Is Your Business Prepared for the Security Threats of 2016?

By Debbie Bogdanski

Every year, security analysts put on their thinking caps, study trends and predict what the big security threats for the coming year will be. Understanding these threats and how to mitigate the risks is key to your business’ success. With that in mind, here are the top predictions from Intel with our suggestions for what you can do to prepare:

Hardware. Attacks on all types of hardware and firmware will continue, and the market for tools that make them possible will expand and grow. Virtual machines will be targeted with system firmware rootkits.

Protection: 1. Keep your security software updated. 2. Install any patches/updates for your devices and operating systems.

Ransomware. The true accelerator of ransomware growth will be the availability of ransomware-as-a-service offerings on the dark Web. By lowering barriers to entry into cybercrime, this ecosystem of talent, tools and infrastructure will enable more criminals to launch more attacks.

Protection: 1. Don’t run or download files you can’t guarantee are legitimate. 2. Keep your software up-to-date with the latest patches and remove software that is insecure. 3. Backup. Backup. Backup. If all else fails, you need to have the ability to delete, clean and restore your data. Store a copy of your data on a hard drive that is not connected to your devices or the internet.

Attacks through employee systems. Organizations will continue to improve their security postures, implement the latest security technologies, work to hire talented and experienced people, create effective policies, and remain vigilant. Thus, attackers are likely to shift their focus to increasingly attack enterprises through their employees by targeting, among other things, employees’ relatively insecure home systems to gain access to business networks.

Protection: 1. Education is key to developing secure employee habits, it needs to be ongoing and cover specific topics like accessing business networks from personal devices. 2. Policies need to be in place that specifically outline required security behavior – including password policies, access policies and so on.

Integrity attacks. One of the most significant new attack vectors will be stealthy, selective compromises to the integrity of systems and data. These attacks involve seizing and modifying transactions or data in favor of the perpetrators such as a malicious party changing the direct deposit settings for a victim’s paychecks and having money deposited into a different account. In 2016, we could witness an integrity attack in the financial sector in which millions of dollars could be stolen by cyber thieves.

Protection: For small and medium businesses, this comes back to how securely you store your data, and the data of your employees. Any personal information, financial or banking information must be stored with strong encryption and tight security measures.

(Debbie Bogdanski is the General Manager of Frontier Communications’ Hudson Valley area. Frontier offers broadband, voice, video, and wireless Internet data access for residential and business customers. Through its Frontier Secure portfolio of digital products – Computer Security, Content Anywhere, Identity Protection, Equipment Protection and Premium Technical Support – the company can help keep all the technology in your digital world supported, connected and protected. For more information, visit Frontier.com. or contact Debbie at Debbie.Bogdanski@ftr.com or 845-344-9801.)

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