That menace is lurking in your employee inbox that wasn't blocked by the email filter? Egyptian Prince with millions to give you? Microsoft telling you that you need to contact them immediately with your credit card and social security number ready?
For schools and education, the new evil is Encrypting Ransomware attacks - an incredibly sinister type of malware that is delivered via spear phishing emails to staff or students that have the ability to lock up valuable data and documents and demands a ransom to release them, often starting at $600 per ransom - and they are out there waiting for you. The FBI estimates Ransomware is on pace to be a #1 billion dollar source of income to cyber criminals by the end of 2017.
The numbers don't lie folks. The explosion of multiple types of ransomware is working it's way into all organizations, but especially education and schools. Why? Big business baby, and a huge return on investment to those attackers succesful in using it. An average of 30,000 infections per month!
At this very moment, one of you could be clicking a link in a spam email and activating macros in a malicious word document. In a few seconds, all your data, as well as the organizations data will be encrypted and held for ransom with only a few days to pay to get it back.
Here is how it goes down:
This happens in seconds. Literally... seconds.
How can you protect yourself and the organization?
Fake emails and webpages often have bad spelling, or just look unusual. Look out for strange spellings of company names (like PayePal instead of PayPal) or unusual spaces, symbols, or punctuation or run on words or sentences (iTunesCustomerService instead of iTunes Customer Service).
I was sitting with my wife at a local coffee joint recently. We were both on our computers, spending a bit of time together chatting while getting some early morning email out of the way before we headed to work. We were talking about how my Verizon hot spot was much quicker than her AT&T hot spot, when I began wondering what the other patrons in this crowded shop were using for wi-fi? That got me thinking about the free public wi-fi offered at almost all public locations nowadays and specifically, how many of my fellow java worshippers were conducting personal business while connected to said public wi-fi?
And I said to myself, "They all know how dangerous public wi-fi is, right? There are so many articles and info pieces out that none of them are using it for anything personal".
But, do they and do you? If you have found yourself sitting at a coffee house, restaurant, airport or any other location with public wi-fi available and you are connecting to "open" or "free" or "secured or unsecured" public wi-fi do you realize that everything you transmit while connected can be viewed by anyone else connected to that same public wi-fi? And I mean your passwords, usernames, credit card and bank account info. Whoah... do I have your attention now? Here are the things you can do to keep you and your personal info and finances safe: