Cyber Insurance Blog

New Cyber Exposures: The Latest Threats

New Cyber Exposures: The Latest Threats

With technology advances, new cyber risks are constantly evolving. The threat of a cyber attack looms largely over every type of business or organization that utilizes technology, from small mom-and-pop shops to multimillion-dollar corporations. A data breach can cost hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars and these cyber incidents force businesses to fold every day.

Staying current on all new cyber exposures is the first step in risk management against these attacks.

Five Cyber Threats You Need to Know About

In order to prevent a cyber attack or a security breach, it’s important to know how to identify them. Here’s what you need to lookout for:

1. Attacks on Cloud Services

What You Need to Know

A cloud computing system is “the delivery of on-demand computing services—from applications to storage and processing power—typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis.” These services are now a whopping $266.4 billion industry. With so much information stored in cloud-based systems, these are lucrative targets for hackers and pose a number of vulnerabilities.

What You Can Do

There are a number of ways to prevent a cloud computing system threat including backing up all data (including segregated backups), utilizing strong passwords and confirming who has access. Encryption adds an important layer of security for any data and information while in the cloud. Also, make sure you have full access to logs, in case you have an issue it will help get to the bottom of the issue quickly. In addition, employee education is always key and regular company-wide training should take place regularly.

2. Bricking

What You Need to Know

Bricking refers to an electronic device or piece of technology that is damaged beyond repair and rendered useless. The term refers to the device being left useless and can provide use only as a “brick” or paperweight-type object. Bricking as a cyber attack can occur when malicious or unwelcome software is installed and may damage the device past the point of recovery.

What You Can Do

Devices are most susceptible to falling victim to bricking if updates are not completed or fail to finish successfully. Completing all updates as soon as they are available and while plugged into a power source will help prevent the update from failing.

3. Cryptojacking

A man’s finger touches a brightly-lit padlock graphic that is illuminating a dark room. What You Need to Know

This type of theft occurs when a cyber criminal hacks into a device and installs software that allows the hacker to steal cryptocurrency. These attacks often result in a slow running device but, otherwise, can be difficult to detect. Because the software has become easy for hackers to set up, these attacks are becoming more and more popular. In addition, it’s often difficult to trace this attack back to the cyber criminal.

What You Can Do

As cryptojacking can be difficult to detect, even while a device is under attack, there are a number of things to look out for. Cryptojacking takes up a significant amount of electricity. It’s wise to, therefore, monitor for decreases in device performance and overheating or running fans. In addition, scanning for potential malware and double-checking all coding can help detect a potential threat.

4. Internet of Things (IoT)

What You Need to Know

The Internet of Things refers to the growing list of physical items that connect to the internet. This no longer limits to just computers and smartphones, but has grown to include vacuums, refrigerators, scales, and more. The more devices collect your data, the more criminals can potentially access this information and steal your identity.

What You Can Do

Do your research on both apps and devices. Each should provide a privacy policy that discloses what they intend to do with the personal data they collect. In addition, limit apps’ access to your phone and only provide this when necessary.

5. Ransomware

What You Need to Know

Ransomware is a “type of malicious software, or malware, designed to deny access to a computer system or data until a ransom is paid.” As one of the most common cyber attacks, ransomware preys on businesses and organizations, both big and small. It’s most often spread through phishing attacks that trick a user into revealing private or confidential information that the hacker can use unlawfully.

What You Can Do

Ransomware generally relies on human emotion and error to succeed, which makes it particularly dangerous. Learning to identify possible phishing attempts is the first defense against them. These attacks usually come as emails, texts, or other electronic messages. Red flags to watch for may include “clickbait” subject lines—a threat of something overdue, a generic greeting such as “Dear Customer,” and spelling and grammatical errors.


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Cyber Security Best Practices

In addition to staying current on all new cyber exposures, there are a number of cyber best practices that all organizations and businesses should implement:

  1. Keep all Software up to Date
    Don’t ignore those pesky reminders, update software as soon as a new version is available.
  2. Utilize Unique and Complex Passwords
    All passwords should be a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  3. Educate all Employees
    Make cyber security a regular part of company culture.
  4. Purchase a Cyber Insurance Policy
    As one of the most important aspects of protection against cyber, a cyber insurance policy can provide broad coverage for the extensive financial damages related to a cyber attack.

For more information on the potential damages of a cyber attack, download our FREE eBook, Cyber Exposure: What’s the Real Cost?. We offer cyber claims examples that outline the real exposures of a cyber attack and the coverages available under a cyber insurance policy.

For more information contact us to speak with a ProWriters expert today at 484-321-2335 with any questions.

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