Safety Tips

Central Oregon computer owner upset due to security breach.

Why Internet Paranoia is a Good Thing

Internet security and hacking concerns have become commonplace news topics these days, especially after our most recent election. There certainly have been some high profile politicians, businesses, and social media CEO’s who have been hacked in 2016.

But what about the rest of us?

Does all of this hacking and malware really affect the average person, like you and me? Does it really hurt the typical small business owner? After all, it makes sense for hackers to target large businesses like Verizon and Wendy’s when there’s a big payoff. But does it really affect small and medium businesses to the same degree?

Yes, unfortunately, 81% of cyber breaches are reported by small and medium businesses. It’s tempting to hope that this won’t affect us personally, but the rising cyber crime statistics don’t leave any room for guesswork. Chances are that if you haven’t had your own internet security problems, you know someone who has. It’s important to stay aware of the risks and even have a certain amount of paranoia before you click on something you aren’t sure of. Staying alert and educated is the first step to protecting yourself.

There are many ways that cyber criminals attempt to infiltrate your computers and networks, but looking back at 2016 there are two concerning trends that will continue to have a great impact on us all.

Image of computer infected with ransomware.

  1. Ransomware Attacks Increased by a Whopping 300% in the Last Year
  2. When people are hit by a ransomware attack, they often have the same questions, “Why didn’t my anti-virus catch this?” or “Shouldn’t my firewall have blocked this?” Many people believe they have enough protection through their anti-virus, software updates, and internet service provider to keep their systems safe. What they don’t realize is just how drastically the security climate on the internet has changed in just the last two years. They are caught off guard when the old modes of security are not enough to protect them. It’s a bit like entering a modern war zone with a shield and spear. Fine in ancient England - but it’s nothing when you’re up against today's bomb dropping drones.

    This type of attack has become so profitable for criminals that almost all phishing emails now contain some form of ransomware. Opening an unknown email attachment is now riskier than ever, and more costly. If you aren't familiar with ransomware, it's a program that infests your computer or network and holds your files for "ransom" until you pay a demanded sum of money. Sadly, even once you've paid, there's no guarantee you will get your files back.

  3. Security Cameras and DVR Hacking On the Rise

  4. As a security company, we’ve found this to be one of the more disturbing trends in our industry. In 2016, security cameras, DVRs, and other internet connected devices were infiltrated in high numbers, infested with botnets which attacked and brought down one of the largest servers on the east coast, the Dyn Server. Netflix, Spotify, Paypal, Twitter, and Etsy were just some of the websites affected by this one attack. Since this happened last October, there has been an ever increasing amount of botnet attacks. Security cameras, DVR’s, and many other internet devices are susceptible to being infiltrated and then employed in these attacks. Although there are many things that help protect against intrusion (such as strong passwords), there have been vulnerabilities found in some devices on the manufacturing level that were impossible to account for.

    Cyber protection for internet connected devices.

    While the threats may seem daunting, there is a solution. Thanks to our new partnership with an enterprise level cyber security firm, we can now provide the best available network protection for your security DVR’s, cameras, and other internet connected devices. There is no fool-proof solution to internet threats, but while anti-virus is around 50% effective, our service has a 97% protection rate.

    This added level of cyber security comes with weekly reports showing device activity connected to your network, documented threat attempts, and much more. If any of your network's devices should show infiltration past the defense of our cyber protection system, we will personally call you to make you aware of the time and type of intrusion so action can be taken right away.

    Please call us to learn more about what you can do to better protect yourself from current internet threats, whether it be for your security cameras and DVR, or your business #541-389-0015.

    Stay tuned for more safety tips brought to you by East Cascade Security.

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