Is It Open Season on Your Data? It Is Shark Week After All

Jul 09, 2015

Is It Open Season on Your Data? It Is Shark Week After All

BY Holly Wainwright

Cybersecurity

For almost 30 years, Shark Week has remained one of the most anticipated weeks for TV viewing. Each year, thousands of viewers tune in to learn more about the deep blue and the creatures lurking beneath the radar. So what makes it so popular? Frankly, the mystery of the happenings in what can appear to be another world, is fascinating, and scary. Technology has also taken the footage to new levels each year, diving deeper and deeper into the lairs of some of nature’s most terrifying enemies.

So in honor of all things “Jawsome” we’ve decided to shed some light on a few security threats lurking only a few clicks away. And while many are unseen, like that of a breaching Great White, you can mitigate the damage with proper preparation.

Is Malware sinking its teeth into your data:

Malware has become the Great White of security breaches- boasting 76% of the breaches in 2014. Much like the quiet giant, swimming around at eerie 800 foot depths, malware often slides under the radar. Like a stalking predator, malware spies on users for an extended period of time before surfacing. Various types of harmful software embed themselves in non-malicious files, and once opened, they begin their attack.

CryptoLocker is a form of malware called ransomware. Essentially, the virus presents itself in a non-threatening file form, like emails or botnets, and once clicked, it immediately begins encrypting files. Once encryption is complete, all data is held at ransom with threatened deletion if the sum is not paid. Recently, a catering company was hit with CryptoLocker but luckily they had a Datto device in place backing up their data. See more about their triumph here.

It’s never time to go Phishing:

Phishing has easily become one of the more common security breaches, as it almost topped the charts at 59% of occurrences in 2014. Phishing occurs when a legitimate company is falsified through email, websites, even chats. It’s about extracting financial information from users by offering fake forms. So next time your bank shoots you an email asking for email verification- think twice.

Don’t let Baiting reel you in:

Much like a fisherman, if someone is trying to bait you, they dangle something in front you in an effort to entice you to follow them. Baiting often occurs in the form of free goods or services. Users may see free music or movie downloads, which they will be granted access to once they enter their login credentials. Baiting even occurs out of the water, if you will. There have been cases where USBs have been dropped outside of companies. Employees who found them curiously popped them into their laptops and lo and behold, the scammer was granted access to their system. Here’s the full story.

Swimming with the fishes-thanks to social engineering:

Baiting and phishing fall beneath the social engineering umbrella. Social engineering is a form of hacking, where the users actually give the hacker permission to access their data. Falling victim to baiting and phishing is often a blind effort. Unfortunately those are not the only types of social engineering attacks. Learn more about what else is swimming around out there here.

Just keep swimming:

So there you have it. Much like Shark Week, security breaches can often be quite mysterious. Like the unsuspecting residents of a certain New England beach town back in the 1970s, users often don’t know what’s happening until it’s too late. Bringing it back to the now—United Airlines, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Wall Street Journal all went down yesterday. The reasons are still unknown but we can assume that perhaps some of the above threats had something to do with it.

Lucky for those of us on land, there’s Total Data Protection from Datto.

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