When you see numerous articles with titles referring to a “cyber war,” it is easy to understand why IT professionals are always so stressed out. Living in fear of a cyber-attack is no way to live; there is no doubt that cyber security should be a top priority, but living in a constant state of worry isn’t going to help the cause.
Experts disagree on whether or not there are more attacks occurring or if we just have the ability to better detect attacks; in contrast, they all agree that taking action against these attacks is not futile, but instead, necessary for a company’s survival. With businesses experiencing an average of one attack attempt every three minutes, businesses without modern, updated security programs and strategies are easy targets.
Of course, we all know that we shouldn’t download anything from or give money to Nigerian royalty, but here are a few more advanced tips on how to be proactive against cyber-attacks:
- Beware of ZIP files – ZIP files remain the preferred file of choice for malware delivery. Malware is delivered in ZIP file format in 92% of attacks.
- Stay in the know – Sign up for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) or the Department of Homeland Security’s Stop.Think.Connect. mailing list to have the latest cyber security information sent directly to your inbox.
- Watch out for DLL files – Attackers are increasingly using DLL files. By avoiding the more common file types, attackers leverage DLL files to prolong infections.
- Beware of phishing – Spear phishing remains the most common method for advanced malware campaigns. When sending spear phishing emails, attackers often use file names with common business names (ex. UPS) to lure unsuspecting users into opening the malware and initiating the attack.
- IT Professionals: Make yourself available – If an employee detects a threat, you want them to make you aware of it, not just ignore it. Build report with the employees so they feel comfortable around you. If you are friendly and trustworthy, people are more likely to listen to your advice and report threats to you.
Take a deep breath and relax; worrying and stressing won’t keep the hackers away. So long as you stay alert, proactive, and keep your security technology up to date, you are doing everything you can to protect your data.