News Feature | June 2, 2014

Neutralizing Cyber Threats

By Trisha Leon, contributing writer

Stopping Cyber Threats

New reports issued by KnowBe4, a Tampa Bay-based security company, indicate that cybergangs are ratcheting up attack levels by targeting companies and individuals using ransomware — like Cryptolocker and Kovter — to hijack valuable information. These methods put businesses and individuals at considerable risk and cause significant loss and downtime — the IT community is full of horror stories about companies getting attacked by Cryptolocker and similar Crypto-variants.

According to Stu Sjowerman, CEO of KnowBe4, “These methods pose a high risk to companies looking to hire along with individual users. The cybergangs running these Crypto-variants will try any number of things to outdo each other and take your hard earned money. Since the weakest point in any security model is the person who touches the keyboard, it is vital to educate users what to look for and stepping them through security awareness training will make them think twice before clicking on a link.” He continues, “Working backups are essential. How much of a danger these present can largely depend on how you have organized your backups. Mitigating the many “crypto” infections can take a few hours to a few days, and can vary from an annoyance to significant losses.”

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) is aware of the threats caused by cryptolocker and has posted warnings and tips for prevention some of which include maintaining regular backups stored offline and maintaining up-to-date anti-virus software.  

VARs can assist their clients by making them aware of such threats, helping them identify weak areas in their IT security, and providing them with the necessary tools and proactive solutions to protect themselves from Cyber-variants like Cyberlocker, thereby avoiding significant losses of time, information, and money.

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