company’s reputation is also on the line. According to McAfee Labs December 2018 Threat Report, cryptomining malware grew by an astonishing 4,000 percent from 2017 to 2018, from 500,000 new coin miner malware to 4 million, while total malware grew by 203 percent in that time.

Understanding emerging threats and implementing solutions designed to address those threats can help you be prepared to ward off attackers and protect your organization’s bottom line.

Understanding Cryptomining Malware

In 2018, cryptomining, also sometimes called “crypto jacking,” surpassed ransomware in the threat department, becoming the top threat facing organizations (source: Forbes.)

Cryptomining can occur in various ways. Essentially, cryptomining leverages infected computers and mobile devices, harnessing their power without users’ permission to generate revenue. This is sometimes done by embedding cryptomining software in a website, which run programs in the background. In other cases, crypto miners take over computers, mobile devices, internet-of-things devices, and network infrastructures.

At first glance, cryptomining sounds relatively harmless. After all, attackers aren’t after your data; they’re just using your processing power. In reality, cryptomining can be a significant drain on your resources. And, if criminals can access your network to engage in cryptomining, it means you likely have unaddressed security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by more malicious cyber attackers.

Cyber criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated with cryptomining attacks and with avoiding detection, sometimes remaining undetected for long periods of time. With the growing proliferation of connected devices on the internet-of-things, businesses’ risk exposure is often significantly higher than they think. Cryptomining can lead to decreased computer performance and even mechanical failure related to increased power consumption.

Ransomware Continues to Be a Threat

Although the risk of loss posed by cryptomining has now surpassed the threat of ransomware, don’t make the mistake of thinking ransomware isn’t a big deal. It’s been a challenge for individuals and corporate IT professionals for decades, and shows no signs of going away any time soon. Ransomware attacks reached record levels in 2017. While attacks have decreased in numbers since 2017, there is evidence that attackers are becoming more deliberate about choosing their targets (source: Forbes.)

A typical ransomware attack involves a cyber exploiting a security flaw to gain access to a user’s computer, to a database, or to an entire network IT infrastructure. Once inside, the cybercriminal blocks users from being able to access their machines or information, holding it hostage until the company pays “ransom” money to the attacker. The threat is both real and costly: Victims pay millions of dollars each year to ransomware attackers.

Having a solid, actionable plan for recovery, segmenting your network, and implementing security tools designed to identify and prevent attacks can help your company and its employees avoid becoming ransomware attackers’ next victims.

Mitigating Security Risks is Challenging; CCI Can Help.

When you understand the current threat environment your business is operating in, you can implement solutions designed to help you meet emerging threats, head on. It’s important to understand the prevalence of these types of threats; the reality is that every size organization in nearly every industry is at risk of attacks and breaches.

There are a number of factors that make dealing with potential cyber security threats difficult. It’s difficult to attract and retain qualified security personnel. In addition, many companies have a hard time formulating and following a unified approach to security. With an increase in cloud services and BYOD policies, your IT security team may find it impossible to keep up with risk, let alone fight it.

At Consolidated Communications, Inc. (CCI), we understand the challenges your organization faces. CCI can help you evaluate your company’s risk and preparedness. We’ll also present and help you evaluate solutions designed to meet your needs, including exploring how a next generation security platform can help you free up IT resources, enhance security, improve productivity, and even improve the customer experience.

The risks your company faces on the cybersecurity front are constantly changing. You need a skilled partner on your team who truly understand Security Services. Ready to learn more about how CCI can help? Visit us online today.

Comments (0)

Tags: