Tag: hackers

23 Nov 2016

Encryption, the best way to protect data from hackers

It’s no secret that today’s cyber criminals are heavily funded and technically astute – creating more methods to hack into organizations than individuals and businesses can keep up with. Because of their ever changing, advanced and growing capabilities, private organizations and governments must protect all possible gateways to information in our digital-driven society. To keep the data sent via email safe, email encryption remains the best protection in today’s cybersecurity landscape.

Smarter devices mean new vulnerabilities
The evolving technology landscape has created challenges for businesses trying to stay ahead of the curve. As the workforce becomes increasingly mobile and digital, organizations are opening new digital communication and commerce channels to meet employee and business needs. But as new devices are connected to the network, and thus become connected to confidential information, risks to data privacy will appear. These new devices and potential vulnerabilities create opportunities for hackers to infiltrate personal and professional networks at vulnerable entry points.

Companies must have a solution that is focused solely on encryption if they are to tackle today’s rapidly changing technology landscape. Encryption can be tailored to meet a company’s specific IT policies, compliance requirements and user needs to ensure that critical communication touch points are protected whether on mobile or desktop, keeping organizations’ information safe. Encryption allows businesses to innovate while leveraging new technologies, ensuring that sensitive data remains secure.

Securing confidential information – in transit and at rest
Vast volumes of confidential company, customer and employee data passes through business networks every day. Companies in regulated industries represent a treasure trove for cyber criminals as they hold mounds of confidential information including biometrics, health records, financial transactions, inventory tracking, climate controls, and even digital keys. For example, to properly track medical records for HIPAA compliance, there is often personal information attached to communications that can be exploited by hackers.

To ensure that this confidential information is protected, email security solutions are often overlooked in favor of network firewalls or file server security. As a result, message interception has become more frequent – putting information at risk. Email encryption solutions that are content aware are critical to combating hackers targeting corporate email data. Content aware encryption solutions can be configured to automatically scan email content and attachments based on a company’s security policies – providing a user-friendly experience for employees and peace of mind for IT management. Encryption is crucial to ensuring that this confidential information remains private and secure – while emails are in transit and at rest.

Key to citizen privacy and security
Beyond the business benefits, encryption is also key to citizen privacy and security. But, as governments adapt to crime in the digital age, we have seen them continue to push for ways to weaken one of our best protections, encryption, with master keys or back doors to encrypted information. Encrypting sensitive information is just as important as locking your home when you leave. But would you hide a master key for your home right on its perimeter? Encryption back doors are essentially leaving a key for hackers to discover for easy entry.

Encrypted data is only as secure as the keys used by the system that locked them. If the keys are compromised by hackers, negligence or other means, or entry ways are made available via backdoors, then any data that’s encrypted can be decrypted. Ultimately, an entrance into encrypted information, whether meant for the government or an IT executive, is an entrance for everyone, including cyber criminals. Encryption is critical to the security of data and ensuring that citizens maintain their privacy, and management of keys is an essential piece of the puzzle.

As adversary tactics continue to grow and evolve, citizens and companies must feel confident that their data – from private information to intellectual property – is secure. Encryption is critical for protecting confidential data from today’s growing, fast-moving, and ever-changing cyber threats. And to remove pathways for hackers to exploit, we must maintain that back doors are not created, and all keys are properly managed. By applying encryption to email and other data, organizations can ensure that hackers have no way to access data that they discover or intercept.

If you would like to find out more ways to ensure your critical communication touch points are protected, the additional content listed below may be of interest.

  • Download our REPORT    Do You Trust Email?
  • Watch our DEMO     B2C Encryption Protection
  • Read our REPORT    Fraudsters, Hackers, and Thieves

By Kai Cheung, VP Architecture at Echoworx

15 Nov 2016

Cyberattack Impacts, Deeper and Less Visible Than You Suspect

Cybersecurity is one of the most debated issues in any organization. Although the need to immunize your company from all kinds of cyberattacks remains urgent, the full impact of a cyber incident is still largely unproven.

Recently I read an article by Deloitte which talked about how difficult it is for executives to gauge the impact of cyberattacks on their companies because they aren’t really aware of the work and effort that’s put into making a company cyber secure, or of the consequences of not doing so until it’s too late.

The DNC hack was the biggest election hack in the US history. Every other day WikiLeaks is busy making public the “private” conversations that took place within the DNC networks. These private conversations spread like wildfire on social media. Cyberattacks such as the one against the DNC are not uncommon. Every other day, there is a breach after breach, just look at the Yahoo data breach, Anthem medical records breach, and so on.

Emails are used for corporate communications, including classified communications, every day. Sadly, even after all these widely public incidents and demonstrated lessons, a lot of companies still shy away from using encryption. The reasons range from the complexity of the software to overconfidence in the minimal probability of a cyberattack against them. But guess what? No one is secure. No matter how big or how small a company is.

Emails being the bedrock of the internet, need to be and deserve to be shielded. The costs and impacts of a data breach and cyberattacks include:

  • Notification costs: All necessary activities required to report the breach to appropriate personnel within a specified period.
  • Breach response costs: All activities required to notify data subjects with a letter, telephone call, email or general notice that personal information was lost or stolen.
  • The cost of providing credit-monitoring services for at least a year.
  • Reputational damage.
  • Loss of business.
  • Negative publicity: Extensive media coverage, further damaging the organization’s reputation.
  • Attorney fees and litigation
  • Increase in insurance premium
  • Devaluation of trade name
  • Loss of intellectual property (IP)

It’s in your hands to protect your company’s privacy. And the time to act is now.

If you would like to find out more about the most significant cybersecurity risks and sure ways encryption can mitigate them, the additional content listed below may be of interest.

  • Download our REPORT  | How Much Do You Trust Email?
  • Watch our DEMO  | OneWorld B2C Encryption Protection
  • Read our COVERAGE  | Email security: These steps can stop the hackers

By Chris Grossi, Echoworx

23 Sep 2016

Ransomware 2016, Billion Dollar Business Nightmare

Cybercrime has been with us since personal computers became available to the masses. But never before in the history have people across the world been subjected to intimidation on a gigantic scale as they are today. There are millions of emails sent out every day and billions of financial transactions done every year. With the massive use of computers and internet, cybercrime is becoming more and more prevalent. The cybercriminals prey on the innocent users with the help of a wide range of malware, with mostly the purpose of making money-directly or indirectly. Today, ransomware has taken the center stage. And it is spreading like wildfire, completely out of control.

Ransomware is designed for direct revenue generation. The US has been the region most affected by ransomware, with 28 per cent of global infections. Canada, Australia, India, Japan, Italy, the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, and Malaysia are the top 10 victims of ransomware. The average ransom amount this year has doubled from $294 US at the end of 2015 to $679 now. The favored payment method for locker ransomware is payment vouchers and for crypto ransomware, it’s bitcoins. Spear phishing emails remain the most common way ransomware is spread.

The growth of ransomware is fueled by two major advances:

  • Anonymity software such as Tor, which allow criminals to hide their location and network usage. It is in fact, free to public use.
  • Anonymous payment methods, with Bitcoin being the preferred platform, that operate outside the traditional financial system. Bitcoin provides unidentifiable transactions because the movements are masked. Bitcoin wallets are free and disposable, giving attackers the option to generate a new, unique wallet for each maneuver, making it hard for law enforcement to follow all earnings.

The FBI estimated that $209 million of ransom payments were extorted from businesses and institutions in the first three months of 2016. It is believed that at this rate, ransomware will reach a 2016 $1 billion business. In response, the FBI has issued a guide for ransomware prevention and response intended for CEOs.

With access to enormous funds, criminals and terrorists have the resources to seriously contend with law enforcements and governments. Moreover, professional fraudsters have started selling services – the ransomware business model has opened doors to gold mines for attackers.

This is an example of a blackhat hacker’s ad offering ransomware services:

“You give me a .EXE file and any ordinary .PDF file (this is optional; I can use a blank .PDF or my own) that you want to send to the user. I will stitch them together and give you a toxic .PDF file. When the user opens it, the files will be extracted and the toxic .PDF will be replaced by the ordinary .PDF and displayed to the user. This service costs US$420.”

Lately, the news headlines about the enforcement agencies and government lawmakers calling for the weakening of encryption and encryption backdoors, has reignited the global debate on privacy. The underlying assumption of the lawmakers is that with on-demand access to encrypted data, communications among cybercriminals and terrorists would be exposed, and the world would become a safer place.

But the cold hard truth is that weakening encryption with backdoors will only allow criminals and terrorists to conduct more attacks on common users, businesses and government agencies. Criminals and terrorists will remain out of reach, because they can use their own home-brew software built with strong encryption algorithms.

Strong encryption safeguards our businesses, commerce and government operations.  The call for weakening encryption will only erode our personal freedom, endangering our society and our digital future.

To learn more about how you can seamlessly integrate email encryption into your environment while driving performance and creating seamless customer
experiences:

  • Watch our VIDEO  | How Effective B2C Encryption Protection Works
  • Download our DATA SHEET  | OneWorld Enterprise Encryption
  • Download our CASE STUDY  | Top Bank Demand Performance & Productivity

By Kai Cheung, VP Architecture at Echoworx

02 Sep 2016

Unencrypted Client Emails Imperil Outside Counsel to Breaches

In 490 BC, Ancient Greeks used a person to deliver a message during the Battle of Marathon. The Greeks had defeated the Persian army, but they were worried that the Persians, who retreated to the sea, would head to Athens to launch a new attack. The Greek army needed to send a message to Athens to tell them that Greece had won the battle but also to warn them that Persia may try to attack again. Pheidippides was given the job to run 26 miles to Athens to give the news. Pheidippides ran to Athens in about three hours and was so exhausted, however, that he delivered half the message and died.

Today, the Outside Counsel is the Greek Army; its clients are the people of Athens, cybercriminals are the Persian Army, and Pheidippides’ death is unencrypted emails. In retrospect, running such long distances was not the best way to communicate messages. Similarly, unencrypted emails are just as risky.

Unencrypted attorney-client emails expose law firms to an array of threats, including cyberattacks on their server, data breaches and unauthorized use of confidential content. Once the cybercriminals gain access to attorney-client emails, they can collect enough data to launch more sophisticated phishing attempt. The law firms have little control over pushing clients to underpin the vulnerabilities of their email security system. Ergo, the responsibility of securing email communications falls on law firms’ shoulders. When securing emails, encryption would seem like the first go-to defense. But many often shun the technology, because traditionally it has been thought of as very clunky to implement.

To this end, Echoworx has a solution that will make sure that all emails leaving an organization are scanned for sensitive information, and just what is sensitive information is left up to the law firms to decide as specified by Jacob Ginsberg, senior director at Echoworx.

legaltech

Echoworx believes in strong cyber security, preserving privacy rights, and the expectation of secure digital communication. Its email encryption software, OneWorld Enterprise Encryption helps firms from all industries to secure information and communication in and outside of their enterprise. To know more about strong email encryption, the risks associated with weak B2C communications,  and why encryption is a must for your company:

  • Download our REPORT  | Fraudsters, Hackers & Thieves!
  • Download our DATA SHEET  | OneWorld Enterprise Encryption

By Alex Pajiltsev, Enterprise Account Executive, Echoworx