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What Is a Ransomware Attack and How To Deal With It

Ransomware is a type of malware designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. Typically, a ransomware attack starts with an innocent-looking email with an infected link or fake document attached. In fact, the average company received a whopping 90% of their detected malware through email, according to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). Unfortunately, phishing emails are getting more clever every day. For example, you might get a message that looks like it’s from a known delivery company, asking you to click to get the status of a package.

A lot of people will click because we all come across emails like this on a daily basis. But if it’s ransomware, clicking will cause the malware to execute/install and then spread throughout the network, encrypting all your devices and data and blocking you out. Once your system is completely encrypted, a message will appear on your screen with the extortion demand. It might go something like this: “Your network is now owned by us. You are locked out. In order to regain access, you must pay a certain amount of bitcoin and here are the instructions to do it.” There are many variations of this message and many include an exact deadline.

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Deepfakes: A Rising Cyber Threat

Deepfakes: A Rising Cyber Threat
A Q&A with John Farley of Gallagher

One of the most dangerous cyberattacks emerging on the threat landscape is also among the most difficult to detect or prevent. Deepfake technology enables perpetrators to mimic the voices and images of real people and it has significant consequences for companies, individuals and the democratic process. John Farley, managing director of the cyber liability practice of Gallagher, gave us an update on this concerning development.

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Ransomware Trends in 2020 Call for Increased Cyber Readiness

As IT systems and data play increasingly important roles in business, opportunities for cybercriminals continue to grow. For the first time, the annual Allianz Risk Barometer Report found cybercrime to be the number one concern for companies around the globe.

The increase in concern over cybercrime coincides with a rise in the number of ransomware attacks—and the dollar amount of payouts. A quick search of ransomware attacks in 2019 reveals that some 55 percent of SMBs in the United States were forced to pay hackers following an attack. 

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Business Email Compromises in Office 365

A Q&A with Chris Salsberry of Crypsis
One of the most prominent cyber threats affecting companies right now is business email compromise (BEC). These attacks typically begin with phishing emails that capture log-in credentials.The widely used cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 has proven especially vulnerable, with millions of dollars lost in fraudulent wire transfers over the past couple of years. We talked to The Crypsis Group’s senior director Chris Salsberry about this attack vector and how companies can avoid being compromised.

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Australian Cyber Security: A Primer

A Q&A with Leah Mooney of MinterEllison
The cyber security field is rapidly evolving in Australia where new legislation, growing costs and an increased awareness of threats and liability have spurred discussion and concern. I spoke with Attorney Leah Mooney, special counsel in the Insurance and Corporate Risk Group of MinterEllison, about the state of affairs in Australia and what businesses operating there might need to know about looming risks and how to mitigate them.

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Bad Connections: Hidden Risks in the Internet of Things

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A Q&A with Larry Pesce of InGuardians
While the Internet of Things is making life more convenient, it’s also posing numerous security risks for both individuals and organizations. To find out more about why companies should keep an eye on these devices and how they can better mitigate risk, I spoke with Larry Pesce of InGuardians.

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Using Big Data to Protect Against Cyber Risk

A Q&A with Lance Forbes of LemonFish Technologies
Of all Big Data’s capabilities, the means to proactively detect cyber breach events is especially intriguing. I spoke with Lance Forbes, chief scientist of LemonFish Technologies to find out more about how analytics can be used to find lost data across the internet.

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Securing Data Through Password Management

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A Q&A with Darren Guccione, Keeper Security
All too often data breaches arise from insufficient employee passwords—yet improving password security is an easy fix for most organizations to make. Darren Guccione, CEO and cofounder of Keeper Security, which offers password management software as a service, says that companies should be using the technology at their disposal to guard against cyber risk.

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Protecting Industrial Control Systems

A Q&A with Joe Weiss of Applied Control Solutions
The security of industrial control systems is increasingly vulnerable to cyber-attack and the stakes for failure are extremely high, yet there’s little public understanding and media coverage about these very real risks. I talked to Joe Weiss of Applied Control Solutions about why industrial control systems should be the most important frontier in cyber security and what organizations can do to protect against this growing threat.

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