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Scareware is a type of malware tactic used to manipulate victims into downloading or buying malware-infested software. Scareware attacks are used by hackers and cybercriminals to trick users into thinking they must buy malware masked as real cybersecurity software.
Similar to most social engineering attacks, the intent of scareware is to frighten the computer user into paying for fake software or to further infect a device. To frighten users, scareware presents the user with a variety of pop-up security alerts that appear as warnings from actual antivirus companies, claiming that the user’s files have been infected. If the tactic works, the victim downloads fake software that is harmful malware. This places the user’s personal data at risk, and their computer might be remotely accessed by the hackers themselves, which can lead to other critical security issues, such as identity theft.
What does this mean for an SMB or MSP?
CyberHoot’s Minimum Essential Cybersecurity Recommendations
The following recommendations will help you and your business stay secure with the various threats you may face on a day-to-day basis. All of the suggestions listed below can be gained by hiring CyberHoot’s vCISO Program development services.
- Govern employees with policies and procedures. You need a password policy, an acceptable use policy, an information handling policy, and a written information security program (WISP) at a minimum.
- Train employees on how to spot and avoid phishing attacks. Adopt a Learning Management system like CyberHoot to teach employees the skills they need to be more confident, productive, and secure.
- Test employees with Phishing attacks to practice. CyberHoot’s Phish testing allows businesses to test employees with believable phishing attacks and put those that fail into remedial phish training.
- Deploy critical cybersecurity technology including two-factor authentication on all critical accounts. Enable email SPAM filtering, validate backups, and deploy DNS protection, antivirus, and anti-malware on all your endpoints.
- In the modern Work-from-Home era, make sure you’re managing personal devices connecting to your network by validating their security (patching, antivirus, DNS protections) or prohibiting their use entirely.
- If you haven’t had a risk assessment by a 3rd party in the last 2 years, you should have one now. Establishing a risk management framework in your organization is critical to addressing your most egregious risks with your finite time and money.
- Buy Cyber-Insurance to protect you in a catastrophic failure situation. Cyber-Insurance is no different than Car, Fire, Flood, or Life insurance. It’s there when you need it most.
Each of these recommendations, except cyber-insurance, is built into CyberHoot’s product and virtual Chief Information Security Officer services. With CyberHoot you can govern, train, assess, and test your employees. Visit CyberHoot.com and sign up for our services today. At the very least continue to learn by enrolling in our monthly Cybersecurity newsletters to stay on top of current cybersecurity updates.
To learn more about Scareware, watch this short 4-minute video:
Don’t Get Scammed by Scareware: 3 Easy Tips to Stay Safe
CyberHoot does have some other resources available for your use. Below are links to all of our resources, feel free to check them out whenever you like:
- Cybrary (Cyber Library)
- Press Releases
- Instructional Videos (HowTo) – very helpful for our SuperUsers!
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