Computer security experts, institutions and companies are taking security much more serious with the implementation of thorough security policies and technologies. In the past few years we have seen a very large surge of hacker attacks that range from simple ransomware to serious critical facilities sabotage. Continue reading this article to learn about some of the new policies and technologies that experts are implementing to combat possible intrusion attempts and virus infections.
The Security Bot Open-Source Project Employed as Watchdog
The Dropbox cloud service aims to help administrators by releasing an open-source chatbot. It is called Security bot and automatically collects alerts from installed security monitoring services. The tool can be used to help security teams into investigating potential incidents much quicker. It works with Slack and is tied to Dropbox’s detection and alerts system which reduces the number of false positives and can immediately escalate the confirmed cases.
As usual with such utilities it scans for any unusual behavior patterns and then sends out a Slack message to the employees. If the user does not confirm that the relevant action was not done by them, then an alarm is triggered. All responses are logged for the security team’s knowledge. Such automated pattern analysis bots can be very useful especially when larger networks are used. Watchdog security solutions are getting more and more popular as the rate of intrusion attempts has skyrocketed in recent years.
Security Fact: Half Of The Internet’s Traffic is Encrypted
A new report coming from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states that over 50% of all pages loaded are protected using an encrypted connection. Such measures are useful in preventing network sniffing, a hacker technique which listens in to the traffic flow and attempts to extract sensitive data and account credentials. To a large extent secured connections can prevent some of the popular network attacks, however it cannot effectively defend against more sophisticated scenarios – main-in-the-middle data theft, malware infections and etc.
And While the HTTPS traffic is used mainly for security reasons, computer hackers have found a good use for it as well. Some of the recent ransomware samples and sophisticated malware viruses use an encrypted connection to relay the C&C communication between the criminal server and the infected computers. This makes it practically impossible for the security researchers to detect the contents of the commands. This prevents the infections from being detected using automated network analysis, unless the administrators keep a constantly updated list of all known C&C remote malicious servers. This is clearly not an option as the experts who revealed information about the threats have announced that there are advanced forms of malware that are able to constantly change the addresses of the servers.
Security Incident Prevention
Computer and network administrators can use various solutions in conjunction with detailed policies to prevent possible intrusions and security incidents. Here some of the basics that every individual user and company should abide to:
Exercise Caution – The classic rule of “Stay vigilant at all times” applies here. The weakest link in a security configuration is the human factor and it is a fact that most ransomware attacks happen due to a social engineering attempt on the hacker’s side. Schools, companies and all institutions should start their computer education by explaining the risks of falling into such traps. This also means not using pirate software as they are often acquired from pirate download sites and BitTorrent trackers which are notorious for spreading the most dangerous viruses.
Software Maintenance – A key aspect that is related to computer security is the constant monitoring for outdated software. Computer hackers frequently target such services with exploit kits and other automated attacks that seek to intrude into the victim system or infect them with viruses. To learn more about this topic read our dedicated article.
Invest In A Quality Security Solution – Anti-malware products provide a constant protection and make sure that their users can always remove active infections with a few more clicks. Incoming intrusions are blocked instantly.
Network Protection – Many incidents are caused by bad configuration. As most of the consumer routers and firewalls can be classified as IoT devices the relevant rules apply. Company networks should be split down and all private information should be available only on offline or highly secure zones which require special access.
Regular Backups Are a Must – All sensitive and critical data should be backed to a secure storage which is accessed only when necessary.
The Use Of Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication – Strong passwords are the basic building blocks of a secure account. Users can opt to use password managers such as KeePass (read our tutorial about it here) to better manage their online identities. Easy secure password generation can be done using freeware tools like Password Maker (we have a tutorial about it).
Use Data Recovery When Necessary – The majority of cases where users would want to recover their files is when a malware or another type of virus has compromised their systems. Over the last few years we have seen an enormous spike of ransomware infections that target both individual users and organizations and businesses. You can learn all about the available options and methods by clicking here.
These are just some of the basics. The most important steps is to always be alert and know that hacker intrusions can happen anytime and anywhere. This is is why we have created the Best Security Search site – to always give you updated information about the latest threats. If you happen to be infected with a virus, we can give you a solution. Our in-depth removal guides show you how to remove the dangerous viruses and browser hijackers.