virus

Botnet Attack

Everything You Want to Know About a Botnet Attack


It is no secret that botnet attack have become significant security threats but what are they, exactly?

What is a Botnet Attack?

A botnet attack is performed by hackers using a collection of malware-infected devices, often termed as “zombies,” which are being controlled by the attackers. We often think of servers and computers being used in such an attack but increasingly, IoT devices like cameras, thermostats and more can help form botnet clusters.

Threat actors gain access to a device by using particular viruses to weaken the computer’s security system before executing “command and control software” to let them conduct their malicious activities on a large scale.

These activities can be automated to carry out countless simultaneous attacks, paralyzing infected devices for ransom or damage while also disguising their identity via the vast botnet network.

A botnet is used in many cybercrimes such as exploiting and making a financial gain, malware propagation, or just general disturbance of the Internet.

Botnet attacks are launched in many ways, including:

  • Spam Emails

The spamming process can be conducted by posing bots as a content server while others as SMTP servers. A spam campaign includes message templates, a senders list, and a recipient list.

  • Launching a DDOS Attack:

A Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDoS) is another type of botnet attack launched on a website, company or government. This is conducted by sending many requests for content that overwhelms and shuts down the targeted server or website.

  • Ad Fraud

Cybercriminals can utilize the combined processing power of botnets to run fraudulent advertising schemes to attract clicks to get a percentage of ad fees.

  • Distributing Spyware, Malware, and Ransomware

Botnet attacks are also conducted to distribute spyware, ransomware, and malware.

  • Selling and Renting:

Believe it or not, botnets can be found for sale on the dark web to other cybercriminals to exploit!

HOW TO PREVENT BOTNET ATTACKS?

1. Emphasize Cybersecurity Education

For companies of all sizes, training their people is key. Employees should be trained to report unauthorized emails to the IT team, how to spot phishing emails, not to use public WiFi without using a VPN and more.

2. Keep All Software Up-to-Date

Software patches should always be applied promptly – beyond your browser and operating system, don’t forget to update antivirus protection, too!

3. Spam Filtering:

Email filtering solutions should be enabled to prevent most malicious messages from getting into the email inboxes. The more messages that are blocked, the less risk there is of your staff interacting with a phishing email.

4. Avoid Downloads from File Sharing Networks and P2P

Botnets regularly capitalize on P2P networks and file-sharing services to exploit company networks. Make sure all files are downloaded only from trusted sources and they’re scanned before and after downloading.

5. Control Access

Use multi-factor, risk-based authentication and other safe practices for access controls to prevent a successful botnet invasion on one machine from affecting the entire network.

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Cybersecurity training Tips for Employees

6 Cybersecurity Training Tips For Employees


Cybersecurity Training is very important for employees to survive in an industry dominated by growing virtual crime.

Have you read the WEF2019 Global Risks Report?

The report has listed cyber-attacks among the top five global threats over a decade. Data incident has been listed on the fourth spot.

But if you think your organization is too small to be attacked, here is another spooky survey that says that 43% of online attacks are now aimed at small businesses.

Cyber-threats not only destroy your data but also lead to financial losses, tarnished reputations, and downtime.

No matter what the size of your business, you should make your cybersecurity strong; it all starts with your employees.

This is because employees are often the largest security vulnerability.

They can click on malicious links, exposing your information to cybercriminals. They can use infected devices that can inject the virus into your systems. And above all, they can pose as insider threat or your ex-employee can sell your information to your competitor.

Therefore, there is a need for cybersecurity training for your employees which can be built around the key points given below.

6 Cybersecurity Training Tips For Employees

1. Don’t Blame Your Employees:

In the event of a serious data breach, many employers are likely to blame their ill-fated employees that clicked on the malicious stuff. While it’s true they were the ones to get trapped, accusing an individual of lacking the knowledge is a way to avoid the organization’s responsibility to ensure its employees keep its information protected.

The organization should have a plan to ensure their employees have the knowledge they require making the right decision and knowing whom to ask if they have any security-related questions.

You need to be clear about what to do if anyone has security concerns. It prompts you to create the infrastructure required to share new threats as they occur and get everyone involved in data security.

2. Plan and Create a Solid Security Policy:

You need to create and plan a security policy to cover the appropriate topics and secure the use of the company’s system. Make sure your IT security policy covers everything.

Besides, keep it clear and accessible to everyone in your organization. One more thing—your IT security policy should define the roles and responsibilities for control, enforcing, training, controls, and maintenance.

3. Educate on Password Management:

Password Management is a necessary evil for most business owners. With the IT team failing to remind employees, there needs to be a huge change in attitude if you want to fortify your cybersecurity. Moreover, encourage your employees to use strong passwords. This is important because nearly 81% of security incidents are caused by weak ones.

You can simplify their password management by sharing the tips given below:

  • Use a combination of letters, special characters, and numbers. Get creative with passwords
  • Don’t use simple passwords like ABCD, date of birth or house address
  • Don’t share your passwords with anybody
  • Set different password for every device
  • Change your passwords frequently

4. Make it Mandatory for All:

Fire safety isn’t taught to selected employees, right?

Cybersecurity should be treated in the same way. It should be made a top priority and mandatory for everyone. Your employees should be aware of all old-new threats, no matter if they are into accounts, IT or at the front office. Anyone using a computer should be familiar with basic password security and safe internet browsing practices. Share cybersecurity news regularly.

5. Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Sessions:

Admit it. Documented policies are likely to be read once and never looked at again. Therefore, encourage your employees towards cybersecurity with frequent seminars and quick bursts of training. It will keep them informed, engaged and interested.

These small cybersecurity sessions can be built around the use of passwords, safe use of devices and other security concerns. Make sure to test their knowledge regularly. For example, you can check if they are practicing essential cybersecurity protocols. Do they follow the guidelines? Testing their knowledge and vigilance from time to time is important.

Practice this mock drill:

Send them a fake email to see how many clicks it will get. The results can be shown in the seminar or training session, without revealing the names of the employees who clicked these fake phishing emails.

6. Train Employees to Recognize Phishing Threats:

As we have reviewed, some of the vicious cyber-crimes are caused by human error. Cybercriminals can trick the users into something malicious by using fake email addresses and domains. For example, they might pose themselves as a reputed bank in their emails asking for personal information or bank account details.

In this scenario, employees are required to be taught how to identify such malicious links.

Bottom Line:

There are many more tips on cybersecurity training. However, practicing these key measures will provide overall protection to your data. With improved cybersecurity, you can minimize the risk of cyber-threats across your organization.

It not only secures your system and data but also adds to the reputation of your organization.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.

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