How Dangerous is Ransomware Anyway?


19 January 2019



Ransomware alerts are a bit over-the-top. A victim might think the infection is a joke. The pop-up stating the computer owner must pay up a credit card-delivered ransom to regain access to a computer seems like something out of a sci-fi/espionage movie. Here’s some news: ransomware is no joke. The infection doesn’t exist solely in the mind of a creative filmmaker or novelist. Ransomware is real and, yes, the virus is dangerous.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a virus that locks down a computer. As the name suggests, ransomware overrides a computer user’s password access to his/her computer. Depending on the situation, being locked out of a computer proves troubling. Even a short lockout presents disasters. And the ransomware might not be the only virus infecting the computer. What if the hard drive’s contents are being stolen and downloaded? Out of panic, some may think to pay the ransom will get them out of a bad situation. Ransomware architects probably aren’t the most trustworthy of persons. Paying up money won’t automatically lead to the desired outcome or stop ransomware threats in the future.

The Dangers of Ransomware:

Anyone who doesn’t think a ransomware attack represents serious dangers should look at the 2018 attack on the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. The NHS serves as the epicenter of healthcare in the U.K.

The “WannaCry” cyber attack put hundreds of thousands of computers on lockdown. Thousands of appointments ended up canceled — a dire situation. Not everyone booked to see a doctor requires only minor treatments. With the hackers demanding a massive Bitcoin payment to unlock the computer systems, many people were left unable to see a healthcare provider. By the time the situation concluded, the NHS lost £92 million in IT costs. The NHS also learned a valuable lesson: don’t use outdated IT systems. Reliance on the archaic Windows XP system made things easier for hackers.

Take Steps to Prevent a Ransomware Attack:

Contacting a computer security expert to solve a ransomware attack makes sense. So does contacting the same experts to discuss methods to stop ransomware and prevent an attack. Keeping hackers out is a lot easier and less stressful than dealing with the aftermath of their attacks. Sometimes, preventive measures involve little more than not falling into the most common ransomware trap: opening an infected email file. Yes, the age-old concept of malicious fishing still works. So does taking common-sense security steps and updating all security measures.

Ransomware Expands Its Targets:

Although reports of sensationalized ransomware attacks may be down, the threat always looms over computer systems. Don’t think solely relying on Linux OS will save you. Ransomware may hit any operating system. The designers of the virus want to hit as many targets as possible. More targets mean more potential ransom money.

While no one should experience paranoia about ransomware-impending doom, it never hurts to be cautious. Learn about trends in ransomware and other viruses. This way, you can take steps to prevent and deal with the threat.

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I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at Content Rally.

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Improve Your Internet Privacy

5 Tips to Improve Your Internet Privacy

Have you ever faced a cybersecurity breach or a severe hacking attempt? What was the most overwhelming feeling following the occurrence?Indeed, whenever something of such sort happens, we feel that our privacy got breached. We begin to realize that there’s no more confidentiality left, and someone else is in command of our personal affairs. The truth is that’s when we discover the true worth of maintaining our privacy.The reality, as it seems, is that individuals or companies may face a cybersecurity breach irrespective of what they do. It is simply because the technology and security systems have progressed, threats have advanced too. Somehow, those attempting such manipulation always find a way to defeat the security measures and protocols.One way to combat or at least minimize such a level of a breach is to pay extreme care to personal security. At an individual level and as an organization’s employee, a person can somewhat tackle the threat with some steps. These include being cautious when using a public computer and avoiding sharing personal information online. Another measure is to gain advanced cybersecurity expertise.In other words, you may earn a postgraduate degree in cybersecurity to defend against threats. In doing so, you will learn in detail about cyber law and security and how they apply in today’s digital age. You will also study digital forensics, focusing on the investigation of data on the devices. Only a Cyber Security Masters or Bachelors degree can provide the opportunity to earn discreet knowledge on the subject.While you do so, why not learn about some essential tips to safeguard your internet privacy? Let’s begin.1. Be Wary of the Websites You Visit: The first rule to maintain your privacy is to be conscious of your browsing habits. It is essential to be mindful of the sites you visit not to fall into any trouble unknowingly. When we talk about websites, we generally think that avoiding them is too convenient, while this isn’t entirely true.Substandard websites or those that have ransom-ware or harmful downloadable programs in them do appear in disguise. Further, they may have engaging content, such as a compelling catch-line to lure the potential victims. Pointing them out and avoiding them is the key to keeping your privacy intact. 2. Draw Limitations on Social Media: Social media can have the most profound impact on your privacy, so we need to be careful about it. It seems just so tempting to jump on the bandwagon and share our two cents on a trendy topic. But, if you want your privacy to remain, you will need to draw out some limitations on the usage.When we say restrictions, we don’t mean that you shouldn’t engage with your acquaintances or engage with potential customers. Instead, what we mean is that you should be careful about what you post. Don’t hand out your personal information or data that could harm you in the longer run. 3. Ensure Privacy Checks Exist: Your steps for privacy should be of paramount importance to you as these guarantee confidentiality. To ensure that, it has to be conscious and constant effort to avoid facing a predicament. Besides being alert, one needs to place sufficient privacy checks, depending on their individual or organizational needs.Especially at an organization level, you will need to ensure that your employees follow online safety protocols. Each resource will need to make decisions and execute plans as per the company directives. Every individual needs to be aware of the steps to take in data theft or online breach. 4. Install Sufficient Software: It would be best to have specific programs on your computer to safeguard your crucial information from all privacy breaching attempts. Let’s try to understand it from a larger perspective. When you are securing your house, you install ample security devices and systems. The primary reason is to rule out any intrusion.Similarly, you need to install sufficient software on your machine to avoid any invasion. It includes anti-virus, anti-ransomware, and anti-spam programs that can safeguard your computer. But remember that you have adequate memory in the machine to keep running everything smoothly. Also, all programs must have complete synergy to produce the effect needed. 5. Secure Every Device: When we strive to maintain privacy, we primarily focus on securing our computer, laptop, or tablet. In doing so, we sometimes overlook our smartphones, and that’s where the problem begins. If we ponder it, it is our cell phone we use the most, so greater care is needed there.The biggest potential threat in terms of privacy when using a mobile phone is an app. Sometimes, we need an app urgently so that we can download the required program in seconds. However, it is essential to make all the devices secure to maintain comprehensive privacy. Final Thoughts: Attaining online privacy seems like an uphill task in today’s digital era. In a fast-paced world where businesses have intense competition, it is always hard to be alert about privacy. The existing threats of data breaches make it even more difficult to ensure security. But a few steps for online privacy can go a long way in ascertaining productivity and progress. So let us act wisely! Read Also:8 VPN Facts – You Should Know About Top 10 Cybersecurity Features That Are A Must-Have In An Ecommerce Store What are the things you need to know while choosing Antivirus Software? Five Tips to Make Sure Your Security Software Is Actually Secure

penetration testing

Benefits of penetration testing To Businesses

Nettitude is the leading penetration testing team in Singapore. While penetration testing is a broad subject, They specialize in providing services to businesses operating within heavily-regulated industries such as financial institutions, government agencies, and insurance companies.One common challenge that many clients In Singapore face is how to demonstrate due diligence on their security controls from a governance perspective. This often requires being able to provide assurance of the integrity and confidentiality of their assets, to meet compliance requirements.Penetration testing in Singapore provides value in demonstrating improvements, but only if the results are communicated effectively. As well as providing security controls that protect your network, Nettitude also provides consultancy services on how to communicate these measures to generalist and specialist audiences alike.The term 'penetration testing' is often misunderstood or incorrectly applied by businesses in Singapore. Penetration testing in Singapore, also known as ethical hacking, red teaming, and white teaming, is just one part of a wider practice called vulnerability management which includes the discovery and mitigation of vulnerabilities. Therefore penetration testing should be seen as a means to provide confidence that controls are working correctly and not the only solution in the wider security puzzle.Client expectations can often run ahead of reality when it comes to penetration testing, resulting in disappointment regardless of the position achieved by a pentester. Some common misconceptions include:- Clients expect a pentester to achieve a full, system-wide compromise of the network, bypassing all controls- Clients expect a penetration test to be carried out exactly as it would be in a real attack by hackersIn reality, penetration testing in Singapore is only part of the solution and not sufficient on its own. Network security needs to provide multiple layers of protection using a combination of detection and prevention controls. Penetration testing only demonstrates the effectiveness of individual security measures; it cannot be used alone to demonstrate that all vulnerabilities have been mitigated or that no further steps are required to meet compliance requirements.Nettitude's penetration testers are not just highly-skilled professionals, and they are also professional communicators with experience in reporting to non-technical audiences. They go beyond defining the technical risks associated with penetration testing, providing advice on how to provide assurance on your security posture. Services that Nettitude offer:- Web Application Penetration Testing (e.g., OWASP Top 10) by using cutting-edge technologies and weaponized techniques to uncover security vulnerabilities that can lead to compromised systems, data loss, and identity theft.- Security Audits by understanding your network environment, its unique business context, and the potential attack vectors an attacker may use.- Penetration Testing and Vulnerability Assessments by using a range of assessment tools and techniques to monitor exposed services and verify vulnerabilities.- Social Engineering: Identify critical business assets, understand the human element of your business environment, assess behavioral dynamics & identify vulnerabilities.Nettitude's experienced consultants have helped clients devise effective governance mechanisms to demonstrate the kind of risk-based decisions that organizations need to make about protecting their assets. They have helped banks, insurers, and financial services companies with their penetration testing requirements so you can be sure your business is in safe hands.Their team of consultants are not just specialist penetration testers; they have trusted security professionals who help clients devise effective governance mechanisms to demonstrate the kind of risk-based decisions that organizations need to make about protecting their assets.Read Also:Common IT Security Risks in the Workplace Learn More About Social Security Disability in Deland Everything You Need To Know About PKI In Cybersecurity Top 10 Cybersecurity Features That Are A Must-Have In An Ecommerce Store


Demystifying the common GDPR Myths

As one of the most common discussions around the internet today, data protection has seen huge changes in 2018. Indeed, the introduction of the European Union’ General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) program is making companies finally face up to their corporate responsibilities. While this has been more than a long time coming, it has not been dealt with well for the most part in the recent decades.This step from the EU is a merciful way to help make the regulation change as soon as possible. However, like all major regulatory changes, some half-truths and full-blown myths have emerged. What are some of the common tall tales told about GDPR that you need to look out for? 1. GDPR is just a mechanism to fine companies! Absolute hogwash, to put it bluntly. GDPR is a mechanism to send data protection back to the people who the data actually is about, not the company. A company can be fined as much as £17m, or 4% of their annual turnover, by the GDPR. However, this isn’t some committee looking to pay for their holidays and Christmas party: this is here to stop citizens being ripped off any longer by companies. 2. GDPR fines are handed out without warning We don’t know where these kinds of ideas come from, but it’s just not true in any capacity at all. fines in GDPR will be proportionate to the issue at hand: a small company with a GDPR breach will be fined a reasonable amount. Also, you are given two – almost three – warnings about GDPR compliance failure.You won’t just find a team of armed guards in EU flags turning up, don’t worry! 3.GDPR came from nowhere For years, GDPR was reported on and discussed at length. It was not a surprise. Companies were given the best part of a full calendar year to get their systems into spec before the May 2018 roll-out.Companies that missed the GDPR call-out would simply have not been paying attention to data protection policy changes. This was not a surprise for anyone who followed the industry. If you were a business that did not see GDPR coming, then we recommend that you spend some more time looking at European law changes: this was not a surprise! 4. GDPR is constraining businesses Again, not true – GDPR merely makes businesses take responsibility for the data that they have. GDPR is making it harder for consent to be presumed, and instead, it has to be clearly provided. The days of pre-ticked boxes for consent are gone. It’s also going to be much easier for people to withdraw their consent if they so choose.This is not constraining businesses, it’s merely making a part of the web that was thoroughly amateur in its people protection a bit more stringent in the way that you think and acts like a business. 5. GDPR was not necessary This is also quite untrue: GDPR was absolutely necessary. It’s simply putting in place a foundational program that reinforces key terms such as the Data Protection Act, and also makes companies more likely to care for the data they hold instead of using it recklessly.This myth, that GDPR is not necessary and was just added in to add more ‘red tape’ is not the case at all. All of the data breach stories of the recent years would have been almost impossible under GDPR: in a bid to give people back power over their own data, GDPR was essential. GDPR compliance is a fixed process This has been around for some time and is not the case at all. While it may have rolled out in 2018, the EU is fully aware that getting ready for it will take some time and effort. While the two years to get ready was more than enough, with ICO regulation kicking in as of May ’18, there is going to be change to it as time goes on.This is not like the Y2K bug; out of all the painful misconceptions about GDPR, this may be among the worst. You might not like the need to be more specific with data regulation, but GDPR is a good thing – the myths make it sound like the end of the world. All it is, in reality, is an end to lawlessness in data protection and regulation. Final Take Away    Hence, these are some of the crucial facts that you have to take care of while you want to improve your business in the correct order at the correct point in time. Do not make your choices in grey while you want to develop your current business in the right direction.Read Also:4 Secret Ways To Help You Download Torrents Safely Top Cloud Security Controls You Should Be Using