Are you Safe from a Zero Click Attack? 

As a business owner, you’re ultimately responsible for cybersecurity and protecting your business from malicious attacks. One type of cyberattack that should be on your radar is a zero click attack. In a zero click attack, the malware deploys on a device without the user clicking on anything or interacting with the malware in any way. This type of security threat is particularly concerning because it can go undetected for a significant amount of time and can potentially compromise a large number of devices.

You may have heard of a zero click attack recently in the news. In September, Apple became the victim of a zero-click attack. The attack targeted a specific group of Apple users, and it delivered the malware via iMessage.

Once the malware was on the device, it had the ability to harvest sensitive information such as passwords, financial data, and personal information. In addition, the malware was able to remotely control the device and carry out further attacks.

Apple has a reputation for having a secure operating system, but this attack raised concerns about the company’s ability to protect its users. The company addressed the vulnerability by quickly releasing a security patch, but the damage had already been done.

It is important for users to be aware of the risks associated with zero-click attacks and to take measures to protect their devices. Let’s take a closer look at how these attacks work and what security measures you should have in place to protect your business from a zero click attack.

How Does a Zero Click Attack Work?

Zero-click attacks are a sophisticated form of cyberattack that exploits vulnerabilities in software to gain unauthorized access to a device or system. These attacks are particularly insidious because they require no action from the user, making them difficult to prevent and detect.

Here are some crucial points to understand about zero-click attacks:

  • Exploiting Software Vulnerabilities: Zero-click attacks primarily take advantage of weaknesses in software applications. Cybercriminals look for these vulnerabilities in systems and applications, and once they find one, they can exploit it to install malicious code on a target device or perform other malicious interactions without the user needing to click on a link or take any action.
  • Targeting Data Processing Applications: Most zero-click attacks exploit vulnerabilities in applications that process untrusted data. These include text message (SMS) platforms, email apps, message apps, and phone apps. These apps receive and process data from untrusted sources before presenting it to the user. If an unpatched vulnerability exists within this data processing code, a specifically designed message can exploit it.
  • Executing Harmful Code Without User Input: The exploitation of vulnerabilities in data processing applications allows malicious messages or calls to execute harmful code on the device without any user input. This is what makes zero-click attacks so dangerous – they can compromise a device without the user even being aware of it.
  • Taking Advantage of Automatic Notifications: Actions like receiving an email or SMS don’t require user interaction. Smartphones automatically display notifications based on the content of these messages, even before the user opens them. Zero-click attacks can exploit these automatic processes to launch an attack.
  • Leaving No Trace of the Attack: A cleverly designed malicious message can install malware and delete itself, also suppressing notifications, leaving no trace of the attack for the user. This stealthy approach makes it extremely difficult for users to realize they’ve been targeted by a zero-click attack until it’s too late.

Zero-click attacks are a significant threat in today’s digital world because of their stealthy nature and the difficulty in detecting and preventing them. It is crucial for individuals and organizations to keep their software applications updated and patched to minimize the risk of such attacks.

How to Protect Your Business from Zero Click Attacks

The growing prevalence of zero-click attacks can be a cause for concern among businesses. However, it’s important to note that while these types of attacks do not require user interaction, there are still proactive measures that can be taken to mitigate their potential impact.

Here’s how you can protect your business from zero-click attacks:

  • Stay Updated: One of the best ways to fend off zero-click attacks is by keeping your operating system, firmware, and apps on all your devices up to date. Software developers regularly release updates to patch vulnerabilities that could otherwise be exploited by cybercriminals. Therefore, always ensure that you install these updates as promptly as possible.
  • Download Apps from Official Stores Only: Downloading apps from unofficial sources significantly increases the risk of installing malware-ridden apps. Always download apps from official stores such as Google Play Store or Apple App Store. These platforms have stringent security measures in place to prevent the hosting of malicious apps.
  • Delete Unused Apps: Over time, you may accumulate apps that you no longer use. These apps can become potential entry points for zero-click attacks, especially if they are no longer being updated. Delete any apps you no longer use to minimize this risk.
  • Use Strong Authentication: Implement strong authentication methods, especially for critical networks. This could involve the use of multi-factor authentication, biometric data, or other advanced authentication methods. The goal is to make it as difficult as possible for an attacker to gain unauthorized access.
  • Implement Strong Passwords: Use long and unique passwords for all your accounts. Passwords should ideally be a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters. Avoid using common phrases or easily guessable information such as birthdays or pet names.
  • Regularly Backup Systems: Regular backups are essential for any business. They provide a safety net in case of a ransomware attack or other types of data loss. Having a current backup of all data speeds up the recovery process, minimizing downtime and potential loss of revenue.
  • Enable Pop-up Blockers: Many scammers use pop-ups to spread malware. By enabling pop-up blockers or adjusting your browser settings to prevent pop-ups, you can significantly reduce the risk of accidentally clicking on a malicious link.

While zero-click attacks are a potent threat, they are not undefeatable. By implementing the above strategies, you can significantly enhance your business’s cybersecurity posture and reduce the risk of falling victim to these attacks.

Cybersecurity Solutions in Harrisburg and Central PA

In this rapidly evolving digital landscape, staying ahead of threats like zero-click attacks is more crucial than ever. As your trusted Managed Service Provider, we are committed to helping you navigate the complexities of cybersecurity. Our team of experts stays on top of the latest developments in the cybersecurity world, ensuring our clients are always one step ahead of potential threats.

Don’t just take our word for it. Contact us for a comprehensive cybersecurity audit to see if your business is at risk for zero-click attacks. Our team will provide a thorough analysis of your current security measures, identify potential vulnerabilities, and offer tailored solutions to mitigate any risks.

In the fight against cyber threats, knowledge is power. Let Everound be your trusted partner in securing your company data. With our expertise and dedication, we can help you stay ahead of zero-click attacks and other cybersecurity threats. Reach out today and let us help you strengthen your defenses. Your security is our priority. Let us focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business.

Cybersecurity Risks with Bring Your Own Device

As more businesses move to a flexible work environment, business owners are allowing employees to use their own tech devices at work. This framework, known as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), enables employees to access company data on their own cell phones, laptops, and tablets.

While BYOD is gaining in popularity, it definitely comes with some risks. If you are a business owner, it’s important to understand the security risks that come along with this trend. Let’s take a look at why BYOD has become popular, the security issues that come with BYOD, and key recommendations on how business owners can protect their networks without subduing workplace productivity.

Why BYOD Has Increased

In recent years, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies have gained significant traction in the corporate world. Several factors, including cost savings, increased productivity, and the flexibility it provides for remote work, contribute to this trend.

Cost Savings

One of the primary drivers behind the increasing adoption of BYOD is the potential for cost savings. With BYOD, companies no longer bear the burden of purchasing and maintaining hardware for their employees. This includes expenses associated with computer systems, smartphones, tablets, and other devices.

At Everound, our team recently helped a client reduce their monthly cell phone bill by implementing BYOD for cell phones. Instead of work-issued cell phones, team members were given a monthly stipend to go towards the use of their personal devices. This reduced the client’s monthly cell phone bill by thousands of dollars.

Increased Productivity

Another significant advantage of BYOD is the potential for increased productivity. When employees use their own devices, they are generally more comfortable and efficient in their work. Have you ever seen an iPhone user try to navigate an Android phone? Users possess a familiarity with their personal technology, eliminating the need for extensive training to operate company-provided devices.

This familiarity translates into quicker task completion and a smoother workflow, ultimately leading to higher levels of productivity. The seamless integration of personal devices into work processes can enhance overall efficiency and drive positive outcomes for the organization.

Flexibility for Remote Teams

The rise of remote work has further propelled the relevance of BYOD. With the ability to work from anywhere and at any time, employees can leverage their preferred devices to access company resources remotely. This flexibility offers a multitude of benefits, including better work-life balance and employee satisfaction.

Employees can choose to work from their preferred location using devices they are comfortable with, resulting in increased autonomy and reduced stress. Furthermore, BYOD facilitates collaboration and communication among remote workers, as they can easily connect and share information using their personal devices.

Risks of BYOD

While Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies offer numerous benefits, it is important to consider the associated risks. As a managed IT services provider, we lean towards the risks outweighing the benefits, especially for laptops and PCs, and here’s why:

  1. Security Vulnerabilities: Personal devices may lack the same level of security as company-provided devices. This increases the risk of security breaches, as personal devices may not have robust security measures in place, such as encryption or secure access controls. This vulnerability can expose sensitive company data to unauthorized access or malicious activities. This is extremely critical when companies allow employees to use their own laptops or PCs.
  2. Data Leakage: Loss, theft, or a compromised device poses a significant risk of data leakage. Unauthorized individuals can access sensitive company information, including customer data, trade secrets, or intellectual property. This can lead to financial loss and even potential legal implications.
  3. Malware Risk: Personal devices may be more susceptible to malware and viruses compared to company-provided devices that have dedicated security measures. If an infected personal device connects to the company network, it can introduce malware or viruses that could potentially impact the entire network infrastructure and compromise data integrity.
  4. Compliance Issues: Using personal devices for work-related tasks may pose compliance challenges, especially when dealing with sensitive data or operating in regulated industries. Companies must ensure that employees adhere to data protection laws, industry regulations, and internal policies, which can be difficult to enforce and monitor on personal devices.
  5. Personal Privacy: Implementing a BYOD policy blurs the line between personal and professional use of devices. This can potentially infringe on an employee’s privacy, as their personal devices may be subject to monitoring or data access by the company. Balancing the need for business security while respecting privacy can be a delicate challenge.
  6. Increased IT Support: Supporting a wide range of different devices, operating systems, and configurations can be complex and resource-intensive for IT departments. Troubleshooting issues, ensuring compatibility, and providing technical assistance for various devices can significantly increase the burden on IT teams, leading to potential delays in resolving problems and impacting overall productivity.

If your organization is considering adopting a BYOD policy or currently allows team members to use their own devices, reach out to us for recommendations and support on how to keep your company safe from cyber threats. We can advise you on the best path forward to not only protect your data but also allow your team to use devices safely.

BYOD Security Measures

Mitigating risks associated with BYOD requires a proactive approach and the implementation of effective strategies. In today’s digital landscape, where remote work and mobile devices have become the norm, organizations must stay ahead of potential risks and protect sensitive data. A reactive approach to BYOD can leave companies vulnerable to security breaches, data leaks, and compliance issues.

Here are several proactive steps companies can take to mitigate risk:

  1. Limit Allowed Devices: Consider limiting the types of devices allowed as part of the BYOD policy. Cell phones and tablets, for example, are easier to manage from an IT safety standpoint compared to laptops and PCs. By restricting the types of devices permitted, companies can focus their efforts on managing and securing a narrower range of devices, reducing overall risk.
  2. Mobile Device Management (MDM): Implementing MDM software allows companies to have better control over mobile devices used for work. MDM enables the enforcement of security policies, such as passcode requirements, device tracking, remote data wiping, and application whitelisting. This helps secure company data and ensures devices adhere to security standards.
  3. Use of Secure Networks: Encourage employees to connect to secure, private networks when accessing company information. Public Wi-Fi networks pose a higher risk of data interception and unauthorized access. If employees must use public Wi-Fi, require the use of a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to encrypt their data and protect it from potential threats.
  4. Regular Device Audits: Conduct regular audits of devices used for work to identify any outdated software, viruses, or vulnerabilities. Update software and applications promptly to ensure devices are protected against the latest security threats. Additionally, you should perform malware scans regularly to detect and remove any malicious software.
  5. Data Encryption: Encryption transforms data into an unreadable format, rendering it inaccessible to unauthorized users, even if they compromise the device. Utilize encryption solutions that are compatible with various operating systems and ensure that encryption policies are enforced consistently.
  6. Strong Authentication Measures: Implement strong user authentication measures, such as two-factor or multi-factor authentication. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide additional verification, such as a unique code sent to their mobile device, in addition to a password or PIN.
  7. Separation of Personal and Business Data: Consider utilizing technology that separates personal and business data on the device. This allows for the management and protection of company data without compromising personal privacy. By implementing containerization or secure workspace solutions, companies can isolate and secure business-related data while leaving personal data unaffected.
  8. Employee Training: Regularly train employees on safe practices when using personal devices for work purposes. Educate on how to spot phishing attempts, emphasize the importance of regularly updating software and applications, and outline the steps to take if their device is lost or stolen. Promote a culture of cybersecurity awareness among employees to minimize potential risks.

By implementing these measures, companies can significantly reduce the risks associated with BYOD and create a more secure environment for employees to use their personal devices for work purposes.

Cybersecurity Support from Everound

Implementing a BYOD policy can bring benefits to your organization, but it also comes with its fair share of risks and challenges. To ensure a smooth and secure BYOD implementation, it is crucial to seek the guidance and support of experienced professionals like Everound, a leading managed IT services provider.

With our expertise in BYOD policies and implementation, we can help you navigate the complexities, assess the risks, and develop a customized strategy tailored to your specific needs. Reach out to us today for expert support and direction in embracing the power of BYOD while safeguarding your data and maintaining a productive work environment.

Fact or Fiction? Tech Myths Explained

You’ve likely heard them all before – Mac computers can’t get viruses, incognito mode is private, and cybercrimes are committed by teenagers in basements. While there are some tiny nuggets of truth in these, they are mainly tech myths!

The reality is Macs are just as susceptible to cybercrime and incognito browsing isn’t entirely anonymous. Let’s take a closer look at the most common tech myths you can stop believing!

Incognito Mode Browsing is Private

Do you feel a bit safer using incognito mode when browsing the internet? You are not alone. Many people believe that using incognito or private browsing mode makes their online activities completely private, but this is a common tech myth.

While incognito browsing can help protect your privacy in some ways, it does not offer complete anonymity! Remember: incognito does not mean anonymous.

Here are several reasons why incognito browsing may not be as private as you think:

  1. Your internet service provider (ISP) and network administrator can still see what sites you visit. When you use incognito mode, your browsing history is not saved on your computer or device, but it is still visible to your ISP and network administrator. This means that if someone really wanted to track your online activities, they could still do so by analyzing your network traffic.
  2. Websites can still track your browsing activity. Incognito mode only prevents your browser from saving your browsing history, cookies, and form data on your device. However, websites can still track your browsing activity using other techniques.
  3. You may accidentally sign into an account. If you log in to an account while using incognito mode, your activity on that account is still tracked and logged by the website. This means that if you log in to your Google or Facebook account while using incognito mode, your activity on those accounts is still recorded by the website.

Overall, while incognito mode can be helpful in certain situations, it’s important to remember that it does not offer complete privacy protection. If you want to protect your online privacy, consider using a virtual private network (VPN), a privacy-focused browser, or other privacy protection tools and techniques in addition to incognito mode.

Angsty Teenagers Commit Cyber Crimes

Hollywood has created the “angsty teenager turned cybercriminal” stereotype, but this is largely inaccurate and does not reflect the reality of cybercrime.

Most cybercriminals are adults who are highly skilled in computer programming and have knowledge of the latest technologies and security vulnerabilities. Cybercrime is a serious and complex issue that requires sophisticated techniques and tools to accomplish, which often requires years of experience and training.

Additionally, cybercrime is not limited to hacking and other technical attacks. It includes a wide range of criminal activities, such as identity theft, phishing scams, online fraud, and even cyberbullying. These crimes can be committed by anyone, regardless of their age or technical expertise.

Mac Computers Can’t Get Viruses

Many people believe that Mac computers are immune to viruses and other types of malware, but this is a common misconception. While Macs do have some built-in security features that make them less vulnerable to certain types of malware, they can still be infected with viruses and other malicious software.

Here are a few reasons why Mac computers can still get viruses:

  1. Macs are not invincible. While it is true that Macs have historically been less targeted by hackers than Windows machines, this is changing as Macs become more popular and valuable targets. In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of malware attacks targeting Macs, including viruses, adware, ransomware, and other types of malicious software.
  2. Mac users are still vulnerable to phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are a common way for hackers to gain access to Mac computers and other devices. These attacks use social engineering techniques to trick users into revealing their login credentials or downloading malware onto their devices. Mac users are just as vulnerable to these types of attacks as Windows users.
  3. Third-party software can introduce vulnerabilities. Even if the Mac operating system is secure, third-party software such as web browsers, plugins, and other applications can introduce vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers. It’s important to keep all software up to date with the latest security patches and updates to minimize the risk of infection.

Overall, while Macs may be less vulnerable to certain types of malware compared to other operating systems, they are not immune to cyber threats. It’s important for all computer users, regardless of their platform, to take cybersecurity seriously and to implement strong security measures to protect against malware and other types of cyber threats.

More Signal Bars = Better Cell Reception

Have you ever been frustrated with your cell service even though you have “full signal bars?” Having full signal bars doesn’t always mean you will have good cell reception. The number of bars displayed on your phone is just an estimate of the signal strength in your area. Cell service depends on many different factors.

Here are some reasons why more signal bars do not always mean better cell service:

  1. Distance from the cell tower: The farther you are from a cell tower, the weaker the signal will be, even if your phone displays full bars. This can cause dropped calls, slow data speeds, and other issues.
  2. Obstructions: Buildings, trees, hills, and other obstructions can block or weaken cell signals, even if you are close to a cell tower. This can result in poor call quality, slow data speeds, and other issues.
  3. Interference: Other devices that use radio frequencies, such as Wi-Fi routers and baby monitors, can interfere with cell signals and cause disruptions to cell service.
  4. Network congestion: If there are too many people using the same cell tower at the same time, this can cause network congestion and slow down data speeds, even if you have a strong signal. If you’ve been to a Penn State football game you’ve likely experienced this! On the days leading up to kickoff, the cell service in State College works just fine! Game day? It’s likely hard to make a call or send a text message.

Overall, while more signal bars can indicate better cell service, it’s important to remember that this is not always the case.

Deleted Files are Gone Forever

When you delete a file on your computer, it may seem like the file is gone forever, but in reality, it’s still there. When you delete a file, your computer only removes the reference to that file from the file system table, which is like a map of where all the files on your computer are located. The actual data of the file remains intact on the hard drive until it is overwritten by new data.

This means that if someone wanted to recover a deleted file, they could use special software to scan the hard drive for traces of the file and piece together the data that was not yet overwritten.

There are several ways to securely delete files, including using special software designed for this purpose or simply overwriting the file multiple times with random data. By doing so, you can ensure that the deleted files are truly gone and cannot be recovered.

Cell Phones Can’t Get Malware

Most people believe that cell phones cannot get malware because they think that mobile devices are inherently more secure than computers. The truth is cell phones and other mobile devices can be just as vulnerable to malware as computers.

In fact, many types of malware are specifically designed to target mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. Malware can be spread through malicious apps, infected email attachments, text messages, and even through the phone’s web browser.

It’s important for users to take steps to protect their mobile devices from malware, such as using reputable antivirus software, avoiding suspicious downloads and links, and being cautious when downloading apps or granting app permissions.

Scanning Potential Spam Emails is Safe

Scanning a spam email can still be dangerous even if you don’t click on a link because some types of malware can be triggered simply by opening or previewing an email. This is known as a “drive-by download” attack, where malware is automatically downloaded onto your computer or device without your knowledge or consent.

While most email clients and antivirus software are designed to prevent drive-by downloads and other types of malware attacks, some types of malware are designed to evade detection and can still infect your system.

Another form of spam email that can be dangerous even without any interaction on your part is an “email bomb.” An “email bomb” is a type of cyber attack where an attacker sends a large number of emails or attachments to a targeted individual or organization,with the goal of overwhelming their email system and causing it to crash or become unresponsive.

Bottom line: even if you don’t interact with a spam email, it could still cause damage to your computer or even your entire organization.

Tech Truths from Everound

At Everound our team of IT professionals stays up to date on the latest tech truths – and tech myths – so our clients don’t have to. If you own a business and aren’t sure what to believe when it comes to your information technology, give us a call or reach out online with any questions – we are here to help!

Some tech myths can be harmful to an organization and it’s our goal to help business owners protect their companies with the right IT infrastructure and processes. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

IT Tips to Help Your Small Business Run Smoothly

As a small business owner, you likely wear a lot of hats – owner, human resources leader, marketing guru, and even IT specialist. Navigating all of these roles can be overwhelming, especially in the world of technology. That’s where we can help!

With so much to think about – from protecting customer data to choosing the right software and hardware – it’s no wonder that many owners feel a bit confused and frustrated with IT. Whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a small business with a brick-and-mortar location, having a solid IT plan in place can help you save money, boost productivity, and protect yourself from cyber threats.

Our team has worked with countless small businesses and understands their unique needs. Here are the top IT tips to help you navigate the world of information technology as a small business owner.

Take Advantage of Cloud Storage

One of the most significant innovations in technology is cloud storage. Cloud-based storage enables business owners and their teams to access business data anytime, anywhere, from any device with an internet connection. No more worrying about losing your data if your device crashes or is stolen.

Cloud storage helps small businesses streamline their operations, increase efficiency, and scale their business seamlessly. Cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive can be great solutions for a small business to securely save, share, and sync its data.

Make Cybersecurity a Priority

Cyber attacks are no longer a matter of if but when. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to attacks because they typically don’t have a robust IT infrastructure or cybersecurity program in place. The consequences of a data breach can be devastating, ranging from critical data loss, reputational damage, regulatory fines, and even business closure.

To protect your business, invest in cybersecurity measures such as network security, strong passwords, multi-factor authentication (MFA), endpoint security solutions, and cybersecurity training for your employees. A cybersecurity breach can cost you more than money, so make sure you prioritize cybersecurity in your IT strategy.

Implement a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan

One of the most critical components of an IT program is backup and disaster recovery, especially for a small business. What would happen if your company data and operations were suddenly compromised? You need a plan in place to address the unexpected!

Backups and disaster recovery, while related, are not the same thing. Most small businesses have a backup plan in place. A backup is a copy of your essential business data kept safely elsewhere, in case the original data is lost due to hardware failure, deletion, or cyber-attacks. Disaster recovery, on the other hand, is a comprehensive approach to recovering data after a cyber or IT emergency. Having a disaster recovery plan can help mitigate risks and improve business continuity.

Go Mobile

It’s no surprise that mobile work has exploded in the last several years, and so has the technology to support that mobile workforce. Mobile connectivity has revolutionized the way businesses operate. Tools such as VOIP phone systems, Google Workspace, and Microsoft Teams allow team members to stay connected from anywhere in the world.

With mobile technology, you can work from home, on the road, or anywhere else, without compromising productivity. Investing in mobile connectivity can also help you attract and retain top talent, as it enables more flexible work arrangements.

Outsource IT

Tired of worrying about your IT needs? Delegate it to a Managed Service Provider (MSP). Outsourcing your IT is a smart move for small businesses that don’t have a dedicated in-house IT team. Think of an MSP as a “stand-in” for CTOs and IT departments. They have the expertise and training to help businesses put a solid IT infrastructure in place, manage IT systems, and offer technical support.

Managed Service Providers are often more affordable than business owners think. Outsourcing IT to an MSP can save you money in the long run, as it eliminates the need to hire dedicated IT staff and buy expensive hardware and software. MSPs are also more scalable, meaning they can adapt to your changing business needs faster and more efficiently.

Managed IT Services for Small Businesses from Everound

At Everound, we understand the challenges a small business owner faces when it comes to IT. When we meet with a small business owner, oftentimes they just don’t know where to start to get their IT infrastructure in place or what types of steps to take to ensure their business is protected from an IT standpoint.

If you own a small business and need some help getting on the right path with your IT needs, reach out to us today either online or by giving us a call. We can listen to your needs and recommend an IT strategy that fits your budget. We can help you get set up or help you with ongoing IT support services through our managed IT services packages. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

Don’t Be Fooled by an Evil Twin Attack

As technology continues to advance, so do the methods that hackers use to steal personal information. One of these methods is an evil twin attack, which involves a hacker creating a fake hotspot that mimics a legitimate network in order to steal sensitive data from unsuspecting users.

This type of malicious cybercrime targets wireless networks and unsuspecting users connected to it without their knowledge. Evil twin attacks are a form of a “man-in-the-middle” (MITM) attack where a cybercriminal secretly intercepts and modifies the communication between two trusted parties. This is accomplished by positioning themselves between the two parties and listening in on their conversation.

Evil twin attacks are most common in public settings such as coffee shops, airports, and parks – any place where users rely on public Wi-Fi to stay connected. Let’s explore how evil twin attacks work, how to detect an evil twin Wi-Fi connection, and how to protect yourself from one.

How Do Evil Twin Attacks Work?

An evil twin attack is a type of wireless attack where a hacker creates a fake wireless access point (WAP), or Wi-Fi access point, which looks similar to a legitimate one in order to steal sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card details, bank account information, or personal data.

Evil twins are surprisingly easy to set up, which makes them a huge risk for people using public Wi-Fi. Hackers set up an evil twin through a process that involves a few steps:

  • Scouting: The hacker will first scout the targeted area to find a wireless network that they can imitate. They may use tools like Wi-Fi Pineapple, which are specifically designed for wireless penetration testing.
  • Creating a fake WAP: Once a valid target has been identified, the hacker will create a fake WAP with a similar name and network characteristics to the original one. This is done using special software that allows the attacker to spoof the SSID and MAC address of the network.
  • Broadcasting: After the creation of the fake WAP, the hacker will broadcast it with a strong signal to ensure that it is detected by all devices within range.
  • Luring: The attacker then lures unsuspecting users to connect to the fake WAP by naming it something similar to the legitimate network, like “Free Wi-Fi.” The hacker may also offer higher bandwidth or any other attractive offer in the name of free or faster internet.
  • Collecting: Once a victim connects to the fake WAP, the hacker can collect the user’s sensitive information, such as login credentials, credit card numbers, or browsing history. The hacker can also install malware on the user’s device to gain access to other valuable data.

Evil twin attacks can be difficult to detect because the fake WAP will often have the same name and look very similar to the legitimate one. Therefore, it is important to verify the legitimacy of a WAP before connecting to it, specifically when using public Wi-Fi.

How to Detect Evil Twin Wi-Fi Connections

To ensure the security of your personal information and devices, it is important to be aware of malicious “evil twins.” One way to detect evil twin Wi-Fi connections is to carefully examine the network name. Evil twins often use a similar name to that of a legitimate access point but with slight variations or misspellings. For example, instead of “StarbucksWiFi,” an evil twin may be named “StarbuckssWiFi” or “StarbucksFreeWiFi.” Always double-check the spelling and make sure it matches the official network name.

Another way to detect a fake captive portal is to look for security alerts on your device. Many modern devices will automatically detect and alert you to potential security risks when connecting to Wi-Fi networks. Such alerts may say that the network is unsecured, or that the network name has recently changed or is not recognized. Any such alerts should be taken seriously, and the network should not be connected to.

It is also important to be wary of open or unsecured networks that require no password to connect. These networks are often targeted by hackers looking to set up an evil twin network.

How to Prevent Evil Twin Attacks

Fortunately, there are several ways to protect yourself from an evil twin attack. One of the most important ways is to use a virtual private network (VPN) whenever you’re connecting to a Wi-Fi network that you’re not familiar with. A VPN creates a secure, encrypted connection between your device and the internet, making it much more difficult for hackers to intercept your data.

Another important step is to make sure that you’re always using websites that employ HTTPS, which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This means that the website has an SSL certificate, which encrypts the data that is being sent between your device and the website’s servers. So, even if a hacker is able to intercept your data, they won’t be able to read it.

In addition, it’s a good idea to avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi networks altogether if possible. Instead, consider using a personal hotspot to connect to the internet when you’re out and about. A personal hotspot creates a network that’s only accessible to your devices, which makes it much harder for hackers to intercept your data.

Finally, it’s a good idea to ensure that all of your online accounts are secured with two-factor authentication (2FA). This means that in addition to entering a password, you’ll also be asked to provide a second form of verification, such as a code sent to your phone. This makes it much harder for hackers to gain access to your accounts, even if they’ve managed to steal your passwords.

Cybersecurity Solutions from Everound

Everound is a managed IT services company specializing in cybersecurity servicesIT consultingnetwork administrationhelp desk support, and other IT services. Our team of professionals has worked with large, enterprise organizations as well as small startup businesses to help them plan for and prepare for a cybersecurity threat.

One of the most important parts of a robust cybersecurity program is educating teams on how to stay alert of cybercrime including evil twin attacks. We can help you develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy to keep your team – and your business – safe from cyber threats. We offer a free cybersecurity assessment that will help you understand where you may be vulnerable and can help you develop a plan to reduce your risk of a cyber threat. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

Why Outsource Cybersecurity?

As a business owner, managing your organization’s cybersecurity can be a daunting task. With the rapidly evolving digital world and its associated threats, it becomes increasingly challenging to keep up with the latest developments in cybersecurity and ensure that your data remains safe.

That’s why outsourcing cybersecurity is becoming a popular option for organizations big and small — outsourcing allows you access to top-notch security technology without needing in-depth knowledge of cybersecurity best practices or a large budget.

Let’s explore some of the key benefits that come from outsourcing your company’s cyber security needs so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

Advantages of Outsourcing Cybersecurity

For business owners, cybersecurity is an essential requirement in the age of digital information storage. Protecting your customer, employee, and company data from cyber threats and malicious attacks needs to be a top priority if you want your business to remain secure. However, many businesses don’t have the resources or personnel available to properly implement and maintain effective cybersecurity protocols – which is why outsourcing can be so beneficial.

Here are the top reasons to outsource your cyber security services:

Access to Expertise

The ever-evolving cybersecurity industry requires a commitment to learning and continuous training, which can be difficult for many organizations. Managed IT services providers maintain a deep understanding of the ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape, which is essential to protect businesses from highly sophisticated cyber criminals.

These providers frequently update security protocols, deploy the latest security technologies, and employ highly trained professionals who are specialized in cybersecurity. Such a level of expertise and cutting-edge resources might be challenging to have within an in-house IT department due to budget constraints and limited manpower.

Cost Savings

When you outsource your cybersecurity to a managed IT services provider, that provider spreads the cost of its own employees and the costs of tools and hardware across multiple customers, meaning there is a reduced overall expense for the same level of service.

There is also clear cost savings when you compare the cost of an in-house cybersecurity team to the cost of outsourcing. The salaries, benefits, and ancillary costs of an in-house team quickly add up and will more than likely be much greater than the cost of outsourcing.

One other often overlooked area of cost savings is the price of NOT implementing a cybersecurity plan. While the costs of a cyber attack vary widely for a business – anywhere from $120,000 to $1.24 million, the financial impact is significant. Can your business absorb the cost of a data breach?

Bottom line? Outsourcing has a direct positive benefit to a business’s financial health in more ways than one.

Timely Support

Outsourcing cybersecurity to a managed IT services provider offers businesses an invaluable advantage over in-house teams – round-the-clock monitoring and support. One of the primary reasons organizations choose to outsource is the 24/7 availability of resources, as cybersecurity threats and attacks can occur at any time, requiring immediate attention. Whether it’s a holiday or a weekend, managed IT services provide dedicated teams who continuously monitor clients’ networks and systems, ensuring that cyber threats are detected and prevented before causing any significant damage.

Early Warnings

In an era where cybercrimes are increasing both in complexity and frequency, having an outsourced cybersecurity team that can provide an early warning is an indispensable asset for businesses operating in the digital world.

Outsourced cybersecurity teams possess the expertise and resources to constantly monitor the rapidly evolving threat landscape in the digital world. Through a combination of cutting-edge technologies, advanced analytics, threat intelligence, and years of experience, they can identify emerging cyber threats and vulnerabilities on a global scale.

An early warning of a cyber attack not only helps in preventing the attack itself but also significantly reduces the risk of catastrophic data and financial loss. By keeping a vigilant eye on the constantly shifting threat landscape, outsourced cybersecurity teams empower businesses to take proactive measures and close any identified security gaps before they can be exploited.

This approach minimizes the downtime and financial impacts associated with data breaches or other cyber attacks, which can cost businesses millions of dollars in losses, regulatory fines, and reputational damages.

Reduce Stress on Internal Teams

Even if an organization has an in-house IT team, outsourcing the cybersecurity function can be of benefit. By outsourcing cybersecurity to a dedicated team of experts, the in-house IT team can significantly reduce their workload and focus on crucial aspects such as network configuration and infrastructure support.

With the increased sophistication of cyber threats and the constant evolution of attack vectors, a specialized cybersecurity team possesses the necessary skills and knowledge to detect, prevent, and mitigate potential breaches. This not only alleviates the burden of keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats but also grants organizations access to state-of-the-art technologies and innovative practices that are tailored to their specific needs.

Proactive Protection

Outsourcing cybersecurity provides companies with a proactive rather than reactive approach to guarding their digital assets against cyber threats in many of the ways we’ve outlined already – expertise, access to resources, continuous monitoring, timely updates, cost savings, and the ability to draw from previous experiences. Companies that adopt a proactive approach are better positioned to safeguard their digital assets and reduce the risk of cyber threats.

What to Look for in a Cybersecurity Team

In today’s digital era, the significance of a robust cybersecurity team cannot be overstated. As cyber threats grow more sophisticated and commonplace, organizations across all industries and sizes must invest in a capable, well-equipped cybersecurity team to protect their sensitive data, intellectual property, and the privacy of their clients.

The ideal cybersecurity team should possess a diverse range of skill sets, be mindful of continuously evolving techniques, and share a commitment to staying ahead of malicious cyber actors. If you’re looking to outsource your cybersecurity needs, here are several areas to carefully consider when putting together your cybersecurity team:

  • Experience and Expertise – Make sure the company has experience with cybersecurity, as well as experts who understand the threats and solutions available.
  • Proactive Approach – Look for a company that takes a proactive approach to cybersecurity, such as monitoring systems, examining vulnerabilities, and responding quickly to any potential issues.
  • Continuous Monitoring and Reporting – A good cybersecurity company should provide monitoring and reporting of all activity on your network, including all changes made to your systems.
  • Accessibility – It’s important that you are able to easily contact your cybersecurity provider if any issues arise.
  • Security Audits – Look for a company that offers regular security audits to ensure your systems remain secure over time.
  • Comprehensive Solutions – Make sure the cybersecurity provider you choose offers comprehensive solutions that address both external threats and internal security weaknesses.

Cybersecurity Solutions from Everound

A secure cyber environment is crucial to the success of any business. Don’t risk leaving your organization vulnerable – team up with Everound and benefit from our decades of experience in cybersecurity best practices.

Contact us today for a free cybersecurity assessment. We will take a deep dive into your current cybersecurity infrastructure and let you know where you are most vulnerable and what we can do to help. Let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

Know the IT Risks of Working Remote

The push towards remote work exploded over the last three years and has opened up many benefits for both employees and employers. Employees enjoy more freedom to get their jobs done almost anywhere and employers can reduce their overhead expenses and hire talent from across the country or globe.

Remote work, however, does come with some risks, especially when it comes to IT. Workers who hit the local coffee shop for an hour or two increase their cybersecurity risk when connecting to public Wi-Fi. Working in a public place also opens up employees to other kinds of vulnerabilities including traditional theft.

What are the security risks when working in a public place? And how can business owners reduce the risk for a remote workforce? Let’s take a look.

Common IT Risks When Working Remote

When working anywhere other than the office, it’s safe to assume there are increased risks to employees’ information technology security. Employees working remotely can directly expose work computers and networks to cybercrime such as hacking and phishing.

What threats and IT risks do employees and employers face? Here are the most common IT risks when working in a public place:

Unsecured Networks

When working at a coffee shop, library, or another public place, it’s tempting to open your laptop and connect to the free Wi-Fi offered. Connecting to a public network though is one of the easiest ways to fall victim to a cyberattack.

Nearly 25% of all public Wi-Fi hotspots do not have encryption or protection, meaning anyone near the access point has an easy way “in” to the network and can steal data. The risk isn’t only for laptops – research shows that 40% of mobile devices used for work are exposed to a cyber attack within the first four months of use.

Evil Twin Attacks

An evil twin is a fraudulent or fake public Wi-Fi set up by a cybercriminal. Essentially, the cybercriminal capitalizes and preys on remote workers and sets up a Wi-Fi hotspot that looks legitimate but is actually bait to steal sensitive information from users. When users connect to the “evil twin,” all of the sensitive data shared on the network passes through a server controlled by the attacker.

Prying Eyes

Public spaces are just that – public – and don’t offer the same privacy as a home office. When working in a public space, you are at risk for prying eyes, or “shoulder surfers,” who can steal data displayed on a laptop screen. Skilled shoulder surfers can steal passwords, PINs, among other kinds of information directly off of a laptop screen.

Traditional Theft

Most workers get up and stretch their legs or get a cup of coffee several times a day. When workers do this in a public place – even for just a few seconds – criminals can swipe work laptops and personal devices. While uncommon, this is a risk employers should consider when utilizing a remote workforce.

These are a few of the many cybersecurity risks when working in a public place. With some planning and intention, there are ways to minimize security risks for a remote workforce.

How to Reduce Security Risks

Working in a public place can present cybersecurity risks if proper preventative steps are ignored. To minimize IT security risks when working in public, it is important to never leave devices unattended and to disable any devices that must remain out of sight or not in use when not attended.

Here are some best practices to help reduce the risks of working in a public place:

  • Provide team members with separate work computers: When you provide computers and mobile devices to your team, your IT professionals can configure settings to minimize cyber risk. Furthermore, work computers can be monitored remotely to stay ahead of any risks such as phising and other social engineering cyber attacks.
  • Use personal hotspot device: Refrain from connecting to public networks or Wi-Fi as data can be exposed on these unsecured networks. Instead, connect to a personal hotspot device. Personal hotspot devices are a better alternative to public Wi-Fi and are an affordable piece of hardware that gives peace of mind employees are on a safe network.
  • Use a VPN: If team members must use public Wi-Fi, having a virtual private network, or VPN, is critical for online security and safety. A VPN creates a secure connection between the computer and the computer network and protects online privacy. VPNs encrypt internet traffic and make it difficult for hackers to track online activities and steal data.
  • Use strong passwords: While it may be repetitive to hear, the first line of defense against cybercrime is a strong password. Weak passwords, or using the same password across multiple sites and devices, make employees easy targets. Use passwords that are at least 12 characters, including symbols and numbers, and are unique to each site or device. Password managers can make this process easier for team members.
  • Provide team members with laptop cable locks: Laptop cables work the exact same way as bike locks – the cable connects to the laptop and then around a stationary object such as a table leg. The locks can only be unlocked with either a key or a code.
  • Employ a comprehensive cybersecurity program: If you’re employing a remote workforce, it’s absolutely imperative to have a comprehensive cybersecurity program in place that addresses phishing scams, malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. Your IT team should develop and implement a plan that includes endpoint protection, network security, email security, and dark web monitoring.

Following these tips and best practices can help reduce IT security risks for your team members when working in a public place. Unsure where to start or how to implement these solutions? Contact us today for a free cybersecurity audit.

Remote Workforce Cybersecurity Solutions from Everound

As a managed IT services provider, Everound understands the challenges business face with cybersecurity. Whether you have an entirely remote workforce, an “in-person” team, or a blend of the two, we can help you develop a cybersecurity plan to protect your team members both in the office and when they are working in a public place.

Cyber attacks can paralyze a business – don’t wait until AFTER an attack to improve your cybersecurity. Contact us today for a free review of your current cybersecurity infrastructure and a recommended path forward to protect your company from a cyber attack.

Almost daily we learn about cybersecurity threats and data breaches that are affecting businesses across the country and around the globe. The pace and costs of these incidents aren’t slowing down either. In fact, it’s projected that by 2025 the costs related to cybercrime will reach $10.5 trillion.

Most business owners acknowledge the importance of cybersecurity to protect their business assets. The complexities of cybersecurity best practices, though, can leave a business owner feeling confused or overwhelmed and prone to making a costly mistake.

What are the most common cybersecurity mistakes that make a business vulnerable to attack? Let’s take a look at missteps that can make a business a target for cybercrime.

Mistake #1: Not Having a Plan in Place

By far, the biggest mistake that can hurt a company is not having a plan in place in case of a cyber threat. Companies without a formalized cybersecurity plan in place are the most prone to a cyber attack. While creating a response plan takes time and effort, the trade-off for NOT having one in place is immense. A lack of preparation can have devasting financial consequences on a business, not to mention severe damage to customers’ trust and loyalty.

It’s critical for all organizations to prepare and plan for attacks before they happen beginning with an incident response plan. An incident response plan details the step-by-step process for responding to a cyber event. An incident response plan helps to minimize downtime, maintain public trust, and in many industries such as healthcare and law, remain in compliance with governing organizations.

As the saying goes, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

Mistake #2: Not Staying Up to Date

You’ve likely done it once or twice – ignored the annoying notification that a software update is available for your computer. It’s natural to delay a notification while you are in the midst of working on a project, but regular software updates are important to help keep your business secure by:

  • Fixing security weaknesses
  • Addressing known threats
  • Installing computer patches
  • Fixing computer bugs

If you are at an organization with an internal IT department, your IT team should be pushing updates regularly to the entire organization’s IT infrastructure. Are you the IT department AND the business owner? Chances are your team isn’t updating their computers regularly unless you are specifically asking them to do so.

Mistake #3: Not Training Employees

Did you know that one of the biggest threats to your business’s cybersecurity isn’t a hacker or cybercriminals? The biggest threat is actually your employees. Human error accounts for a large percentage of data breaches and other cyber incidents.

When you fail to provide regular training to your team, they may fall victim to phishing emails, ransomware attacks, improperly storing sensitive data, or clicking on an unsafe link. Cybersecurity awareness training isn’t failsafe, however, developing a security posture is about building up layers of defense. Training is one of those layers.

 

Mistake #4: Not Using Strong Passwords

Humans are predictable – passwords shouldn’t be. Weak passwords are an easy way for outsiders to gain access to your network and data. Considering 61% of data breaches involve login information, a strong password policy is critical to keep data safe. A strong password policy can include:

  • Required two-factor authentication
  • Long passwords with a mix of lower and uppercase letters
  • Avoiding predictable passwords such as, well, password
  • Not allowing recycled passwords
  • One-time access passwords

Overlooking password security is sometimes an overlooked area but can be easily addressed by incorporating a password manager into your IT best practices.

Mistake #5: Skipping Backups

Not backing up data is a critical mistake when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting data. In the event your company is held hostage with ransomware, or if your data is lost or corrupted, a backup can help you restore it.

There are two ways to backup your data: cloud-based and local. Cloud-based backups are stored on servers and local backups are stored on external hard drives or other devices. Business owners should consider using both methods, especially startups and small businesses.

Mistake #6: Thinking “It Won’t Happen to Us”

Own a business and think cybercrime only happens to other companies? The hard truth is most businesses – even small businesses – will be targeted for a cybercrime at some point. Hackers often target small businesses over large ones as their IT infrastructure is more likely to have holes and gaps for them to exploit. If you own a business, it’s not if, but when, you will be targeted.

Cybersecurity Services from Everound

Everound is a managed IT services company specializing in cybersecurity services, IT consulting, network administration, help desk support, and other IT services. Our team of professionals has worked with large, enterprise organizations as well as small startup businesses to help them plan for and prepare for a cybersecurity threat.

We know what it’s like to run a business and make our customers’ cybersecurity needs a priority. We offer a free cybersecurity assessment that will help you understand where you may be vulnerable and can help you develop a plan to reduce your risk for a cyber threat. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us focus on your IT so you can focus on your business.

For business owners of all sizes, cyber threats are a real concern. Data breaches, malware, ransomware, and other cybercrimes are all too common. In fact, according to Internet Crime Report released by the FBI, the number of cybercrime complaints rose by 7% in 2021 with total money lost increasing by a whopping 64%.

Cybercriminals stole nearly $2.4 billion by hacking email accounts at businesses mostly due to the increase in remote work over the last two years. Unfortunately, for many organizations, especially small businesses, coming back after a financial loss can be challenging if not impossible.

In the event of cybercrime, some businesses may benefit from cybersecurity insurance. Cybersecurity insurance generally covers a business’s liability for a data breach or other cyber incident. Essentially, it helps reduce the financial loss incurred when a fraudster infiltrates an organization.

Not all cybersecurity insurance is the same, and it doesn’t cover every financial risk associated with a cybercrime. Let’s take a look at the different types of coverages available, what is excluded, and the types of businesses that may benefit from cybersecurity insurance.

Types of Cybersecurity Insurance

When a business is the victim of a malicious cyber event, there are many different assets at risk. Their personal information, privacy, and operations can be affected, and sensitive customer data such as social security numbers, bank routing numbers, and more can fall into the wrong hands. Depending on the type of attack, different types of cybersecurity insurance can minimize the damage.

First Party Coverage

First party coverage protects a company’s data including both customer data and employee data. If a company has first party coverage, the policy will generally cover the cost of legal counsel, recovery and replacement of data including customer information, customer notification and call center services, lost income caused by business interruption, public relations, and more.

Third Party Coverage

Third party coverage, unlike first party coverage, protects an organization from liability if another party brings a claim against the company. Coverage includes payments to consumers affected by the incident, claims, and settlements related to lawsuits, losses related to trademark infringement or defamation, costs for litigation, and accounting costs.

Privacy Liability Coverage

One of the most common repercussions of a cyber attack is the loss of personal customer data. With privacy liability coverage, a business will be financially protected in the event their customer data falls into the hands of a cyber thief. The policy typically covers financial losses associated with attorney and court fees for legal proceedings, settlements, and court judgments, and regulatory fines.

Network Security Coverage

Network security coverage includes claims arising out of a breach of a company’s network and data storage. Some policies cover both online and offline information, denial of service attacks, and the failure to prevent a virus or malware from infecting the network. Coverage may include costs associated with notifying customers of a breach, credit monitoring, data restoration, call center fees, IT forensics, and legal fees.

Technology Errors and Omissions

Errors and omissions coverage (also called E&O coverage) protects an organization for cyber risks that prevent delivering services to clients or fulfilling contractual obligations. E&O coverage is similar to product liability coverage for companies that sell physical or digital products. Like other forms of cybersecurity insurance, E&O coverage will help minimize costs related to court fees, informing customers, and other first party claims. E&O does not extend to third party claims against a company.

Network Business Interruption Coverage

When a cybercrime affects an organization, one of the biggest casualties is the interruption of business. Network business interruption coverage helps businesses who rely on technology to keep operations going. This coverage can be used to deflect the costs of fixed expenses, lost profits, and extra costs when a company is “offline” due to a cyber attack.

Cybersecurity Insurance Exclusions

Cybersecurity insurance policies are fairly new within the last five years, and insurance companies are constantly adjusting what is covered – and what is not covered – with a policy. Nearly all types of cybersecurity policies have exclusions that business owners should be aware of.

Generally, a policy doesn’t cover:

  • Property Damage: Cybersecurity insurance usually only covers financial damages and excludes property damage losses. If a computer network is fried, for example, and needs to be replaced, the cost would not be covered by the insurance policy.
  • Intellectual Property: Intellectual property losses are not included in cybersecurity insurance coverage. In order for intellectual property to be covered, a business would need intellectual property insurance.
  • Self-Inflicted Crimes or Cyber Incidents: This may seem obvious, but absolutely no cybersecurity insurance carrier will issue a policy that protects a company that is involved in a crime related to a cyber attack.
  • Potential Future Profit Loss: Unfortunately, cybersecurity insurance doesn’t cover future profit losses. This is why it’s important to recover quickly from a cyber attack and resume business operations as soon as possible.
  • Cost of Technology Improvements: After a cyber incident, companies may want to invest in updating information technology security systems as part of their risk management process. Cybersecurity insurance does not cover this investment.

Who Needs Cybersecurity Insurance?

If you own a business, you may wonder if cybersecurity insurance is a good investment. The answer is “maybe,” depending on the type of business, what data you store about your team, customers, and operations, and whether or not you are poised to recover quickly after a cyber attack.

While there is no clear line about who should get insurance and who can opt-out, the types of businesses that may benefit from cybersecurity insurance include:

Businesses That Store Important Data

If your company stores sensitive business data such as phone numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and bank account information, you are likely a target for cybercrime. Cyber thieves specifically target organizations who store large amounts of personal data and will go to extremes to get it.

If your business is storing your own financial data and personal customer data, first party coverage may be a good option. A real world example is if your company is the victim of ransomware, where a cybercriminal is holding your data hostage for a financial payout, the policy would likely pay out the ransom so you can recover the data. With all types of insurance, though, each policy is different and may have exclusions.

Businesses with a Large Amount of Customers

Have a business with a large customer base? Cybersecurity insurance may be a good investment. One of the necessary steps after a data breach is to inform your customer base. In fact, notifying customers is often required by law. Costs associated with this process – call centers, direct mail, etc. – can easily skyrocket. First party coverage can help deflect those costs.

High Revenue Businesses

Businesses with high revenue and valuable assets may be good candidates for cybersecurity insurance, particularly if the insurance premiums are lower than the combined value of the business. A cybersecurity insurance policy can greatly reduce the financial risk for this type of business.

For a small business with a low annual revenue, the cost of a policy may not be justified. It all depends on the projected cost to recover from a cyber attack versus the cost of the annual premiums.

Unsure if a cybersecurity insurance policy makes sense for your business? We understand – it’s a fairly new type of business insurance and can seem confusing. Before signing up for a policy, or walking away from one, consult with a cybersecurity team like Everound.

Cybersecurity Services for Central PA Businesses

Everound is a full-service managed IT services provider that helps businesses with their IT operational needs. Our team of experts can help you determine if cybersecurity insurance is a good fit for your business, and even help you procure a policy.

We can provide a free cybersecurity assessment to determine your risk for a cyber attack. Our assessment looks at your email security, network security, and endpoint security and offers cybersecurity improvement measures to reduce your risk.

Interested in learning more with a no-obligation consultation? Contact us today to get the conversation started.

Phishing scams are nothing new and are one of the biggest cyber threats to a business. According to Proofpoint, more than 80% of companies were targeted by phishing cybercriminals in 2021. Do you know how to spot phishing attempts at your organization?

Understanding the different types of phishing strategies is the first step to stopping them from infiltrating your organization. Let’s examine the different types of phishing attacks, ways to spot them, and how to block phishing emails.

Types of Phishing Attacks

What is phishing? Phishing is an email or text message scam that tricks users into providing personal information either by clicking on a link or opening an attachment. The emails or text messages appear to come from someone the recipient trusts, either a supervisor, colleague, or in some cases, a family member.

Not all phishing attempts are the same, and there are several different ways a cyber thief can deploy a phishing attack. The most common types include:

  • Deceptive: Deceptive phishing is the most common type of scam. In this method, attackers impersonate a company the user is familiar with to steal personal information or data. The emails may look real and even include legitimate links to trick the user into falling for the scam.
  • Spear: Spear phishing is a more targeted type of a deceptive phishing attempt. With spear phishing, the criminal will specifically target an individual with personal information they can find on the Internet. A spear phishing email may contain the user’s full name, place of employment, job title, email address, and even specific information about their role at their company.
  • Whaling: Whaling is similar to spear phishing, however, targets senior leadership such as the C-suite. With whaling, scammers impersonate the CEO, CFO, or another high-level team member with the hope the recipient will “follow orders” from a superior. The requests are typically to complete a financial transaction or respond to the email with personal information.
  • Smishing: Smishing is a type of phishing attack that uses text messaging rather than emails, but the goal is still the same – to get a user to click on a malicious link or provide personal information. Many phishing criminals will send text messages disguised as a bank and claiming there was suspicious activity with the user’s bank account or credit card.
  • Vishing: Vishing is much the same as smishing, however, the platform switches to a phone call rather than a text message. Senior citizens are particularly at risk for vishing attacks. The caller will pose as someone in an authoritative position to be able to obtain bank account numbers, credit card information, and more.
  • Pharming: As users have become more aware of email phishing, fraudsters have changed their strategy to include pharming. With pharming, users are redirected to a fake or “spoof” website that essentially appears to be a real website. The fake sites are designed to capture a user’s personal information such as their social security number, website credentials, account numbers, and more. Pharming is implemented when the hacker sends malicious code in an email that redirects traffic to the fake website.
  • Angler: Angler phishing is a fairly new type of phishing attempt that targets social media users, particularly ones who are frustrated with customer service at a financial institution. The cybercriminal will pose as a customer service rep for the company and respond to a complaint using a handle that includes the name of the institution. The fake account will attempt to “resolve” the complaint and ask the user to click on a link to talk to an agent. Once the link is clicked, the fraudster can install malware on the user’s computer or steal business data.

While there are different methods of phishing, they all share the same goal. The email (or text message or phone call) may ask for a password, billing information, credit card numbers, or other sensitive data. Once the information is shared, hackers can infiltrate a company’s network and steal information or deploy malware. Phishing is a real risk for all sizes of organizations, from small businesses to large enterprises. If you are concerned about phishing attempts at your business, a cybersecurity team like Everound can help.

How to Spot Phishing Attempts

how to spot phishing attemptsIt’s more than likely that you have been the target of a phishing attempt either at work or at home. Were you able to spot it as suspicious? There are “red flags” to watch out for when determining if an email is real or a phishing attempt.
Here are ways to spot a phishing attempt:

  • Unfamiliar tone: Does the email from your friendly coworker down the hall come off as cold and monotone? Chances are, the email is a phishing attempt. Hackers don’t understand tone very well and some phishing emails are even written by bots. If the content in an email feels a little “off,” make sure you verify the sender actually sent you an email.
  • Spelling and grammatical errors: Most email platforms have a built-in spell check feature for outbound emails. If an email contains several spelling and grammatical errors, it may be a phishing attempt.
  • Inconsistencies with an email address, links, or domain: Another easy way to spot a phishing attempt is to look for inconsistencies with the domains in email addresses or links. For example, if you hover over a link in an email from your “bank” and the URL doesn’t contain the bank name or trusted domain, that’s a huge red flag.
  • Threats or a sense of urgency: Threats or a sense of urgency are often used in whaling. Your “CEO” may be busy in a meeting and ask you to quickly take care of sending a payment to a vendor. If you receive an email that feels out of character, is threatening, or creates a sense of urgency that is uncommon at your business, this is likely a phishing attempt.
  • Suspicious attachments: Attachments sent via email should always be opened with caution. Attachments can contain harmful viruses and malware that can infiltrate an entire organization quickly causing financial damages. If you receive an email with an extension such as .zip, .exe, .scr, etc., or another unfamiliar extension, be very cautious about opening it. Check with the sender by phone to see if they sent you a safe attachment.
  • Odd request: Did you get an email with a request to do something that is not within the normal scope of your job at work? Or perhaps an off-hours text message from your “boss”? Did your IT team send an email with an attachment and you weren’t expecting it? Odd requests are a sign of a phishing attempt.
  • Short and sweet: Some phishing emails are full of content and detail, and others are short and sweet. If you receive a message with a short note like “Per your request” or “As a follow up…” however didn’t request or need anything from the user, do not click on any links or open the attachment.
  • Request for a password or other sensitive information: This is by far the easiest way to spot a phishing email – when the requestor asks for a password or other sensitive information in an email. Passwords, bank account information, and personal data should never be shared via email. A savvier attempt is to send the user to a fake landing page and ask the user to enter their credentials. Remember – banks, financial institutions, and other reputable companies you do business with will not request your credentials via email or their website.

Learning how to spot phishing emails can reduce your risk of a data breach or other cyber threat. Phishing emails are always a little bit “off” and are suspicious. If you are unsure if you can tell the difference between a real email and a phishing scam, working with a cybersecurity team can help.

How to Block Phishing Emails

The first line of defense against phishing emails is learning how to spot them. Your information technology team is likely also implementing several strategies to block phishing emails all together.

How can you block phishing emails?

  • Security awareness training: Phishing attempts all rely on one thing – human interaction. You can reduce your threat and risk of being a target of phishing emails by implementing regular security awareness training at your organization. There are also phishing simulators that can send suspicious emails that are actually harmless to see if employees would fall for a phishing scam.
  • Anti-spam, anti-malware, and anti-phishing software: There are several cloud service software packages that include anti-spam, anti-malware, and anti-phishing support. This technology can identify and stop phishing emails before they even get to a user’s inbox.
  • DNS authentication services: DNS authentication services that include SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols help prevent fake websites (spoofing) and impersonation. With DNS authentication, users are blocked from visiting sites that are flagged malicious by the software.
  • Anti-impersonation technology: One of the cornerstones of phishing attacks is the criminal’s use of impersonation. Anti-impersonation technology scans inbound emails and detects abnormalities in headers, domains, and suspect body content.

Cybersecurity Services from Everound

At Everound, we make it our business to protect our clients from phishing and cyberattacks. As a managed IT services provider, we offer comprehensive cybersecurity solutions to protect organizations from phishing, data breaches, dark web threats, malware, viruses, and more.

Unsure if your business is protected and able to sustain a cyber threat? Reach out today for a free cybersecurity audit. We will take a look at your current IT infrastructure, assess vulnerabilities, and work with you to come up with a robust cybersecurity plan. Let us focus on your IT, so you can focus on your business.