Cyber Attacks On The Increase
Cyber Threats from Russia & Asia
Cyber-attacks which see hackers get inside computer networks and lock the owners out until they pay a ransom present “the most immediate danger” to UK businesses in cyber-space, the head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has warned (BBC Report).
Recent surveys and activity monitoring by Titan Atlas Limited suggest a recent increase in cyber attacks. Our own hosting servers reveal a sample of attack data:
Closer investigation reveals that hackers / attackers try whatever they can to achieve their objectives. Many small businesses especially do not have a readily available solution for monitoring this activity which does make them vulnerable to all sorts of attack without their knowledge. Some of the attacks are attempts to make internet access unavailable through DDOS attacks. This is where the debate could well begin over whether or not you should be using cloud hosting services and such products as Office 365 etc. Such attempts of denial of service could render your office unable to work effectively as a result. Closer attention is required by all businesses to Cyber Security.
Email is another method used and is arguably more effective for hackers to gain access to the internals of your business data. Phishing as it is known has proved to be a very serious and effective method of gaining access to internal operations and data along with personal data for home users. This method requests a user click on an email link to reset a password, login to change your payment details, or many other ways to obtain your data by what appears to be a legitimate action. Emails that request your bank details are common place and are authentic in appearance.
Although not a heavily utilised activity of our business we still have many attempted attacks using email as a source of data collection for the purpose of illegal activity. Below is a snapshot of data retrieved from our mail filtering system over a 10.5 hour period (pay close attention to Non-local mail blocked):
As you will have noted, 77.14% of external incoming email was blocked due to one form of attack or another. Whilst our filtering system has proved 100% accurate over the last 10.5 hours, phishing emails are very cleaver in construction and do occasionally get through and land in the users mailbox. User education and periodical user testing is highly recommended so a user will be wary of ALL emails arriving in their mailbox and educate them to be extremely vigilant before opening emails.
We can’t get away from email usage, it is a very quick and efficient method of communication for all.
Other observations made by Titan Atlas Limited reveal many companies are not configuring their email systems correctly and unfortunately in such a way that the end user vulnerable to receiving Phishing emails. Some of these companies include branded computer security companies, and operating system companies, along with many other business. We urge companies to pay closer attention to the configuration of your mail server systems so we can all benefit from a vastly reduced risk of attack. It won’t happen but if everyone followed the rules it is possible we could have no security risks! Hmmm.
For more information, help or guidance on any of the above issues, please contact Kevin Edwards at Titan Atlas Limited.