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What Are The Latest Cyber Threats Impacting Local Businesses?

Whether in business, at home or out at play we are connected to the internet all day, all the time. We check our smart phones every five seconds. As a business, it’s much the same thing. We are connected with the office, with clients and with vendors. You might store your important data on the cloud such as client information and employee records.

The Very Latest Cyber Threats To Your Business

Whether in business, at home or out at play we are connected to the internet all day, all the time. We check our smart phones every five seconds. As a business, it’s much the same thing. We are connected with the office, with clients and with vendors. You might store your important data on the cloud such as client information and employee records.

Even your devices are now potential targets. A hacker could try and get into your smart phone and steal from your Apple Pay. Any device connected to the internet now could be a target: smart phone, tablet, Fitbit, or even your cars are all targets for cyber attacks.

RANSOMWARE

An email can be all a hacker needs to take over your system. Ransomware has been a popular means of getting into your network or computer and restricting access to files then making you pay to get them back. The “Scarab” version of ransomware has been in the news as recently as early November 2017.

Scarab is distributed through a malicious email campaign. The email uses the subject line “Scanned from {printer company name}. This is similar to a previous version of the Locky ransomware. The email contains a 7zip attachment that contains a VBScript downloader. The virus script has been found to contain several references to Game of Thrones.

Scarab is a relatively new ransomware family that was discovered back in June 2017. Strangely, the note doesn’t specify the amount demanded, instead it tells you “the price depends on how fast you write to us.”

ELECTRONIC MEDICAL RECORDS & DEVICES

Another real cyber threat pertains to the healthcare industry. Electronic medical records (EMR) and smart medical devices are new technology that is at high risk for cyber attacks. According to Health IT News and HIMSS Analytics, 75% of hospitals surveyed have been or could have been hit by a ransomware attack. As the healthcare industry adjusts to the benefits of having data online and at their fingertips, it comes with inherent challenges as well.

Connecting more devices to hospital networks can make the sensitive data more vulnerable than ever. Patient medical records contain such a wide range of information that they have become enticing to hackers. While the industry continues to get a handle on protecting such data, hackers will continue to exploit this.

Another real threat is devices that are attached to patients. Anything that uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth could be vulnerable to hacker attacks. A hacker could change a patient’s insulin dose, send electrical signals to a patient or alter important monitoring data. Many devices in the healthcare field have little to no monitoring that will continue to be a problem. And with much of it being regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), patching the software could be a lengthy process.

THIRD PARTY

Another increasingly common hacker attack victim is a third party such as vendors and contractors. Securing important business data through a reliable MSP gives you peace of mind that you are doing everything you can to protect your business. But what about that construction foreman and his smart phone, or that vendor that has you sign for things on an iPad? Any one of these could be vulnerable to a cyber attack and not even know it.

Hackers in 2013 stole the information of 110 million Target customers after exploiting vulnerability in the chain’s refrigeration vendor. Similarly, Wendy’s was the victim of a cyber attack in 2015 when a third party vendor was hacked, resulting in 1,025 Wendy’s locations being affected. Third party vendors and contractors are a normal part of modern business that is unlikely to go away, and as business becomes more reliant on them, then there needs to be more accountability across third party vendors.

MOBILE PAYMENTS

How many of us use our phones to pay for stuff? It is so easy now to pay using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, MasterPass, Wal-Mart Pay and more. This is a new frontier for hackers who work to find a way to crack into this form of payment. The number of companies offering these RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near field communication) mobile payment platforms is increasing every day.

Some common ways hackers could try and gain access to your mobile payment information could be:

  • Man in the Middle Attacks – A third party disrupts the connection between the customer and the merchant. This is usually another app trying to pose as the actual payment app
  • Data Breaches – The merchant’s customer database is hacked and all the customer information is stolen. This data can then be used for identity theft or other malicious attacks.
  • Loss or Theft of Your Device – Your device is lost or stolen. Your payment information, as well as other data, and is found by an unsavory character. This can result in the thief using your payment information for malicious purposes. They could also sell your data on the dark web.

If a hacker could gain access to this form of payment, imagine how much they could get from payment information to financial details. Plus, once they have hacked into your payment app, the next logical step is getting into your phone. For some, that’s game over.

Phoenix Technology has everything that you need to make them your one and only IT partner. Get the services and solutions you need to reach your full potential and get the most out of your technology investment. Call us at (360) 433-6930 or send an email to info@phoenixtechnology.us to learn more.