Cybercriminals are getting more creative in infecting computers with malware, and users must step up in order to protect their devices. To stay one step ahead of cybercriminals, you should learn more about their more insidious tricks such as watering hole attacks. Here’s what you need to know about these attacks and how you can Learn More “How to protect your network from watering hole attacks”
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Hackers have plenty of ways to breach your systems. They can use complex programs to exploit software bugs, send emails to dupe you into downloading malware, or insert a malware-infected USB drive directly into your computer. However, another increasingly popular hacking method is a watering hole attack.
What are watering hole attacks?
Much like phishing, a watering hole attack is used to distribute malware onto victims’ computers. Cybercriminals infect popular websites with malware. If anyone visits the site, their computers will automatically be loaded with malware.
The malware used in these attacks usually collects the target’s personal information and sends it back to the hacker’s server. Sometimes the malware can even give hackers full access to their victims’ computers.
But how does a hacker choose which websites to hack? With internet tracking tools, hackers find out which websites companies and individual users visit the most. They then attempt to find vulnerabilities in those websites and embed them with malicious software.
Any website can fall victim to a watering hole attack. In fact, even high-profile websites like Twitter, Microsoft, Facebook, and Apple were compromised in 2013.
You can protect yourself by following these tips.
Update your software
Watering hole attacks often exploit bugs and vulnerabilities to infiltrate your computer, so by updating your software and browsers regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Make it a habit to check the software developer’s website for any security patches. Or better yet, hire a managed IT services provider to keep your system up to date.
Watch your network closely
To detect watering hole attacks, you must use network security tools. For example, intrusion prevention systems allow you to detect suspicious and malicious network activities. Meanwhile, bandwidth management software will enable you to observe user behavior and detect abnormalities that could indicate an attack, such as large transfers of information or a high number of downloads.
Hide your online activities
Cybercriminals can create more effective watering hole attacks if they compromise websites only you and your employees frequent. As such, you should hide your online activities with a VPN and your browser’s private browsing feature.
At the end of the day, the best protection is staying informed. As cyberthreats continue to evolve, you must always be vigilant and aware of the newest threats. Tune in to our blog to find out about the latest developments in security and to get more tips on how to keep your business safe.
Getting a new laptop can be very exciting. It guarantees a more seamless user experience with faster speed, more memory, and better battery life. But it’s all for naught if you don’t take certain preventive steps before using your new machine. Discover five things you should do before you start exploring your new toy.
1. Update your laptop’s operating system
One of the first things you should do before using your laptop is upgrade its operating system. Assuming you did not purchase the laptop right when it was released, your laptop will still be running an older operating system. With important patches and fixes released in each new update, it is recommended that you install the latest one to ensure your laptop is free of any vulnerabilities.
2. Remove bloatware
Opening your laptop for the first time, you might notice that there are already several preloaded software in the system — some of which you will probably never use. These are known as bloatware.
These apps take up a lot of your valuable drive space, so consider getting rid of them. The easiest way to do this is by downloading a bulk uninstaller, which allows you to check all the bloatware apps you don’t want and remove them in one fell swoop.
3. Install protection software
It’s no secret that the world we live in is unsafe. And with so much confidential information nowadays becoming digitalized, it is necessary to protect yourself against losing important data from your computer. The solution to this is very simple. By installing antivirus software that can automatically — or manually — scan your computer at a scheduled time, potential attacks can be thwarted before they become more serious.
Not only is your laptop’s data vulnerable to cyberattacks, there is always a chance your laptop can get lost or stolen. While there are preventive steps you can take — such as being mindful while using your laptop in public places — another solution would be to install anti-theft software. Security features such as “Find My Device” for Windows 10 and “Prey” for other operating systems can help you locate your device if it’s ever stolen or misplaced.
4. Optimize your power settings
One of the most frequent problems that laptop users have is that their batteries run out of juice too fast. However, you can actually extend the battery life by making a few tweaks to your power settings.
Reduce your display brightness, but not so much that it causes eye and mental fatigue
Use the Sleep or Hibernate mode for your operating system
5. Set up a backup plan
Imagine spending months working on an important project and suddenly finding it nonexistent the next day just because your laptop crashed. Deadlines will be missed. Profit margins will decrease. Customers will leave unhappy. And if worse comes to worst, you’ll be out of business.
Why add more unnecessary stress if you can prevent it from happening in the first place? By setting up an automatic backup system, you can regularly save all your important files; that way, you’d still have access to the data anytime were anything to happen to the original file.
You can also store all your important documents in the cloud, which ensures access whenever you need, even if your laptop crashed or got stolen.
Getting a new laptop can be fun, but the joy might be short-lived if you don’t set up any preventive measures from the start. Call us for information on how we can help you secure your company’s laptop today.