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Info Advantage has been serving the Upstate New York area since 1993 , providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Highlights from SonicWall's 2017 Annual Threat Report

Highlights from SonicWall's 2017 Annual Threat Report

SonicWall recently released their 2017 Annual Threat Report, which takes a look into the technology security trends in the upcoming year. In the report, SonicWall carefully observes and analyses the technology threat landscape from the last year and uses it to predict how it will continue to change in the future. Here’s a brief summary of their most important findings for 2017, and what it means for modern business.

Point-Of-Sale Malware Declining

With the integration of chip-based POS systems, hackers are finding it more difficult to steal sensitive information through POS malware attacks. The chip readers allow the transaction to be approved by creating a unique code that cannot be used again, as opposed to the traditional magnetic strip that uses the same code each time it is swiped. Thanks to the integration of the chip-reader, along with stronger legal guidelines, SonicWall observed that the number of new POS malware has decreased by 88 percent since 2015.

Website Encryption on the Rise

As web traffic continues to grow exponentially, users want to ensure that their data is kept safe. Due to this, many websites are opting to use Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) encryption to protect sensitive user data. SSL/TLS encryption is represented by a lock and HTTPS URL, rather than the standard HTTP URL. This ensures the user that their information is safe, and is only being sent to the intended recipient. SonicWall believes the trend towards SSL/TLS encryption is due in part to the growing trend of cloud applications. They expect the trend to continue into 2017, and believe that SSL/TLS traffic will account for 75 percent of online interactions by the year 2019.


Ransomware Becoming More Popular

Ransomware was by far the most popular security attack in the previous year, with an increase from 3.8 million attacks in 2015 to 638 million in 2016. According to SonicWall’s Global Response Intelligence Defense (GRID), $209 million in ransom had been paid by affected companies by the end of the first quarter. The growth was most likely driven by the increased access of ransomware as the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) industry expanded. This allowed individuals to purchase a ransomware pack without requiring the necessary coding skills needed to launch an attack. The most common attack is known as Locky, and is often attached to emails as disguised as a Microsoft Word invoice. As the RaaS industry continues to grow, SonicWall’s GRID suggests that all organizations backup their data continuously to a backup system that isn’t always online, or uses authentication.


Internet of Things Devices Compromised

The recent advances in technology have opened up the world to more and more connections to the Internet from more than just a computer, smartphone or tablet. These days, Internet of Things (IoT) devices can be anything from a camera or smart watch, to a smart car or home security system. Due to the wide-adaptation of IoT devices, many developers have felt the pressure to release their devices as soon as possible, which often means oversight in security. This made it easy for hackers to discover weaknesses in IoT devices, resulting in the launch of largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks in history. The attack used thousands of IoT devices with weak passwords to launch an attack on hosting company OVH and DNS service provider Dyn. This resulted in the outages for well-known sites such as Airbnb, Netflix, Reddit, Twitter, and Spotify. To protect your IoT devices, SonicWall suggests that you ensure your devices are protected by next-generation firewalls, which scan for specific IoT malware. They also suggest you separate all IoT devices from the rest of your network, in case it becomes compromised.


Android Security Increased, But Still Vulnerable

During 2016, Google worked on new operating systems that would directly combat many of the security vulnerabilities found in Android devices. They added additional security features, including a new approach to permission granting, an increase of security patches, and a full-disk encryption of the device. However, these new strides in security have been met with hacker resistance as they find new ways to combat these security measures. This includes screen overlays, ad-fraud malware HummingBad, self-installing apps, and third-party adult-centric apps. SonicWall suggests that any Andriod device on a company network should keep the “install applications from unknown sources” un-check and make sure both “verify applications” options are checked. It is also advised that users enable the “remote wipe” option in the event that the device is compromised.

The best way to combat an attack is to stop it before it becomes a problem. Contact Info Advantage’s security professionals today at (585) 254-8710 to learn more about proactive ways to ensure the safety of your data. 

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Thursday, October 06, 2022

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