Part of what makes cybersecurity so difficult to achieve is that the risks are always shifting. When a flaw or scam is exposed, it is generally addressed. But stepping up protections in this sense can only be considered a short-lived victory. Just as IT professionals can learn from the actions of malicious hackers, these actors can learn from the defenses and strategies that are commonly applied in response to their actions.
One of the areas in which this is most frequently seen is in phishing campaigns. Methods of online deception have evolved over the years from their humble beginnings in the “Nigerian prince” scheme and other similar scams into much more sophisticated efforts. These operations are generally not so much about requesting information as they are about taking it. This is an incredibly dangerous reality not only for at-home PC users, but also the modern businesses that rely so heavily on computers and online services.
“A single email opened by an unsuspecting employee can undo months of work,” said TechInsurance CEO Ted Devine in a press release. “And once a hacker gains access, the financial consequences can be significant.”
This is why one of the best means of prevention is to accept that there is no logical endgame for cybersecurity. Criminals are always going to try one-upping their targets by adapting to change, either by altering their malware and viruses directly or the means through which they are injected. This kind of evolving threat demands advanced protections and software layered security in order to be properly addressed.
Old and new threats alike constantly appearing, adapting
There have been many strains of malware to “grace” private and professional hardware over the last few years, from the recently-revived GameOver Zeus to the new Kronos program that is being advertised on underground forums as a banking Trojan. Unfortunately, threats like these are nothing new, and their proponents continue to concoct new ways in which they can fool enterprise employees into clicking links and submitting sensitive information to criminal servers.
To boot, the ease with which they can be acquired means that there is an ever-increasing chance of infection. While some of these programs can fetch a hefty price on the black market, leaked source codes can facilitate free distribution. This can also mean that any number of altered versions of the same malware can appear at any given time, making it hard to develop consistent security.
This is why tools like Faronics Anti-Executable are essential to any multi-tier cyberdefense strategy. Anti-Executable is an application whitelisting program that only allows approved software to run, even if it has not been downloaded. This not only prevents rouge productivity apps from being leveraged by well-meaning employees, but also stops accidentally-downloaded malware cold in its tracks before it has a chance to do any damage. While it is important to have a number of different kinds of protection in place, Anti-Executable can help to make sure anything that has gotten past the firewall is not allowed to cause harm to enterprise systems.