As the summer begins and Covid restrictions relax, employees all around the world are getting ready to start traveling again. Most of them will not be able to leave their precious laptops home. But working while traveling implies connecting to the company network from locations whose cybersecurity may not match the company standards. So, what are the best malware protection measures to adopt while traveling?
1. Cyber attackers love holidays
A Cybereason study dated November 2021 found that cyber attackers love the holidays. And not because they can finally take a break from their illegal activities and enjoy the money earned through ransomware flying out to a wonderful island, but rather because weekends, and especially those that mark important national festivities, are a great moment to carry out cyber attacks.
The study, which is titled Organizations at Risk: Ransomware Attackers don’t take Holidays, interviewed over 1,200 security professionals in companies that had been hit by ransomware attacks. During the interviews, 24% of the respondents declared that they had no kind of contingency plan to assure a prompt response to an attack in case it takes place during the weekend or holidays. This means that, on average, one in four companies is not able to respond to a cyber attack should it happen at a non-working time, which is great news ….. only for the hackers!
The lack of contingencies during weekends and holidays implies not only a higher probability of being hit by a targeted attack but also longer reaction times and, as a consequence, a longer period required in order to restore the initial situation, of course assuming that this is still feasible.
Indeed, most of the respondents to the survey said that holiday attacks have a bigger impact on organizations: 60% reported longer periods needed to assess the scope of the attack, 50% added that it took them longer to mount an effective response and 33% stated that it took them a longer period to fully recover.
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1.1 Major holiday attacks
If you still believe these are only the results of a study and that your organization will not be targeted during the holidays because everything is closed down, then consider that just in 2021 some of the major attacks in the world took place during weekends and holidays.
It’s the case, for example, of the JBS attack. JBS is the world’s largest meat processing company, with operations in 15 countries and a global distribution chain. The company, whose supply chain uses computers at multiple stages, was hit by a ransomware attack during the last weekend of May 2021 that was perpetrated by a criminal group likely based in Russia.
Not much later that year, during the Fourth of July American holiday weekend, the IT management software provider Kaseya was hit by one of the worst ever supply chain cyber attacks, perpetrated by the Russia-based REvil group and which we discussed thoroughly in this article. In this case, the attack hit a number of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) that used Kaseya’s platforms and product, with a cascade effect on their clients globally.
>> Has your organization been hit by a ransomware attack? ? Read our article and find out what your options are
Like viruses that aim for human health have a higher probability of success when their victim is already compromised and her attention to other issues is lower, so do computer viruses and threats have more chances to succeed when the targeted victims lower their guard, and hence during weekends, national holidays and, generally, during holiday periods.
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1.2 Summer 2022: higher risks require the best malware protection possible
As we discussed in several articles that you can freely access on our blog, the Covid pandemic resulted in a shift towards remote activities, both in working and learning environments. In turn, this shift was accompanied by an increase in the number and frequency of cyber attacks, whose effect made even the national news in some countries.
Although the risks are by now well known, why do we believe the 2022 summer holidays carry an especially high risk of attacks? For a combination of the following factors:
» Attacks have generally increased over the last couple of years. For more details about this trend, see our dedicated article.
» As stated above, holidays and weekends are a preferred time for hackers to attack since victims have lowered their guard.
» Since the beginning of the Covid pandemic, more and more employees have been working remotely and connecting via VPN to the company network, thus providing hackers with another entry point. We discussed this here.
» Since remote work has become the new normal, employees have gotten used to carrying their laptop with them everywhere, and we can expect more people compared to the pre-pandemic period will bring it also on holiday with them.
» Holiday resorts and hotels provide Internet connections to their guests, but their network safety might not be as high as the one available in the company offices or even as the one available at home where, following all the training on cyber security received at work, many individuals have finally set up malware protection measures and DNS anti malware filters.
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2. FlashStart provides the best malware protection for your connected devices
FlashStart is a European cyber security company with a global presence. It provides a malware blocking service that is highly appreciated by clients all over the world. So, what makes the FlashStart DNS anti malware tool the ideal solution to grant you the tranquility of safe travels?
2.1 FlashStart: malware protection based on a global Anycast network
An Anycast network grants multiple correspondence between the same IP address and several hosts. This allows the network to choose only one address to which it can send the user’s request, depending on the server’s status and availability. Why is this important for a malware blocking tool? Because the Anycast network grants that the protection services are fully available and, if it detects an overloaded server, it forwards the request to the next node.
FlashStart can count on a global Anycast network that includes almost 30 data centers spread on five continents, from Los Angeles to San Paolo, from Stockholm to Johannesburg and then east to Tokyo and south to Sydney. This global presence grants the total redundancy of the service and an extremely low response latency: your clients will not even notice their DNS request is being checked for malware and phishing attacks.
2.2 FlashStart: malware blocking everywhere, on all your devices
FlashStart is the ideal solution for today’s hybrid workforce that connects to the company network both from within and from outside the company quarters. You can activate the best malware protection:
» Inside the company, at the router level: in this way, all the devices connected to the company network will be automatically protected from malware and from phishing and ransomware attacks.
» On each single device through the end-point ClientShield app: this allows you to grant the Internet safety of your employees wherever they are, both when they are visiting a client and when they are working remotely….even on holiday!
2.3 FlashStart: the constantly updated DNS anti malware tool
In order to be effective, a DNS anti malware tool must satisfy a fundamental request: it must be constantly updated. Indeed, the web is constantly flooded with new types of malware, new versions of already-existing viruses, general phishing attacks that “hope” to make some victims and targeted attacks that have very high chances of succeeding.
The FlashStart malware blocking service grants protection from the most recent threats thanks to the fact that it is constantly updated. Indeed, it uses a mix of Artificial Intelligence algorithms, machine learning techniques and human intelligence to continuously scan the Internet searching for new threats. Once a threat is identified, FlashStart adds it to its cloud and the users can enjoy the updated best malware protection directly, with no need for action on their side.
2.4 FlashStart: the malware blocking service you can customize as you wish
Finally, FlashStart is the best malware protection for businesses since companies can customize it to mirror their needs and organizational structure:
» On top of malware and dangerous sites, you can decide to block access to all sorts of adult contents and even to distracting contents, like social networks and online shopping platforms, that may have a negative effect on the efficiency of your employees.
» The network administrator can decide to schedule the blocks: this means blocking access to certain categories, like the above-mentioned distracting websites, only during work hours while permitting it outside of work and during the holidays.
» Finally, FlashStart can be fully integrated with Microsoft ActiveDirectory and with Google WorkSuite, thus allowing you to replicate the user group structure and assign security profiles based on the group.
You can activate the FlashStart® Cloud protection on all Routers and Firewalls to grant the safety of your desktop and mobile devices and of your IoT devices on local networks