This week’s Knowledge Update talks about the log-in data to the systems of Virgin America may have been compromised by an unauthorised hacker, organisations failing to improve security since the last ransomware attacks and the importance of employee awareness.
Virgin America Breach
The Virgin America airline had informed their staff and contractors that their log-in data to the systems may have been compromised by an unauthorised hacker. In the notice letter issued by the company it stated that its monitoring system had discovered the intrusion attempt as early as March 2017 after which their incident response plan has been triggered, forensic experts have been brought in and law enforcement contacted.
The company had said that they ensured that all employees and contractors have reset their passwords as a precaution. It is important for organisations to have adequate incident response plans to accommodate such incidents and to take necessary steps to ensure further damage to the systems are not done by the attackers.
Organisations failing to improve security since ransomware attacks
The article states that more than two-thirds of security professionals are not confident that their organisations have made the required security improvements to protect against ransomware attacks in the future.
Nearly a third of respondents of a survey carried out by Tripwire have “felt that the biggest problem a business faces is establishing what devices are on its network, whilst worries about vulnerability management (14%), administrative privileged issues (6%) and audit log attention (6%) also cropped up as areas of concern. However, 40% believed that there was not a singular cause of security problems and that businesses were failing at all of the above.”
Ransomware attacks have been on the rise in the recent past and it is important that organisations take necessary precautions to protect themselves from such attacks. Some immediate steps that organisations must take are to conduct regular secure backups of their critical data as well as deploying antivirus across the network and ensuring staff are aware that links and attachments could contain malware.
Importance of employee awareness
A survey conducted by Glasswall Solutions of 2000 office workers in the US and UK have shown that inadequate employee awareness, poor work practices and outdated technology are some of the main reasons that leave businesses vulnerable to cyber-crime.
The paper has shown “how a flammable mixture of complacency and ignorance now threatens to destroy many businesses. Employees are only vaguely aware of cyber threats and not confident their organisation knows how to tackle them.”
Organisations should ensure that employees are aware of the digital threats facing their business, as well as the prevention measures they can. Infographics from the National Cyber Security Centre can be found here.