Need To Stay Alert: Holiday Scams Warning
The season of good cheer is around the corner. And as with all global events, bad cyber actors will be keen to weaponize these holidays against unsuspecting netizens. The FBI, CISA, and HHS have already issued a joint warning of a potential cyber crisis in the Health Care sector.
The recent surge in cyberattacks has mostly been attributed to conditions occasioned by COVID-19. In the race to find the perfect vaccine, even the bad guys are giving the chase. As healthcare stakeholders are straining to keep up with the rising numbers in overstretched facilities, cybersecurity has somehow been given a backbench. The bad news is that cyberattackers are also aware of these predicaments; and are working overtime to use them against the healthcare industry. According to the recent joint FBI, HHS, and CISA warning, the most prevalent attack vector is ransomware.
Is This Only Happening in the Healthcare Sector?
Yes and No. The increase in cyberattacks has been recorded across all industries but more prevalent in US hospitals and healthcare organizations.
CISA, FBI, and HHS particularly singled out the Healthcare sector because it’s one of the hardest-hit industries. They shared this “information to provide a warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.” In any case, it’s the resilience of this sector that will determine how we emerge post-COVID.
However, this doesn’t mean that the cybersecurity situation in the other industries is any better. Apart from a few industry-specific observations and recommendations, the report is vastly relevant to all types of businesses. It goes into detail describing how malware attacks have evolved and advanced in recent years, both in scope and severity.
Why Should You Be Extra Careful About Ransomware Attacks? This attack vector has dramatically aggravated in recent years.
Initially, cyber actors would conduct widespread spam runs — infecting thousands of people and charging a ransom of around $2500/user. In 2017, there was a sharp shift towards human-led malware, i.e., attackers would infect several computers belonging to the same organization.
Fast forward to today; cyberattackers can camp in your systems for months. They take time to learn your network, master your communication patterns, encrypt your files, phish customer credentials, steal your business plans, and locate all of your trophy data. By the time they decide to launch an onslaught, they know your systems in and out. It’s no longer just about blocking you from accessing your data; the modern-day ransomware is well-calculated blackmail. Firms are now paying up to 233,817 on average as ransom. It’s either you pay up, or your critical data is leaked to your competitions and the general public.
How Can You Protect Your Ohio Business From Ransomware And Other Holiday Scams? You must invest in robust, responsive security measures and protocols — there are no two ways about it.
Always assume that you are the next target:
- The first step is to identify the threats you are facing.
- Next, you must deploy advanced intrusion detection and prevention systems.
- Keeping bad cyber actors out of your network is as critical as having fast-response protocols. The faster you can respond to a breach, the less impact it will have.
- Above all, your staff is your best and weakest line of defense. The attackers can easily use an improperly trained workforce to enter your systems. And the opposite is true — proper staff training reduces the chances of hacks and data breaches sevenfold.
We will inevitably be experiencing a surge in holiday scams moving forward. However, you have a choice — you can either wait and add to the statistics or prepare and save your systems. The cybersecurity threat is real. Rea & Associates can help you plan and implement the right security measures for your network.
Call us today at (330) 236-1011 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and let’s discuss how to protect your business from holiday scams and other cyber threats.