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Every organization is aware of the importance of security – security of the building, security for employees and financial security are all a priority; however, an organization comprises many other assets that require security, most notably its IT infrastructure. Malware comprises a variety of malicious software types such as Trojans, worms and spyware which will infiltrate your machine without you even realizing. Networks, servers, workstations – they all need to work seamlessly together for an organization to run its day-to-day tasks. Vulnerability issues, patch management and network auditing are all security features that need to be addressed when dealing with networks. In the next segment of this article we’ll be taking a look at other security threats that can be present from within the organization and may not necessarily have a malicious intent, yet are still destructive to the business. Jesmond is a Marketing Manager at GFI Software, with a keen interest in Social Media, Product Marketing and anything to do with Online Marketing. Popular technologies like virtualization, databases and mobility could be as risky as they are useful to enterprise users in 2009. Hackers are changing their habits and using new methods which are web-based, dynamic in their nature and hidden in otherwise legitimate sites. Barely 24 hours had passed following the announcement of Gaddafi’s death that we started to see targeted malware being released to exploit the public’s curiosity of this big news story. Although your favorite web browser and operating system may be secured and patched, the reality is that most people do not update browser plugins.
As web threats continue to evolve, it becomes harder and harder to ignore the threat exposed by user web browsing, and as attacks continue to evolve, you need to make sure that your web browsing activity is not giving you more than you bargained for. Have a look at what GFI WebMonitor can do for you to improve web security, or just download a free trial and give it a spin! This is where we can integrate the features of both an updated browser and secure search engine – just like what Google and Firefox are doing for several years now. These two Internet giants have a long standing cooperation before – with web security, anti-hacking, anti-spamming, anti-malware, and the likes.
Not just the typical news headlines but also news regarding Hollywood celebrities, politicians, and sports stars – especially the ones involving sex scandals and nude photos.
Mortgage Compliance Magazine A free publication for legal, regulatory compliance, risk management and quality assurance professionals. If you open up any newspaper printed in the last year and a half, you’re almost certain to find an article about some big-name organization falling prey to a major cyber-heist. There should be one silver lining to these stories: With cybersecurity failures occupying a constant space in today’s news cycle, more companies are bound to take notice and step up their defense measures, right? Adding to the problem is the fact that mortgage lenders and other financial institutions have received relatively little guidance on the matter of cybersecurity.
To the government’s credit, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) seems to be working toward alleviating any confusion. If that wasn’t enough, there’s the problem of how the standards will apply to various types of mortgage businesses going forward. Even after jumping through all the regulatory hoops, mortgage professionals need to ask themselves, “Am I actually secure?” The inconvenient truth is that if you’re just doing enough to satisfy the watchdogs, you’re probably still vulnerable.
For a case study on the government’s effectiveness in addressing cybercrime, take a look back at the massive OPM hack mentioned earlier in this article.
Even worse, because of the fast-evolving nature of hacking tools, it’s safe to say the bad guys will always be a step ahead of the law. Deitch, who worked with Harper last year on a white paper focused on loan origination system security risks, agrees that the current FFIEC standards are “rudimentary.” On the other hand, both men also said that regulators are at least moving in the right direction. Luckily, the vast majority of attacks your standard business will face on a day-to-day basis are preventable without any major IT investment. In a study released earlier this year, Verizon identified nine basic patterns used in nearly all major security incidents throughout the last decade. The most common way a criminal tries to get in is by phishing: sending out an email that looks legitimate enough to lure an unwary user into accidentally installing a malicious program or sending personal data to an unsecure source. Phishing is an example of what cybersecurity experts call a social engineering strategy, a tactic that preys on weaknesses in the employees using the network rather than weaknesses in the network itself. For those rare outsider attacks, arguably the most effective approach is to think like a hacker: Identify who is most likely to target your business, what they would want to take and how they might go about doing it. No matter how many precautions you take, however, you also have to come to terms with the possibility that one day, your network may be compromised.
Tory Barringer brings his online editorial experience with several mortgage related publications and with excellence as a  staff writer with The Shorthorn, a UTA Publication.  He  is a journalism graduate  from the University of Texas. The following posters are based around a series of common information security threats with a highway sign theme. They are freely available for you to download. You help support this site – I do this in my own time and it takes a lot of time and effort!
These posters are being made freely available and may be printed locally and used within your own business or dwelling. An organization’s network is the lifeline that employees rely on to do their jobs and subsequently make money for the organization.

Having your inbox fill up with useless messages that promote fake designer goods, bogus get-rich quick schemes and insinuate that you need to improve your love skills is not fun and is definitely not the reason for which you signed up for an email account. A virus can copy itself and infect other machines without the user even knowing that the machine has been infected until disaster strikes. Once your machine is infected it could easily spread to executable files on other machines that are connected to the network thus causing an IT epidemic. If a server crashes, then the workstations are affected and people can’t carry on with their work. Leaving ports open is one of the most common security liabilities and attackers are aware of this. He is an avid tech enthusiast who is always up-to-date with the latest tech, consumer electronics and mobile operating systems, particularly Android. The end-user remains the weakest link in web security as malware authors exploit this weakness to launch their attacks, preying on human interest, curiosity and behavior. Cyber-criminals will take advantage of human interest – and big world news stories as these generate a huge amount of coverage and internet activity. Java, Adobe Flash and Adobe Reader browser plugins are often outdated and there are many web exploits which use this weakness to infect networks. The first method is “fast-flux” sites; websites which are created solely for the purpose of distributing malware for a short time. Rather than exploiting a specific website, malware authors submit infected content to web advertising companies. They (wrongly) believe that a renowned search engine, such as Google or Bing, would never direct them to a website which is infected with malware.
I like to recommend that people use the search engine’s preview feature to tell if the site looks like it was legitimately crafted or just built off a template to house a bunch of ads. Even with Chrome’s introduction to the browser war, Google still did not abandon Firefox. Hackers and spammers are exploiting the popularity of these media by deceiving users to click a certain link (either to view the full video, download the whole file, or stream some movie clips). The most famous ones involved sex scandals with Hollywood celebrities such as on the cases of Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashan.
That confusion, he says, results in an approach that tends to be more reactive than proactive. This lack of direction has left many executives feeling vulnerable not only to cyber attacks, but also to enforcement actions and even litigation from regulators who might target them for not having adequate protocols in place. Following an assessment of more than 500 financial institutions, the regulatory group released a scorecard in June designed to help businesses determine their own risk profile and level of cybersecurity readiness. While the FFIEC rubric currently exists as an optional resource for financial institutions, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has signaled that its examiners will use it to supplement their existing examination framework.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB or Bureau) also had a hand in the development of the FFIEC standards—and if the Bureau has proven anything since its inception, it’s that it isn’t shy about going after organizations that don’t perform up to par in its eyes. Justin Kirsch, CEO of mortgage software solutions provider Access Business Technologies (ABT), says the regulators first need to uncloud the waters before they expect the industry to adhere to any new benchmarks. In the months since the attack was uncovered, hearings and investigations have so far failed to clearly establish what actions could have been taken to prevent the intrusion or even which agency is responsible for ensuring that cybersecurity measures are up to date. For most hackers, the front door is steel, dead bolted, and double trip-wired, but the windows are left open,” Deitch said. Once the attacker gets their hook in, they often have free reign to do as they like, which can include stealing information (both personal and financial) and even holding the entire system hostage until a ransom is paid. Bearing that in mind, it’s critical to hold regular training sessions to ensure every member of staff is able to spot the sometimes subtle differences between a legitimate business email and a scam.
Acting on those assumptions, a capable IT security team can set up security protocols along the network perimeter such as malware detonation and “honeypots,” attractive but ultimately useless targets designed to draw in attackers and ensnare them.
The factor that will matter most in that case is how effective your crisis protocol is—and that, in itself, is another must-have piece of all cybersecurity strategy sessions. By downloading these posters, you agree not to use them, or any of the images contained within them, for commercial purposes. Therefore it’s important to recognize that your IT infrastructure is an asset that requires top security.
Unfortunately spam is a growing problem with research claiming that up to 94% of all emails that are sent are actually spam!
If a virus hits the network then it’s likely to propagate to files on other machines that are connected to the network. Whilst some malware is created simply to disrupt a system, other malware is used for financial gain. If the network fails the repercussions will affect the entire organization, and in turn affect production levels. Scanning your network for open ports, machines that are vulnerable to infection is the first step to security. Social networks are “trusted” and users rely on their IT administrator to provide protection, thereby lulling everybody into a false sense of security.

The same occurred when Bin Laden died and when the Royal Wedding was held – and the trend will continue.
Web exploits which target these vulnerabilities specifically (such as the Blackhole exploit kit) are becoming increasingly popular in the cyber-criminal community. The second way is by compromising a high profile website and injecting a “drive-by download” – a piece of code which infects a user as soon as they visit a website (there’s no need to click anything – simply visiting the website will infect the user’s machine – hence drive-by). This content is then passed onto thousands of websites affiliated with these advertising companies, and any website hosting these adverts will distribute malware until this code is detected. But search engines do not really make a distinction between websites; they display search results according to their ranking algorithms. These days, the threats have moved from the physical world to the digital realm, but make no mistake: A well-executed attack can still bring down even the most powerful entity. That document, however, brought with it just as many questions for the mortgage world as it did answers. Beth Dugan, Deputy Comptroller for Operational Risk at the OCC, explained in an email that the data collected for now will be used to form a more complete picture of cybersecurity preparedness and inform future supervisory guidance. Given that the CFPB is perhaps the most active FFIEC member when it comes to the mortgage space, it’s not hard to understand why a top-ranking executive at a mortgage firm might be nervous. In other words, the biggest threat to your data security can probably be found among your employees.
For those who want to take further precautions, some software providers specialize in setting up simulated phishing attempts in order to identify potential weak links in the security chain. You agree to the terms and conditions of this site and agree to not alter or modify the posters in any way and to not remove the copyright message.
Viruses can also spread via email, instant messaging, an intranet and other shared networks causing networks and machines to overload or crash. Spyware, botnets and keystroke loggers all have malicious intentions as they take control of infected machines and use them to continue proliferating the attack; they also track user’s login details for the sites that they use thus violating their privacy, as well as taking note of credit card details if the user buys something over the Internet. So monitoring the network and servers regularly is a main task for any IT administrator; using network and server monitoring software this task can be automated with reports being generated on a regular basis.
Once the scan is complete, patches must be deployed on all machines that are at risk of infection. This same trick is used for Halloween and other seasonal stories; we’ve seen many of these emerge on social networking sites and others. The London Stock Exchange was one website that exposed this kind of attack this year, though it was by no means the only one. As a result, malware authors inundate search results with links to baited pages that take users to malicious websites which will download malware onto their computer.
This would ensure that the software actually prevents that page from being accessed, and thus prevents any potential infection. If you do wish to customize a poster, or obtain the file in a much higher resolution, or to not have the copyright notice displayed – please purchase it from the store or contact me. They can also capture keystrokes which is where the problem of security lies because passwords and banking details can be revealed in this manner. Furthermore if the user has an online banking account, those login details are also tracked and reported back to the host of the malware. Server downtime equals business downtime which leads to a loss of profits – which all organizations want to avoid.
By assessing your network and keeping up-to-date with all patches you greatly reduce the risk of security attacks occurring.
Social engineered attacks convince users to download content supposedly related to the event that is infected with new strains of malware. Since users were becoming suspicious of clicking certain types of links, this kind of search has now shifted towards image searches which are much harder to prevent. Whilst some spammers do nothing more than direct you to websites to try and sell you things that you don’t need, there are spammers of the more spiteful variety who will include malicious links in their emails that when clicked on will download spyware, malware or other harmful files onto your machine. Malware encompasses more than just viruses; however, an anti-virus solution is the solution to this ever-growing problem.
Any event which is highly newsworthy and generates interest will be used to propagate malware, scams and other fraud. Therefore one of the first security solutions that you want to have on your server or workstation is anti-spam software. Implementing an anti-virus solution can save your network and all your files and emails that could easily be lost and corrupted. Keeping your anti-virus up-to-date is key to keeping your machine clean and malware-free; failure to do so will leave you open to attack.

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