Cybercriminals and security attacks: What your business must know

Malware attacks have become increasingly prevalent with more
than one million unique malware samples uncovered each month.

And with threats on the rise, businesses are starting to question the
capabilities of their security infrastructure.

This white paper explores today’s top security risks for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and the tools necessary to protect against next-generation malware and cybercrime.

What the headlines don’t tell you

Citigroup Inc., Sony Corp., Nintendo, PBS and CIA hacks have all made front-page news recently. Despite widespread coverage of these security breaches, many cybercrimes go unreported in an effort to maintain customer confidence and, in the case of publicly traded companies, protect shareholder value.

Although most headline-making hacks involve large corporations, cybercrime is a very real and steadily growing threat to SMBs. Cybercriminals target SMBs for several reasons, including monetary gain, to access sensitive data or files, to exploit security weaknesses or just for fun.

Cyber attacks are more sophisticated and more targeted than ever. So are the hackers and malware writers getting smarter? Or are anti-malware and endpoint security solutions falling short? It’s a little bit of both.

The malware (r)evolution

Traditional viruses represent only a fraction of the current threat landscape. Today, the top security risks for SMBs are:

Spear phishing scams

Targeted email attacks where cybercriminals send fake emails that appear surprisingly authentic. These emails often mimic the look and/or style of communications sent by banks or credit card companies and “phish” for personal information.

Oftentimes, spear phishing emails link to malicious websites, where login credentials are stolen, or include malicious attachments, that install malware on end-user machines.

Between July and December 2010, the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) identified 67,677 phishing attacks.

Based on this, the analysis of cybercriminal activities – including the development of unique malicious websites – and the financial benefits afforded spear phishing scams, the APWG reports these types of threats will continue to grow exponentially.

As the number of malicious email scams increase, network security measures must also. Traditional AV spam and virus filters are often ineffective in catching spear phishing attempts.

With today’s threat landscape, it’s imperative to choose an antivirus solution that accurately identifies and strips malicious attachments from emails,

Blocks dangerous URLs and protects users from visiting phishing sites. Employee education is also critical.