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Tag Archives: cybersecurity attacks

Internal Security Breaches

Internal Security Breaches: How to Spot Them and Stop Them

No security breach can hit on a deeper level than an internal security breach. Imagine working excitedly and painstakingly on your business, assembling a team that shares a common goal, and building a network cyber protection system just to watch it take a substantial hit from the inside. No one could blame you – sometimes we get so hung up on stories of outside threats, that we forget to focus on potential risks lurking in-house.

How do these security breaches happen? Because of oversight, forgetfulness, lack of experience, jealousy, hurt? The answers can be few and many. But below we’ll cover the most often seen internal security breaches, so you can prepare for a risk that hopefully never comes knocking on the door of your business.

Types of Insider Threats

The phrase “insider threats” is pretty explanatory as it is. But there may be some factors that you fail to consider as possible insider threats. To raise awareness of insider security breaches, we’ll list the often found culprits of such risks:

  • Vindictive Employees: There are those workers who knowingly steal, leak, or damage internal information or IT systems for their gain, corporate espionage, vindictiveness, or sabotage. These people are often swayed by malice from individuals outside the organization or by emotions like rage or greed.
  • Negligent Employees: Careless staff members may unintentionally compromise business information or networks. These individuals are unaware their actions put the company at risk of a data breach or cybersecurity attack. Negligent employees may produce internal security breaches just because they inadvertently put sensitive information in the wrong hands.
  • Unsuspecting Employees: The seeming source of the inside attack could be a worker whose computer has been compromised or whose login credentials have been stolen. Cyberattacks are used by criminals to steal employee credentials, which they then use to commit crimes under the employee’s name. 

As you can see, we chose to classify the inside threats through the lens of the people who are part of the in-house structure or ones that closely partner with the business in question. Now, whether the threat comes from a file, an app, or other data – we’ll leave a brief classification for you below:

  • Unauthorized removal, copying, transferring, or other data exfiltration methods
  • Unauthorized uses of business assets
  • Data alteration, like unauthorized data changes
  • sensitive assets deletion or destruction
  • downloading data from questionable sources
  • leveraging illegal software that might have malware or other harmful code
  • installing malicious software on purpose

All in all, you and your staff must be educated on just how easy it is to open the door to internal security breaches. It’s even more important that you know how to spot this deliberate or unintentional behavior.

Internal Security Breaches data

Insider Threat Indicators and Impact

Now we’ll briefly list the most obvious indicators of a security breach that stems from the inside:

  • Downloading or accessing an increasing amount of data
  • Accessing sensitive data not relevant to the employee in question
  • Accessing data not usual to the employee’s unique behavioral profile
  • Repeated requests for access to data not significant to the employee’s role
  • Using unauthorized storage devices (USB drives, etc.)
  • A rise in phishing attacks

We’ll take a moment now to look at what kind of impact these attacks have on organizations.

  • Loss of revenue
  • Loss of competitive edge
  • Loss of customer trust
  • Increased legal trouble
  • Complete financial fallout

Usually, when a cyber-criminal has compromised an account, they can use that data to compromise a staff member, thus making an outside attack an insider attack.

Securing Yourself from Insider Threats

One glaring statistic from Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report is that 82% of the recorded breaches involved a human element. Maybe you will be somewhat comforted by the fact that your staff members are 2.5 times more likely to make a mistake than to intentionally abuse their access. But that still doesn’t change the fact that you need to know how to keep sensitive company data safe.

Besides identifying the pattern of suspicious activity as advised above, here are some other steps you can take to secure your business from internal security breaches:

  • Prevent Incidents – Lower risk through blocking, monitoring (both staff access and user behavior), and real-time user notifications.
  • Secure User Privacy – To acknowledge employee and contractor privacy and comply with regulations, and anonymize user data.
  • Fulfill Compliance – Quickly and efficiently meet important compliance requirements relating to hacker attacks.
  • Integrate Tools – For better understanding, combine insider threat management and detection with SIEMs and other security tools (File Access Management, Behavioral Analytics, Email security for outbound mail, securing your staff from sending data to the wrong recipient, etc.).

These are, of course, just the basics of protection. To create and implement a full-blown cyber security strategy, the help from an external Managed Service IT Provider could be of immense assistance.

Final Word

Implementing staff monitoring, auditing system logs, maintaining open lines of communication with important stakeholders, separating duties, and training your staff to avoid common mistakes that jeopardize their credentials are all ways to protect your company. And to make it simpler for you and your team to identify and stop insider attacks, you can benefit from investing in both new and existing technologies, as well as proven experts with a good IT security track record.

hackers use AI

How Hackers Use AI and Machine Learning to Target Enterprises

AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning are often touted as things that will bring both small businesses and enterprises to new levels. But the bad frequently follows the good. Meaning that while AI and machine learning improve cybersecurity, they are also being used by cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals are using advanced technology to create and launch sophisticated malware and cyber attacks that easily bypass and fool cybersecurity systems.

More complex cyberattacks are our future, along with increased frequency. So in this article, we will cover in more detail what AI and machine learning do when in the wrong hands.

Importance of Cybersecurity in 2022

With the increasing number of cyberattacks, spotting vulnerable spots in your IT infrastructure is crucial to keep your business’ data, hardware, and other software safe.

In case your company does fall victim to a cyberattack (which isn’t the end of the world because you can never be 100% safe), there are steps to take afterward. After neutralizing the threat, the important thing is to revise the security protocols using the lessons learned from the recent attack.

Another vital step is to never stop learning – hackers use AI and machine learning more and more, and you should know about the latest hacker trends and what exactly they do to extract sensitive company data.

What are AI and Machine Learning in Cybersecurity?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is great in assisting security operations analysts to tackle the cyberattacks’ increase in scale and variety. Artificial intelligence (AI) tech such as machine learning and natural language processing enables analysts to link together various threats.

Machine learning, as a subset of AI, creates automated analytical models. What this translates to is that it lets IT systems gain more insight and thus update various processes according to what the program experienced through continuous use. That allows IT systems to learn from previous calculations and adapt on their own.

Ways Hackers Use AI and Machine Learning

Hackers use increasingly sophisticated methods to breach IT security, gather information, and launch attacks. The usefulness of machine learning and AI also benefits cybercriminals. The following evolving threats in the IT sector are ones that your company needs to be aware of.

More Sophisticated Phishing Emails

Attackers create phishing emails using machine learning. On dark web forums, they are promoting the sale of these services. There, they mention utilizing machine learning to produce more effective phishing emails. They operate by creating fake personalities for use in scam efforts.

Hackers can use machine learning to creatively alter phishing emails so that they don’t appear in bulk email lists and are optimized to encourage engagement and clicks. They go beyond the email’s text. Hackers use AI to produce realistic images, social media personas, and other content to give the interaction the best possible legitimacy.

hackers use AI Cyber threat

Faster Password Guessing

Additionally, criminals use AI and machine learning to improve their password guessing skills. It is evident that password guessing engines now have more sophisticated techniques based on the frequency and success rates of criminal hacking attempts. The ability to hack stolen hashes is also improving as criminals are creating better dictionaries.

Additionally, they are utilizing machine learning to identify security measures so they can guess better passwords with fewer attempts, increasing their likelihood of success.

Using Deep Fakes

The deep fake tools that can produce video or audio difficult to distinguish from the real human speech are the most terrifying way hackers use AI and machine learning.

A few high-profile cases involving faked audio costing businesses hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars have come to light recently.

In order to make their messages seem more credible, scammers are increasingly using artificial intelligence and machine learning to create realistic-looking user-profiles and videos. It’s a huge industry. Since 2016, company email scams have caused over $43 billion in losses, according to the FBI.

Social Engineering

Cybercriminals use the tactic of social engineering to trick and convince victims to disclose confidential details or perform a specific action, like sending money abroad or opening an infected file.

By making it simpler and faster for them to gather data on businesses, employees, and partners, AI and machine learning make use of the actions of criminals. In other words, social engineering-based attacks are strengthened by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Final Word

There are so many different aspects of cybersecurity to cover, and we covered just a tiny portion in this article. But it is enough to get you started and realize just how much hackers use AI and machine learning.

So if criminals are using the best technology out there to perform malicious activities, you should be breathing down their necks, too, by continuously updating your security systems.

Because remember – AI and machine learning can keep you safe from various cyber threats.

Cyber Extortion

What Is Cyber Extortion and How to Protect Yourself From It?

Technology is changing by the day. And while we reap many benefits from it, other people are also taking advantage by engaging in criminal behavior that is extremely damaging to individuals, organizations, and whole governments.

One of the many risks lurking online is the theft of valuable data. Lots of it is stolen for cyber extortion. Its most common form is ransomware – a sophisticated and emerging form of malware. Country leaders, CEOs, and individuals should be ready and equipped with knowledge not just to mend from such attacks but also to prevent them altogether.

Find out what forms cyber extortion takes and how you can protect yourself from it.

Definition of Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion is an online attack that has the goal of extracting huge ransom sums. It often involves criminals that threaten with server failures and/or data encryption – which locks your access to previously accessible data.

The act of taking data hostage can happen when you or your knowledgeable staff clicks on malicious links that automatically download malware, encrypt your files, and locks you out. Another thing a hacker can do is copy your important data. As with real-life extortion, psychology plays a massive part in the whole process, with cyber criminals making outrageous ransom requests, for which you have no way of knowing if they are being serious or bluffing.

Most Common Types of Cyber Extortion

Cyber extortion can take many forms since every piece of data stolen in any way can be used for extortion purposes. But the most common types of cyber extortion take form in the following ways:

Cyber Extortion Ransomware


Ransomware is the most frequently found form of extortion. In these cases, criminals hack into your network and take your data hostage or any other important element of your IT infrastructure and network. Then these cybercriminals contact you or leave a message demanding payments in exchange for the safe return of your data and for preventing the data to be leaked or sold to a third party. These days criminals often ask for payment in cryptocurrency.


Another often-seen sort of cyber extortion includes a DDoS attack. It’s done by cyber criminals who send a large number of fake service requests to your web server, which overloads its capacities. Sending out these fake requests is done through infected servers (botnets).

That overload renders your website non-functional and stops it from serving users who visit the site. Not only does that cause downtime and make your users switch over to your competition, but it can also cause a loss of capital and/or stakeholders

Email-based Cyber Extortion

There are some overlaps between different types of extortion, and such is the case with email-based cyber extortion. While the attack itself could’ve been done in a myriad of ways, what defines email-based extortion is that the threat comes through the email, and the attacker threatens to release private information through emails sent to your entire address book, which often includes colleagues, family, and friends.

Cybercriminals often obtain sensitive emails, pictures, videos, and more.

How to Protect Yourself From Cyber Extortion?

Cyber Extortion Cyber Attack

Since cybercriminals are no danger to you until they breach your network, the main question now is – how do you prevent extortion?

There are several ways, the most prevalent and useful ones being:

  • Educating Your Employees: Unfortunately, breaches often happen because employees are not informed enough about the dangers of cyberattacks. Your older staff can particularly be vulnerable to scams and downloading malware. Make sure you send your work staff to cyber security courses.
  • Backing Up Data: This is the first and most useful step. Because no matter how hard you try, you can never be 100% safe. Backing up data regularly will save you from lots of stress, money losses, and internal conflicts.
  • Implementing a Patch Management System: Hackers are constantly seeking weak points in networks. Regularly check your network for potential security gaps and apply software patches to close them.
  • Applying a Strong Password Policy: Attackers can take advantage of your system if you use default administrator usernames and passwords. Default passwords should be changed, and strong passwords used. Avoid using the same password for several different accounts, add special characters and numbers to a password, and change it frequently.

Final Word

Ransomware is one of the most prevalent types of digital attack and is rapidly evolving. Your organization must develop its systems to guarantee that data is safeguarded from cyber extortion both now and in the future. You can ensure your company is safe in 2022 and beyond by doing detailed ransomware risk assessments and employing the help of proven Managed Service Providers.

hybrid workplace safety

Hybrid Workplace Vulnerabilities: How to Promote Online Safety?

With the gradual lifting of restrictions, organizations have discarded remote work in favor of a hybrid workplace – a mix of an at-home and in-office policy.

This doesn’t come without its challenges. Least of which is how are you going to protect sensitive data and other online assets from the vulnerabilities of a hybrid workplace. 

Since security is always at the top of the list of priorities, in this article, we will explain what are the biggest hybrid workplace threats and five ways to promote online safety to a mobile workforce.

Let’s begin.

#1 Use a VPN

Virtual private networks (VPN) are products and services that create a private network from a public internet connection. This scrambles your browsing data and makes it almost impossible for hackers to decrypt your online activity.

With a series of encryptions and access controls, VPNs are a great deterrent to attackers from tracking movement online and stealing sensitive data.

VPNs are essential for securing public and shared wireless networks, especially if the Wi-Fi connection isn’t password protected (even with the new Wi-Fi 6 connection).

Using a VPN ensures that your wireless connection doesn’t provide easy access to your business data if no one is at the office.

hybrid workplace VPN

#2 Protect your passwords

While a VPN is an excellent tool, it’s only as strong as the passwords and passphrases that it’s meant to protect.

In fact, the Colonian Pipeline hack in 2021 was blamed on an attacker who gained entry to their data via an unused VPN. The issue: the VPN didn’t have multifactor authentication.

Multifactor authentication is a cybersecurity measure where several methods of identity verification are required for accessing valuable data behind password-protected accounts.

One way to resolve this problem is to use a password manager to protect your user and login data. 

If you’re looking to choose a password management solution for your business, make sure that it does include multifactor verification.

#3 Secure work-issued devices

Working in a hybrid workplace means that you and the people you work with will commute a lot between their home and office. It’s highly likely that they move their work-issued devices back and forth, which raises the chance of forgetting it at either location or losing it en route.

NOTE: Never use a personal device for business or to handle work-related data!

Hybrid Workplace Vulnerabilities

As convenient as it may be, a company device has more integrated security measures onto its hardware than your personal device.

If you’re downloading a file or app to a work-issued device, vet it and request permission to do so from your internal or managed IT professionals. Unknown files, apps, and programs have security gaps that make them an ideal gateway for cyber attacks.

Please read our full article on the 10 cybersecurity gaps you should know about (and how to fix each one).

#4 Educate staff and employees

Human error is the #1 cause of cyber attacks. This includes phishing scams and other serious threats to business data security, and all it takes is one wrong click.

In fact, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (and the rise of the remote and hybrid workspace) phishing attacks have risen by a staggering 55%.

Here are 5 clear signs of phishing attempts and how to react if you’re under attack.

Cybersecurity awareness is the first line of defense. So it’s vital to educate your staff on the best security practices, password protecion, personal device usage at the office, and how to identify security threats when they happen.

#5 Practice a Zero Trust policy

Zero trust is a security policy that’s exactly what it sounds like: TRUST NO ONE. This policy extends to all users, including business partners, employees, and even C-level executives.

Businesses that employ the Zero Trust model limit who has access to sensitive data and data sources. Staff that does have access to various sources, on the other hand, is heavily vetted before given access to that kind of information.

A basic mantra behind this concept is: If someone doesn’t need a particular piece of information, DON’T SHARE IT WITH THEM.

This means never sharing passwords and login data, especially via email, messaging solutions, or via video conference calls.

Hybrid Workplace Online Safety

Stay smart and secure

A hybrid work environment creates many vulnerabilities for your business, and managing your cybersecurity can be overwhelming if you don’t have a dedicated team running it.

But we’re here to help.

Demakis Technologies is a professional IT service provider that specializes in managed services, helpdesk support, and, yes, network and cyber security.

CONTACT US to get in touch with one of our IT security experts and gain a piece of mind in the knowledge that your business is well protected from online threats.

cybersecurity gaps

10 Cybersecurity Gaps You Should Know About

Every year, cybersecurity gaps and data breaches expose more than 155.8 million records in the U.S.

Because businesses are the most targeted, protecting them against potential cyber-attacks is critical.

This post highlights 10 cyber security gaps you should know about so you can get a better understanding of cyber security and the gaps, challenges, and solutions.

Let’s start!

#1 Lack of Foresight

With the frequency and complexity of cyber attacks increasing, businesses can no longer afford to be unprepared. 

Before a cybersecurity breach occurs, companies must test their security and be prepared to respond if needed. 

Failure to anticipate and respond to breaches will cost businesses a lot of money as they try to get back on their feet.

cybersecurity attacks

#2 Unexpected and Unknown Threats 

Organizations must understand cybersecurity threats in order to be prepared. 

It’s essential to know who your enemy is and what resources you have at your disposal.

Organizations can use the Dark Web to get an insight into their threats and keep up with the latest developments.

#3 Asset Management

Knowing your IT systems and the data they contain improves network security.

You may start identifying which devices are causing network security risks by keeping a continuous inventory of technology assets.

Some of those assets include: 

  • Servers
  • Applications
  • Printers
  • Smart phones 
  • Laptops
  • Call equipment
  • Wireless speaker systems

Organizations can discover devices generating network security holes utilizing a comprehensive cybersecurity gap analysis.

#4 Lack of Vulnerability Disclosure

When an organization understands its own weaknesses and gaps, it can develop plans for improvement.

Without that information, organizations can only speculate or do nothing.

Regular reporting on device and server patching can help IT departments.

Organizations who use Proactive Management can see when a patch was applied, which machines were updated, and which devices encountered issues or still needed to be updated. 

Once the IT team has this information, they may resolve the issues and identify a potential cyber security gap. 

#5 Employee Risks

Employees can be a company’s weakest link as well as its most vital protection. 

A dishonest employee may sell confidential information or even grant attackers access to the company’s network. 

Unintentionally, a careless employee may leave an “open door” for attackers. 

On the other hand, an employee who is aware of the risks and is trained on the signs to look for in a breach is an organization’s first line of defense. 

Make sure that your employees are aware of cyber threats and how to respond.

cybersecurity threats

#6 IoT Devices

Most modern wellness technologies are connected to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Many wellness functions and touchless technology are included.

As these devices become more popular, hackers will have more opportunities to identify a weakness anywhere on the network. 

It is challenging for IT staff to secure and regularly monitor these devices.

#7 Third-Party Risks

Beyond the systems and employees of the organization, it is critical to ensure that the third parties and vendors with whom you work have robust cybersecurity policies and measures in place. 

Organizations should implement a standard and structured method for reviewing and assessing the security levels of these external parties.

That’s how they will ensure that attackers do not exploit these loopholes to access the organization’s network.

#8 Crisis Handling

When incidents happen, organizations must ensure that the crisis is handled correctly. 

To ensure that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities, a detailed crisis response plan should be in place and well-rehearsed.

Mishandling cyber incidents can lead to higher costs and reputational damage, which is difficult to recover from.

#9 Mobile Security

Employees in modern organizations frequently work on the go or away from the office. 

That means that any type of cyber security implemented in the organization must extend beyond the office’s perimeters. 

Employees must be aware of the risks and response plans, and mobile devices and laptops must be secured.

cybersecurity breach

#10 Governance and Risk Management

Executive leadership should be involved with a cyber security team and security management.

Appointing a Chief Security Officer (CISO) or a Chief Technology Officer can improve your organization’s infrastructure and cybersecurity measures from the top down.

Better governance policies and cybersecurity practices can be implemented to transition from reactive to proactive.

Close the Gaps in Your Cybersecurity with a Trusted IT Specialist

Managing cybersecurity gaps comes down to determining gaps in understanding cyber security and what can be done to close these gaps.

Proactive cyber security management and measures must be implemented to stop cybersecurity attacks before they impact your business.

Trusted IT specialists like Demakis Technologies can assist you in alleviating cybersecurity concerns and removing tasks from your to-do lists. 

CONTACT US to reach out to one of our cybersecurity specialists to get started and start closing the gaps in your network security.