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Protect Your Business From Dangerous Cryptomining Activities

Why Small Organizations Should Be Worried About Illicit Cryptomining Activities

cryptomining activity

There is a scourge currently targeting small businesses and organizations and many are not even aware of it because it does not do anything sensational meant to cause harm. It does not install a virus, send phishing emails, or attempt to kidnap business data for ransom. That scourge is cryptocurrency mining, or simply cryptomining.

What is cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is a form of digital currency that can be used in exchange for goods, services, and even real money, similar to other currencies. However, unlike other currencies, cryptocurrency operates independently of a central bank and uses encryption techniques and blockchain technology to secure and verify transactions.

To quote Malwarebytes, “Two words—“cryptography” and “currency”—combine to form “cryptocurrency,” which is electronic money, based on the principles of complex mathematical encryption. All cryptocurrencies exist as encrypted decentralized monetary units, freely transferable between network participants.” Or put more simply, cryptocurrency is electricity converted into lines of code, which have a real monetary value.  (See a detailed article by Malwarebytes on this topic here).

While Cryptocurrency may be in its infancy, its popularity continues to increase, some would say, exponentially. You may have heard of terms like Bitcoin, Litecoin, Monero, Ethereum, Ripple etc. These are just a few types of the cryptocurrencies currently available. (more…)

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Data Encryption Tools For The Mobile Business Executive

Infographic depicting various devices using data encryption.

Data encryption is not one of the security options most companies think of providing for their senior executives who use, and travel, with laptops, netbooks and tablets so they can stay productive even when on the road. This is even more true of corporate executives who sometimes demand anytime, anywhere access to data residing on corporate servers.

While the big corporations can afford to spend millions of dollars on data protection hardware and software., the same cannot be said of executives in small and medium-sized organizations, especially when it comes to loss of personal information, including credit card data, patient records or other financial information, stored by the company.

Data breaches happen and information is lost every day due to small mistakes that could have been avoided by using data encryption technologies. For small businesses, these data loss events can be devastating. (more…)

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Basic Computer Security Practices for Non-Profits

Some Basic Computer Security Practices To Keep Your Non-Profit Data and Employees Safe

Malware Prevention

There are all sorts of danger lurking on the Internet, whether it’s through a bogus email attachment, a link that was accidentally clicked, or a visit to an infected website. There are dangers within the organization as well. These are commonly referred to as “Insider Threats”.

Here are some computer security practices you can implement to protect the data and employees of your non-profit organization.

  • Regularly scan computers for spyware

Spyware or adware hidden in software programs may affect the performance of  the organization’s computers and give attackers access to sensitive data.
Make sure you use a legitimate anti-spyware program to scan computers and remove any of these files. Many anti-virus products have incorporated spyware detection.

  • Keep software up to date

Install software patches so that attackers cannot take advantage of known problems or vulnerabilities.
Many operating systems offer automatic updates. If this option is available, you should turn it on.

If updates and patching is too tedious for you and your organization, you can outsource the task to a service provider. You can see details of what patch management covers here. (more…)

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How Nonprofits And Associations Can Prevent Ransomware Like WannaCry

Ransomware Prevention

On Friday May 11, 2017, the world learned just how vulnerable computer networks can be when not fully protected as it experienced a well-coordinated ransomware attack, known as WannaCrypt, or WannaCry.

Note: Ransomware encrypts files and makes them unusable unless payment (ransom) is made within a specified time. Malware and ransomware like WannaCry prey on weaknesses in network security systems due to out-of-date firewalls, operating systems and antivirus programs.

Are You at Risk?

That worldwide attack caused Britain’s National Health Services to cancel surgeries, shut down at least 40 major organizations across more than 99 countries, including a wide array of Russian and Chinese private and public institutions.
By the time the dust settled, this large world-wide cyber-attack, described by Europol as unprecedented in scale, infected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries.

Unlike previous ransomware, this attack did not spread by phishing emails, but used a leaked hacking tool or exploit called EternalBlue that was developed by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to spread. The target of the ransomware were computer networks which had not installed recent software security updates (also commonly known as patching). (more…)

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Mobile App Permissions: Are Users Really the Problem?

While there have been a lot of news-worthy events in the past couple of years involving corporate breaches, one thing has not changed. Users are still considered the greatest obstacle to information security. Whether it is phishing, opening infected attachments, or “just being stupid and lazy”.

Our focus in this article will be on the “stupid and lazy” part of this equation. We will take a quick look at the way users tackle mobile app permissions in the android market place otherwise known as Google Play. A cursory look at some apps on Google Play and the permissions required by these apps, and the ratings given by users, even to apps with seemingly over-reaching or meaningless permissions, explains a lot about why security will continue to be a problem for a very long time. (more…)

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Why Google’s Malware Bouncer Is Not Enough

Google recently revealed that it had a malware scanner for the Android OS that automatically scans the code of apps uploaded to the Android Market. The service, which Google gave the codename of ‘Bouncer’, is said to look for behavior that are deemed unacceptable by the company. But the problem with Android Apps go beyond just scanning for malware. (more…)

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