Time Magazine reported that the FBI uncovered a ring of Russian hackers who targeted weak networks of small businesses, organizations and churches. These businesses don’t have the know how or resources to protect their networks and far too many don’t invest in the right technology and expertise to harden their networks from attack.
Hackers know this.
The article reads According to the FBI, the gang busted last week after an 18-month investigation used a version of the Zeus Trojan virus to infect weak computer systems, especially those belonging to small businesses, churches and at least one hospital. Once infected, the machines sent the owners’ bank passwords back to the hackers in Eastern Europe. Then came the messy part. Russian and Moldovan nationals who had mostly entered the U.S. on student visas were recruited to set up hundreds of bank accounts in the U.S. under fake names — among them were “Fortune Binot” and “Bazil Kozloff” — and slowly withdraw the cash that had been illegally transferred into those dummy accounts. In total, they stole some $70 million before they were caught; the gang had attempted to steal $220 million in total, the FBI said in a statement on Oct. 1.
AVG gave me some tips that you can use to better protect your network.
- Ensure all computers, file storage and email servers have up-to-date security software installed.
- Construct and document an acceptable-use policy for all computers used for company business.
- Educate staff on the policies and procedures for computer usage and online security, such as downloading technology, non-sanctioned applications, widgets or social media tools from public websites; clicking and sharing suspicious links in email, IM, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter or any other social networking sites; using company e-mails as logins for social networks or for any other personal use.
- Require that all security incidents are promptly reported to a manager or IT officer and take these security issues seriously.
- Ensure regular back-ups are taken of all company files, data, email and other systems.
- Change all passwords regularly, especially when an employee or contractor leaves the company.
- Install or update your Internet security. Don’t have any? AVG recently launched new business products to its offerings, which are easy to install and are designed to be low-maintenance and user friendly.
- Continue to educate your employees about evolving security threats. A potential resource specifically designed to educate small and medium businesses is AVG Technologies’ blog at www.small-business.blog.avg.com.
Read the full Time Magazine article here.