New Research Examines Traffers and the Business of Stolen Credentials

Today, Outpost24 released a new report revealing the underground operation of Traffers, cybercriminal organisations reshaping the business of stolen credentials.

The Rising Threat of Traffers report, compiled by Outpost24’s Threat Intelligence team, KrakenLabs, provides a deep dive into the credential theft ecosystem, and encourages organisations to evaluate their security measures against these evolving threats.

Stolen credentials are a major problem for organisations, causing nearly 50% of all data breaches. While businesses are still trying to figure out how to fix the password problem, cyber criminals are organising, and innovating. The increased professionalization of cyber criminal groups, specifically the rise of Traffers, is the latest threat against businesses.

Traffers are highly organized cybercriminal groups. They spread different types of malware families with the goal of exfiltrating credentials or profit. To spread the malware as far and wide as possible, they have formed an industry-like structure of product and service providers, as well as dedicated market places, in the form of Telegram channels, to facilitate the sale of those credentials.

To increase their success rate, Traffers target their would-be victims by driving their internet traffic with Google and Facebook Ads to fraudulent content. Traffers have developed a business model that involve specific recruitment, training, and compensation, all of which distinguish them from other cybercriminals.

The price spike of information-stealing malware, the subscription models for accessing stolen credentials, and even the earnings of the Traffers themselves, are just some of the highlights in the report that demonstrate the increased activity and demand in the cybercriminal ecosystem.

Victor Acin, Head of the KrankenLabs at Outpost24, “credentials, and the tools used to steal them, are a commodity. With the growing trend of Initial Access Brokers (IABs) we know that criminal groups are willing to pay for services, which means they expect a bigger profit in return – that’s bad news for businesses.”

As the underground economy circulates, current security measures may fall behind. Organisations need to consider the Traffers attack chain to stay protected against the latest threats. The Rising Threat of Traffers report provides practical advice that can protect credentials, and help businesses avoid malware infections, in the way it is done by Traffers teams.

Outpost24’s KrakenLabs will continue to monitor these groups as part of their cyber threat intelligence solution, helping organizations improve their cyber security posture with real-time threat detection and faster remediation.

To read more about the report, please visit here. Last year, we reported that in the first half of the year, stolen credentials were involved in nearly half of data breaches.

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What Is Observability, And Why Is It Crucial To Your Business?

The software of your business – and its protection – is crucial if you want to succeed in the business landscape. Around the world, as many as 30,000 businesses are hacked every day, with 64% of companies also experiencing a form of cyber attack. When it comes to small companies, too, 60% go out of business within six months of being targeted by a hacker. 

As system architecture increases in scale and complexity, however, it is becoming harder and harder for IT teams to keep track of every operation. Businesses can now exist in a multi-cloud environment which – although logical in terms of avoiding attacks – elevates the pressure on tracking and responding to any issues that take place. Businesses, therefore, have been searching for a single, good observability platform, allowing them to understand the internal states of their system with the ability to control unpredictability.

But what is observability, and why exactly is it crucial to your own business? In this article, we’ll take a look at the fundamentals of an observability platform, as well as the wide-ranging benefits for businesses operating in a diverse and complicated computing environment.


Observability Explained

The first thing to understand is that observability doesn’t necessarily refer to technology. This is a practice that involves a specific set of processes and tools that give a strong insight into a system. In terms of IT infrastructure, observability can measure the current state of a computer system based on the data that is generated, as well as logs, metrics and traces. 

The logs give knowledge on a sector of the codebase where a request was reached,as well as anything unusual in the processing of that request. They also capture attempts to access a codebase through the operating system itself. Metrics, on the other hand, provide measurements of the system’s characteristics, with traces providing visibility into code steps – for instance, demonstrating what service a request has negotiated before crashing. 

It does this through telemetry, which is derived from the endpoints and services of the computing environment. Within these environments, there are records of activity across every hardware, software and open-source tool, and through measuring logs, metrics and traces, observability strives to shed light on these environments so that your company can detect and solve any issues that might arise due to their complexity.


The Benefits Of Observability Explained

Of course, there are many benefits to this. For one, if your IT team is in control of each environment – with the ability to resolve discrepancies – then it keeps the system efficient, fast and reliable. This will also keep your customers happy. Slow systems – even outside of a multi-cloud environment – are enormously detrimental to a company, especially if customers are not provided with confidence in its security. 

This isn’t to say that problems won’t happen; observability – as mentioned previously – is not centred solely around technology, which means it won’t stop all the issues that might occur in a system. What it does, however, is speed up troubleshooting, reducing MTTA, MTTR and MTTI to ensure your systems are running smoothly. This, in turn, improves the end-user experience. Every business knows why customer satisfaction and loyalty are important, and this can be achieved in the software that you provide. 

As well as this – and potentially most importantly – observability helps your company detect vulnerabilities in authentication, as well as access control vulnerability, external dependency vulnerability and brute force attacks. By detecting these, you can shield yourself from hackers before they have even managed to find a way in. Once again, with a multi-cloud system being far more “open” and complicated, it is technically harder to barricade every aspect. As mentioned before, a large percentage of businesses that have been attacked go out of business within six months – financially motivated attacks have increased by 686% over the last eight years. For this reason, your company needs this visibility to be proactive rather than reactive, protecting yourself from its vulnerabilities before it’s too late.


Choosing Observability

Lastly, it is important to be aware of which observability platform to use. For any distributed system – or hybrid cloud – the chances of being the target of a cyber attack are high, meaning you need an observability platform that is suited to the complex system and can generate as much observable data as possible. 

As a company, you need to undertake as much research as possible to determine which platform is optimal for your specific system. A good way to tell if it’s right for you is by looking at the specific functions. For instance, it needs to be able to integrate all of your systems across each application stack, as well as capture real-time data and correlate them in a meaningful way. 

It also needs to be cost-effective. One of the reasons observability is growing more popular is due to the costs it can reduce for a company – as well as the time it takes to get to market – so it is important that you factor in the cost of observability itself. Above all, however, it should aid users with a strong, easy-to-use and secure interface, ensuring the experience is as smooth and dependable as possible.

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Finding IT Consultancy Services for Your Business: A How-To Guide

Finding the right IT consultancy services for your business can be daunting, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the industry or have limited knowledge of IT. But when done correctly, outsourcing your IT needs to a consultancy can save you time and money and provide you with access to expertise that would otherwise be beyond your organization’s reach. This guide will help you navigate the process of selecting an IT consultancy and explain the various elements that should influence your decision-making.

Define Your Business Needs

Before selecting any IT consultant, it’s important to assess your specific business needs and determine what kind of technology solutions best address them. You need to identify not just the primary objectives but also any secondary objectives that may be relevant. For instance, if you’re seeking an IT consultant to help improve the security of your infrastructure, you need to determine how much emphasis should be placed on data protection versus overall system reliability and performance.

Research Various Providers

No matter what type of IT consultancy services your business needs, it’s important to research the various providers available. Doing so helps you make an informed decision when selecting a provider, ensuring that you find one best suited to meet your needs and wants. If you need strategic IT advice, nTrust’s consultancy services can provide reliable and professional guidance in business operations, IT infrastructure, and technological investments. For your business, you need consultants who are experienced professionals and can help you create a tailored solution to your IT needs.

Assess Their Relevant Experience

Once you’ve narrowed down your options to a few choices, it’s time to assess the relevant experience of each provider. This means evaluating their track record with businesses similar in size and structure to yours. Do they have expertise in the particular technology that needs to be implemented? Are they capable of delivering results within your timeframe? What other services may they offer beyond what is initially requested? Answering these questions will help determine if a particular consultant is right for you.

Analyze Their Cost Structure

It’s also important to review any associated costs with an IT consultancy provider before selecting. Be sure to ask about any setup fees, ongoing maintenance fees, or additional expenses related to implementation. Additionally, check whether there are any special discounts or offers available. Cost should not be the only factor influencing your decision, but it’s important to ensure that the services you choose are within your budget.

Understand Their Contract Terms

You also need to carefully review any contract terms with a potential provider before committing. Pay close attention not just to the scope of work and timeline of service delivery, but also to any cancellation clauses and warranties. Make sure there is a clear understanding between all parties as to what is expected upon project completion.

Vet Their Security Measures

Finally, when selecting an IT consulting firm it’s important to assess the security measures and protocols in place for protecting sensitive data. This includes evaluating how they manage user authentication, encryption, and other security protocols. It’s important to select a firm that follows industry best practices for safeguarding customer information.

By following these steps, you can be sure to make an informed decision when selecting an IT consulting firm for your business needs. With the right partner in place, you’ll have access to the expertise and technology solutions needed to help your organization succeed.

Tips For Starting A Business In 2023

Do you plan on starting a new business this year? There are few pursuits more exciting and rewarding in life than starting your own business, and you will be keen to get started, but it is vital that you know what you are doing and what areas to focus on. Starting a new business is a lot of work, and there are many tasks that need to be completed. Additionally, there is no guarantee of success, and it can take a long time for a startup to find its feet. With this in mind, this article will offer a few tips for starting a new business in 2023 that should prove to be useful.

Become An Industry Expert

Knowledge is power in the business world, and you want to take the time to become an industry ex-pert before starting your business. This will involve conducting detailed market research, which will help you to learn about the state of the industry, everything about your competitors (and industry leaders), and your target market. With all of this information, you can then find gaps in the market, determine a USP and find the best ways to succeed with a new business.

Secure Plenty Of Funding

Most startups fail because they run out of money, which can be frustrating because it can take a lot of time for a business to find its feet. To prevent this issue, you want to secure plenty of funding for your startup so that you can keep the business afloat. You need to raise enough money to get the business up and running and to operate for enough time to find success. There are a number of funding options that you can use, including:

  • Savings
  • Loans from loved ones
  • Bank loans
  • Grants
  • Angel investors
  • Venture capitalists
  • Crowdfunding

Invest In Digital Marketing

No matter what industry you are in, you need to make sure that you have a strong presence online. Digital marketing will help you to boost your visibility online. For the best results, you should hire the services of an experienced digital marketing agency, and the earlier they can start work, the better. This will increase brand awareness, ensure that you get traffic, increase sales and help you to hit the ground running.

Make Sure You Have Insurance In Place

When starting any kind of new business, there are many threats and risks that you face. Many of these have the potential to destroy your business, so it is vital that you have the right kind of insur-ance in place. You might be thinking what insurances do I need for my Australian business? There are a few, and it will depend on the type of business that you run. Typically, businesses will require the following:

  • Workers’ comp
  • Public liability
  • Third-party personal
  • Income protection

In addition to providing financial protection, you will also find that having sufficient coverage in place will provide reassurance.

If you plan on starting a new business this year, these are a few tips to keep in mind that should be useful and will hopefully help you succeed.

Business Management: Using Modern Tech Solutions to Outpace Competitors

As a startup owner, it can sometimes feel impossible to get the attention of your target audience, especially in a competitive industry. When most people already have companies they trust, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to get them to notice a new company. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that can help your business make the most out of every opportunity.

You can utilise modern tech solutions to outpace the competitors, as success in the industry is all about working smarter. While a great work ethic can help, industry insight is often the key to success. Here are a few ways you can use modern tech solutions to outpace the competition.


1. Understanding which types of business software works best for your company

It’s one thing to know that you need business software to achieve success; it’s another story entirely to be aware of the tech solutions that suit your company the best. Depending on the industry, there will be some tech solutions unique to your business, but for the most part, it’s easy enough to look for top-tier solutions.

For example, just about every business needs the help of a data management platform, especially in a world where digital businesses are quickly outstripping their more traditional competitors. You’ll need to use modern tech solutions such as news API, which crawls the web for information from millions of sites that can be integrated into your company’s applications. There is limitless potential when it comes to software, and it’s up to you to figure out how it can fit your company based on its needs.


software security


2.Taking advantage of remote onboarding

The onboarding process involves the hiring and training of employees, and remote onboarding allows such a process to occur for workers that don’t need to go to the office. In fact, with the help of cloud computing software, even company owners can run their businesses from the comfort of their homes. Remote onboarding is crucial, especially for new companies, as it allows you to run business processes without having to pay for an office space.

With remote onboarding and team management, your business could potentially flourish without your employees having to head to an office to get the job done. That said, the onboarding process can be delicate, so it’s a good idea to take your time and find the business software that works best for your company.


3.Pushing for automation

With business software solutions and remote onboarding, your company is well on its way to effective automation and optimisation. Automation is a relatively popular buzzword in the business sector, as it can help small businesses grow into an enterprise. The more you focus on automation, the easier it gets to optimise company processes. Examples of automation for small businesses include pricing automation and various types of inventory management services.

While small businesses might have a more challenging time experiencing success in a competitive environment, the above tips will help you develop a solid foundation and an effective roadmap for success. The good news about running a small business is you have many opportunities to outpace the competition.

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Want to Create a Website for Your Business? Here’s How

How can you create a website that attracts your target market and helps you grow your online presence?

Owning a business with a small budget can result in difficult times. You need to be creative about marketing your business and getting your name out to potential clients, especially online.

Here is our guide to help you learn how to create a website for your business.

Keep reading to find out everything you need to know by reading our guide.

Determine What You Want

If you are ready to create a website for your business, it is essential to determine what you want from your website. This is typically based on your overall business plan along with the needs and wants of your target market.

Determine your business’s purpose for a website to inform customers about products and services, share content, or take orders and payments. Setting goals for the website will help you create it more effectively.

This can include the number of visitors, leads, follows, and other metrics that define success for your business. Additionally, consider how users will interact with your website, such as how navigation and website design affects the experience.

Research Domain Name

Researching a domain name is critical when you want to create a website for your business. It’s essential to choose the most creative and relevant domain name that reflects the nature of your business, as it will become the physical address of your website.

Before you buy a domain name from CLDY, you must check if domain name restrictions are related to your sector or relevant laws. For example, some countries restrict using special characters in domain names, and some have special regulations for financial, medical, and government websites.

Once you find a domain name that reflects your business and is available, register the domain and set up your website. Most hosting packages include free website builder tools and easy templates.

You must also consider if other named businesses are operating in your sector. This is important to assess, as if the names are too similar, it could confuse and result in customers engaging with the wrong site.

For example, if a customer types in a similar name for your business, there is a strong chance that they will take them to another website with a similar domain name.

Design Your Website

Designing your website is one of the most critical steps when creating a website. It sets the tone and look of your website and gives your audience a sign of what your business offers.

It is essential to ensure that the design of your website is professional and appealing, as this will encourage more visitors to stay on your website. Numerous tools are available to help you design your website from scratch, such as site-building tools like WordPress or Wix.

Another essential element of website design is making sure the layout is user friendly; this will ensure visitors can navigate your website and find the information they are looking for. Additionally, there are templates available online that you can use and customize to match the look and feel of your business.

Establishing a straightforward website design will help to improve the user experience and encourage more visitors to stay and explore your business.

Think About Other Potential Needs

Think about other potential needs when creating an effective website for your business. These may include implementing a blog, an events page, and a shopping cart to help with transactions.

You may consider adding an FAQ page to answer common questions, a page for customer reviews, and a blog section for educational content. Be mindful of how the website will look on a smartphone since many people access the web from their phones.

Reviewing their feedback can help you identify potential needs, such as weak loading times or unresponsive buttons, and improve the website experience.

Choose a Hosting Service

Choosing a hosting service for your business website is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. The hosting service can be the difference between a successful website and an unvisited one.

You should select a reputable hosting service with a good track record and plenty of features. Some of the things to look out for are speed, site uptime, security features, customer support, scalability, and pricing.

Don’t forget to include meta tags, alt text, and appropriate titles to make it easier for search engines to read your website. Finally, you should test the website by having several people use it who have yet to see it.

Finally, ensure the hosting service you select is compatible with the content management system and other web development tools you intend to use. Doing your research and choosing the right hosting service will be essential in giving your business website the best possible chance of success.

Launch and Test Your Website

Once you have created and designed your website, it’s time to launch and test it. Before you share it with potential customers, it’s essential to ensure that all the backend components, such as databases, web pages, and web services are set up, working smoothly, and secured.

Make sure the website is secure, and that it works with a variety of web browsers and devices. Once you’re happy with the test findings, you may launch your website and begin online promotion once you think it’s ready.

Use online tools and check if the loading time of your website is satisfactory. If you find any potential problems, now is the time to address them. Repeat using the website to test for any speed or loading issues.

If everything functions and looks great, it’s time to let the world know about your business and launch your website!

Start Creating Your Website Now

Creating your business website can be manageable. Use these tips to help streamline the process and reap the rewards of having a website presence.

By taking each of these steps, you can ensure that your business website is ready to launch and receive its first visitors. Start creating your website today and join the thousands of businesses that have seen success online.

Did you find these reads helpful? Then check the rest of our blog posts.

The Best Strategies To Keep Your Business Safe Online

Usually, any profit-making business is constantly exposed to several risks that can cause massive losses or total collapse of the organization. To protect themselves, it is paramount that businesses can identify the risk that can wipe out the organization’s income.

Some of the risks that pose a serious threat to the continuity of a business are a risk to the business premises caused by fires, technological risks, strategic risks, and prohibited substance use.


Typical Security And Safety Risks For A Business

There is a wide selection of prospective risks that may hinder business operations. Some of these risks have the potential to ruin the enterprise completely, and others may cause massive losses to the business. Examples of the most frequent safety and security risks in an organization are:

Physical Business Risks: The most obvious physical threats to a business include the perils that may befall the building, such as fires or explosions. You can lower the risk of loss of lives and assets by ensuring that the building has effective smoke detectors, fire alarms, and functional sprinkler systems. It is also important that all staffs and management know that their safety is a top priority as the location of the exit points of the building.

Risks Caused By Human Actions: A frequent business risk is employees’ use of drugs and alcohol during working hours. Members of staff or the management staff struggling with alcohol and/or drug abuse need to be encouraged to go for treatment. In addition, if possible, the business insurance policies can meet the total or partial treatment for the employee.

Theft, fraud, and embezzlement are other frequent risks caused by human actions: To prevent such risks, the company must conduct background research before hiring a new employee.

Technological Risks: Most technological risk is caused by power outages. For example, a power surge in a lightning storm may cause a total loss of important business information. To safeguard a business from data loss, the business proprietor should invest in an online data backup system to preserve crucial information.

Many business analysts insist on maintaining business performance, getting better leads, and improving customer service, which benefits the business. However, it is also quite important to invest enough in business security systems – this, too, is a fundamental part of the discussion. We must analyze how well we safeguard our businesses from theft, hackers, and other malicious activity. Unfortunately, this is an area that is still unaddressed.

For example, a recent survey showed that 78% of people said they knew of the potential risks of opening unknown links in their emails but still went ahead and clicked them nonetheless. This is where XDR can help to protect your business. Certainly, a need must be met to protect and improve our businesses’ security systems.


Everyone Must Play Their Role In Securing The Business

Creating the right working culture around your business’ security processes can protect your business from malicious and fraudulent activities. Precisely, it is best if the security clearance happens in all hierarchical levels of the business. In addition, ensure your staff members are knowledgeable about the frequent security threats affecting the business and how they can be nullified.

Most security breaches happen because the employees have become complacent, hence vulnerable to an attack. For this reason, encourage employees to participate in regular meetings and workshops that seek to help the employees remain cautious of potential security threats. Other than laying out the perfect strategy and technology, all employees must play an active role in keeping the business secure.


Invest In Quality Security Systems And Work With Experts Only

Businesses and company proprietors often make the mistake of handling all the security procedures by themselves. However, purchasing security systems or collaborating with experts is better to help you develop solid security solutions. Allowing a security expert to handle the security needs of your business gives you extra time to focus on running everyday business operations.

In addition, only buy robust and the latest security software and install them on all computers, whether at home or the workplace. After installing the software, you can relax and allow it to protect your business comprehensively. Avoid skimping through security solutions to ensure your business is always safe.

For example, finding a number of free, decent antivirus and other security programs is easy. Still, they may need to be stronger to safeguard your organization from security risks. Ensure you conduct sufficient research before you buy any security solution for your business – sometimes, a lowly-priced product may not necessarily be the best alternative.


Plan Broadly

We might live during the internet age, but it is no indication that all solutions should be limited to internet security. Many security levels are needed for a business organization to thrive.

For instance, a successful business will require a combination of strong security software programs and dependable physical security systems for the entire business. This is because many risks found online are also present in traditional business processes and networks. For this reason, ensure the business premises are always safe.

It is best to cultivate a culture of securing the business at the hiring stage of the employees. This means that, when looking for the right employees, ensure you recruit trustworthy employees only.


Develop The Supporting Workplace Policies

Policy formulation on security systems and procedures lies at the heart of maintaining a safe and secure workplace environment. It is a bad idea to leave security concerns to be handled by an individual. Instead, the most secure systems are implemented extensively using specific policies, profiles and guidelines.

Having all employees tied to the same policies ensure the entire business can forge a unified response to security threats. Many times, security at the workplace is a rather worrying subject. Everybody is worried that something might not go according to plan or that the business might need not be fully prepared to deal with the threat. However, we such tips, the organization can safeguard itself to thrive.


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The Main Advantages Of Using XDR Security System To Safeguard Business Data

The goal of XDR systems is to detect and counter security threats at all stages of the cyber-attack, from the point of entry to data extraction. This system offers a universal approach to ensuring the entire security landscape is protected from threats that could cause considerable losses to the organization. The following are the main advantages of using XDR in your business:


#1. Enhanced Visibility

Sufficient visibility is vital in the cybersecurity sector. Having enough information about possible security threats helps the security expert to develop more robust defense mechanisms. This has been one of the key drivers of demand for XDR from many organizations. XDR is a security tool that integrates data from various sources, such as endpoint devices, email systems, and network traffic. This data helps the security expert build a profile of the organization’s environment and come up with ways of quickly detecting potential threats.


#2. Greater Control

Presently, data has proved highly vital for businesses globally. Therefore, businesses need reliable data protection systems to protect themselves from the loss or theft of company information. A good option is using XDR, which provides protection and flexible control of access to company information. XDR system enables a business to establish granular permissions that define which users have access to what information. In addition, XDR security enables the business to monitor and audit how company information is utilized.


#3. Advanced Perimeter Protection

Businesses that use XDR systems can benefit from having stronger perimeter security because XDR solutions offer a complete assessment of the activity happening across the network. Since XDR combines data from numerous security protocols and devices, it is easy for a security analyst to see everything that is happening with the network all the time.


#4. Shorter Response Time

As world processes are being digitized more and more, there is an increasing demand for faster solutions. For example, many businesses globally want all the necessary decisions to be made faster and operational glitches addressed as soon as they crop up. This has led to the widespread adoption of XDR solutions. This is because XDR can detect problems early and stop them from causing a lasting negative impact on the business.


#5. Improved Management Of Security Systems

XDR relies on machine learning and artificial intelligence to identify and counter threats as they occur in real-time. In addition, XDR allows for the automation of most of the manual processes that come with conventional security management systems, thereby lowering the overall cost of security risk management.


Issues Hampering Full Application Of XDR Systems

Despite the many benefits of using XDR systems, there are several challenges during the implementation phase of this security solution. For instance, deploying the system is somewhat complex and may not be appropriate for all organizations. Below are the significant challenges faced during the implementation of XDR:


#1. Conflict With Legal Systems

Before implementing a new security system like XDR, it is crucial to ensure it is compatible with all the legal requirements in that jurisdiction. The efficacy of the system depends on its ability to connect to and gather information from numerous legacy systems. This can be challenging, notably if the design of the legacy system lacks the necessary security features. For example, the system may lack the required APIs or could be configured in a manner that significantly limits data extraction.


#2. Integration Difficulties

You must implement a robust security system appropriately to offer an organization’s data maximum security. Nonetheless, it can be difficult to implement an XDR security system. This is because an XDR solution needs to combine and work with numerous existing security systems to function correctly to safeguard company data. To provide complete online protection, the XDR system must gather and correlate data from numerous and different sources.


#3. Getting Used To The New Security System

It can be difficult for the business staff to adapt and get used to the newly installed security system, especially if they have been using the traditional security system for some time. The business staff might need to be trained on the best ways of utilizing the new security system, while some extra measures may be necessary at this point to guarantee that business data is stored and accessed safely.


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Evolve as fast as the cybercriminals: Protect your business now, before it’s too late

According to the 2022 Cyber Threat Report, 2021 saw a global average increase of 105% in the number of ransomware attacks. The 2022 State of the Phish report said that a staggering 82% of UK businesses that experienced a ransomware attack sent payment to the cyber criminals – believing this was the cheapest and easiest way to regain access to their data. However, in many cases criminals simply took the payment without restoring access and the organisation finds itself on criminal target lists as it has demonstrated that attacks pay off. Even when decryption keys are handed over, it can take an extended period of time to restore data.

One attack, on a hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany, was implicated in the death of a patient who had to be diverted to an alternative site as the A&E department had been forced to close due to the loss of core computer systems. It appears that the attack had been misdirected, and the hackers – who were quickly apprehended by the police – handed over the encryption keys immediately when they realised what had happened. Nevertheless, the decryption process was slow. It began in the early hours of September 11 and by September 20 the hospital was still unable to add or retrieve information, or even send emails. 30 servers had been corrupted. 

The methods and techniques required to conduct a cyber-attack have never been more accessible. Whether it is on the darknet or through open-source content, the ability to purchase material that allows a malicious user to conduct a cyber-attack is readily available. Conducting a ransomware attack and using it to extort money from companies and government services alike, is now viewed as a viable business model by organised criminals. 

Take for example the recent Grand Theft Auto Six leak, a breach that is now named one of gaming’s biggest security breaches to date. Rockstar Games remain unclear how the network intrusion occurred, but the hacker claims to have gained access by breaching Rockstar’s Slack channel, the communication platform used for internal collaboration. They then invited executives to negotiate a payment to avoid further leaks, claiming to have access to the game’s source code and hoping to sell the unpublished data back. The hacker also claimed to be responsible for the Uber data breach, which involved the attacker gaining administrative access to Uber’s entire network, even being able to control the initial response to the hack itself through total control of the Slack account.

There is also evidence of increased attacks in industry and on core business functions. Last month an attack on South Staffordshire Water was conducted by a ransomware group called Cl0p. This attack was specifically targeted during a critical time for water companies, due to the implementation of water usage restrictions as the country facing the prospect of a national drought. The hacking group breached the company’s security and boasted that it would be easy to change the chemical composition of the water, potentially making it unsafe. C10p has been known to use Cobalt Strike in their ransomware attacks, a tool that is supposed to be used ethically for vulnerability detection. Yet hackers are increasingly utilising it for the opposite effect as it allows for a more profitable ransomware attack. 

Data Protection laws require organisations to design data protection into information processing activities from the start, and to review and update the controls regularly. As cyber criminals evolve and the accessibility of previously complex tactics and methods increases, businesses must evolve and enhance their technical and organisational measures, to reduce the risk of harm to their operational activities and the people who rely on them. To ensure your cyber defences remain effective in a fast-paced threat landscape, you need to be basing them on actionable intelligence in the context of your organisation’s operating environment.  Understanding the risks to your commercial interests and to the individuals in your community, in the context of the types of attacks happening now, allows you to focus your resources on the most important controls.

Gemserv’s integrated Cyber and Digital team includes technical specialists in cyber security, real-time threat intelligence and data protection who work together to help our clients protect their organisations and communities effectively and efficiently. We believe in ‘making the things that matter work better for everyone’. If your organisation does things that matter, find out how our approach to your defence can help you stay safe and grow.

Camilla Winlo, Head of Data Privacy and Ian Rutland, Head of Cyber Security at Gemserv

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Comparing Different Business Software Solutions: How to Make the Right Choice

Making the decision to invest in business software can be a difficult one. With so many different options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for your company. In this article, we will compare some of the most popular software solutions and help you decide which one is best for you. We’ll discuss the benefits of each option and help you figure out which one is right for your needs. So, whether you’re looking for accounting software, CRM software, or something else entirely, read on to find out more!

ERP Software

ERP software is a type of business software that helps organizations manage their business processes. It includes modules for accounting, CRM, inventory management, and more. ERP software is often used by large businesses because it can be customized to fit the specific needs of the organization. However, this customization can also be one of the drawbacks of ERP software, as it can be expensive to implement and maintain. If you look at this full comparison report from TEC, you’ll notice that there are several features you need to look for in ERP software. This includes things like ease of use, flexibility, and scalability. You’ll also want to make sure that the software you choose integrates well with your existing systems.

CRM Software

CRM software is used to manage customer relationships. It helps businesses keep track of customer contact information, communication history, and sales data. CRM software can be used to automate marketing and sales tasks, including email marketing, lead generation, and follow-up activities. Picking the right CRM software for your business can be a daunting task. There are a lot of different options on the market, and it can be hard to know which one is right for you. First, you need to decide what features are most important to your business. Then, you can start narrowing down your options by comparing different software solutions.

Accounting Software

Accounting software is a vital tool for businesses of all sizes. It helps businesses keep track of their finances, make tax payments, and more. When choosing accounting software, there are a few things to consider. First, decide what features you need. Accounting software can do everything from tracking income and expenses to creating invoices and paying bills. Make sure the software you choose has the features you need to manage your finances effectively. Second, consider your budget. Accounting software can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Choose the software that fits your budget without compromising on features. Finally, make sure the software is compatible with your devices. Many accounting programs are available as desktop applications or online applications. Make sure the program you choose will work with the devices you have available.

Database Software

Database software is used to store, organize, and retrieve data. When choosing a database software solution for your business, it is important to consider the features that are important to you and your business needs. Some features to consider include the type of data you will be storing (e.g., financial data, customer data), the size of your database (i.e., how much data you need to store), and whether you need a relational or non-relational database. It is also important to consider the scalability of the solution and whether it can grow with your business. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a database software solution is the level of support you need. Some solutions offer 24/ Seven support, while others only offer support during business hours. There are also some solutions that offer community-based support, which can be helpful if you are comfortable getting help from other users.

How To Choose The Right Business Software Solution

When it comes to choosing the right business software solution, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, decide what features are most important to your business. Make a list of the must-have features and the nice-to-have features. Then, start looking at different software solutions and compare them side-by-side. Pay attention to things like price, ease of use, and compatibility with your existing systems. Once you’ve found a few software solutions that meet your needs, take some time to try them out. Many software companies offer free trials of their products. This is a great way to test out the features and see how the software works before you commit to buying it. When you’re ready to make a purchase, be sure to read the reviews. Look for reviews from other businesses that are similar to yours. This will give you a good idea of how the software will work for you and whether it’s worth the price.

When it comes to choosing the right business software solution, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. By taking the time to consider your needs and compare different solutions, you can find the software that’s right for you. With the right software in place, you can streamline your business operations and improve your bottom line.