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Tips to Improve Supply Chain Cyber Security

A supply chain is a network of facilities that are responsible for the procurement of raw materials, the transformation of those raw materials into intermediate commodities, and finally, the delivery of finished goods to end users via a distribution system. It is the network of organizations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in the delivery of a product or service to a customer. While these supply chain components are essential for smooth operations of a business, they can also expose a business to cyber security risks.

The following tips can help in improving cybersecurity for supply chain network of a business.

  1. Verify Third-Party Vendors: Prevention is the most effective method for enhancing the cybersecurity of a supply chain. Cybercriminals find third-party vendors to be an easy and lucrative target, as a majority of third-party vendors have inconsistent cybersecurity protocols. Once attackers infiltrate the network of these vendors, they can acquire access to their client’s data. This makes it important to assess the cyber security practices of the third-party vendors to check if they are as per the industry standards. Also, analyze the history of cyber security breaches the third-party vendors have experienced in the past.
  2. Access Management: Understand the role and responsibilities of the vendor. Analyze the tasks the vendor needs to perform and the data that is essential to accomplish them. Grant access to the necessary data and tools to the vendor instead of providing open access. This ensures minimized exposure in case the vendor experiences a breach.
  3. Understand the Risks: Knowing the risks you may encounter is essential to formulate an effective mitigation plan. To begin with, list all cyber security risk scenarios through which cybercriminals can infiltrate your network. Once you understand the risks, work towards mitigating these risks starting with the risk with highest impact.
  4. Know Your Critical Systems: Critical systems and data include the information and systems that are essential for smooth operations of a business. These systems and data may include user data, business documents, financial data, communication channels, business core applications, etc. Knowing your key systems allow you to know what must be protected in all situations. Develop strategies to safeguard these systems and data.
  5. Speed Up Detection: Despite effective measures, understand that you might face supply chain based cyber-attacks. Early detection of infiltration helps in timely response, recovery, and remediation of the breach. Educate your employees to be able to detect an attack at first instance and report it to the right department.
  6. Recovery Plan: Lay out a well-defined recovery plan and document it. Make sure to include every employee’s role in the recovery plan and share it across the organization. Take regular backups to aid in data recovery and minimize the impact of a breach.
  7. Penetration Analysis: Cyber security is a dynamic environment as cybercriminals come up with new methods to bypass security measures. Regular penetration analysis and vendor monitoring help in detecting vulnerabilities at the earliest. This helps in preventing zero-day attacks.

To know more about tips to improve supply chain cyber security, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Cyber Security Challenges for Online Retailers in Holiday Season

With the holiday spirit on a high, it is the season for shopping.

Online shopping has taken over as the preferred method of shopping due to a change in consumer behavior. Since more and more people are choosing to shop online, businesses are shifting to online retailing to take advantage of the opportunity. However, this has also given a chance to cyber criminals to exploit vulnerabilities and trick users into fraud.

Given the rising cyber threats, here is a list of cyber security challenges online retailers need to be aware of this holiday season:

  1. Botnet Attacks: A botnet attack is an attack where a large number of internet-connected devices are infected by malware and are then used to launch cyber attacks as a bot network. Botnet attacks against online retailers or e-commerce sites usually involve advanced bots to bypass their cyber security system. An advanced bot is trained to imitate human behavior when accessing a browser. One of the most common forms of botnet attacks is Traffic Overload or DDoS attack. A large network of bots sends multiple redundant requests to the server of the online retailer site to cause traffic overload. As a result, the server is not able to receive requests from the customers resulting in Distributed Denial of Service. These attacks are majorly used to disrupt the business during peak shopping season.
  2. Unauthorized Account Access: These attacks rely on credential theft to access users’ or retailers’ accounts. User accounts typically include gift cards, discount vouchers, and stored financial information such as credit card details. While this can result in financial loss for users, threat actors can also target retailers using intercepted user accounts. They can make fraudulent purchases using merchants’ simple financing options over the holiday season.
  3. Malware/ Ransomware: As the holiday season is a busy time of the year for retailers, cybercriminals try to disrupt operations by installing malware or ransomware. Attackers may exploit vulnerabilities in the code or may run a social engineering attack to hack into the system.
  4. Redirection Attacks: Cybercriminals analyze online retailer websites to find vulnerabilities they can exploit. Once they find a vulnerability, they utilize this chance to insert malicious code injections. These codes are generally added to the payment page of the website. When a user clicks on this malicious code, he is redirected to a fake website that is built to mimic the original payments page. The user is requested to provide financial details to make the payment & finalize his purchase. These details are sent by the server to a threat actor who can use it for financial or credential theft.

Online retailers need to be cautious to prevent these attacks. Common preventive measures include installing regular updates to patch vulnerabilities, implementing access management strategies, promoting multi-factor authentication for user accounts, etc.

To know more about cyber security challenges for online retailers, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Types of Targeted DDoS Attacks

PDF Version: types-of-targeted-ddos-attacks

What Is BitPaymer Ransomware?

BitPaymer is a ransomware type cyber threat that typically targets Windows-based systems on a compromised network. Also known as “wp_encrypt,” it was first discovered in 2017 and has launched different versions since then.

What Are The Attack Vectors of BitPaymer Ransomware?

BitPaymer uses multiple attack vectors to infiltrate the target network or system. The most commonly used attack vectors are:

  1. Phishing emails targeting organization’s employees
  2. Software downloads via third party, fake or malicious links
  3. Brute force attacks

What Does BitPaymer Ransomware Do?

BitPaymer Ransomware uses multiple steps to spread laterally across a network & infect multiple systems. Let us understand how the ransomware works:

  1. After infecting a system, the ransomware conceals itself & stays in the victim system to gather information such as login credentials, shared drives, IP addresses, private network details, etc.
  2. It further scans for servers running Microsoft Exchange & Microsoft SQL.
  3. The malware then penetrates Active Directory running on the network for lateral movement by infecting all other systems connected to the network.
  4. Once the systems are infected, the ransomware now encrypts all the files on the victim systems using RC4 and RSA-1024 encryption algorithms.
  5. The encrypted files are saved using “.locked” file extension. Some new versions of the BitPaymer ransomware use “.LOCK” as the file extension.
  6. A text file is generated for every encrypted file with extension “readme_txt” to inform the victim of encryption and provide details to contact the hacker.
  7. The ransomware also deletes the recovery checkpoints from the Windows system.
  8. A personalized ransomware note is also left on the desktop which includes ransom fee and steps that should be taken for data recovery.

What Makes BitPaymer Ransomware Unique?

BitPaymer Ransomware differs from other ransomware in many ways:

  1. The ransomware is very well-coded as compared to majority of ransomware that use Ransomware-As-A-Service codes.
  2. The hackers manually attack the Active Directory running on the network & also spend time to know the victim thoroughly.
  3. In some strains of the ransomware, the hackers build custom binary for every victim and even use the victim organization’s name in encrypted file extension.
  4. The ransomware makes extensive efforts to stay concealed in the target system.

How To Stay Protected Against BitPaymer Ransomware?

  1. Educate employees by conducting cyber security workshops to make them capable of spotting phishing attacks.
  2. Ensure regular data backup at multiple locations.
  3. Thoroughly review all RDP connections & secure them.
  4. Make sure to download & install the latest security updates on all servers & systems.

To know more about cyber security solutions for businesses, contact Centex Technologies. You can contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

Ways To Include Cyber Security In Your Business Plan

The Business Continuity Plan, or BCP, focuses on the mitigation of potential risks and the restoration of operations in the event of a cyber-attack. With the ever-increasing risk of cyber-attacks, BCP is now an integral part of the overall business plan for most organizations.

Here are some ways that can help businesses integrate cyber security in their business plan in an effective & efficient manner:

  1. Involve Cyber Security Teams: Cyber security teams are usually well aware of the areas of concern regarding cyber security. Involving them in the discussion helps in gaining benefits from their insight & ensuring that all major concerns are taken into consideration.
  2. Secure All Systems: Secure the systems that run your business including the Wi-Fi networks, on-premise computers, remote devices, and all the endpoints connected to the network.
  3. Implement Basic Controls: Cyber Security & Business Plan Management teams should work in alliance to formulate & implement basic controls. Some examples of basic controls include remote working policies, remote device management policies, VPN management, mobile device management, etc. A thorough layout of policies, investments, roles, & responsibilities should be chalked out to define individual roles in case of crisis management.
  4. Ensure Data Backup: Lost data can cause serious business disruptions which can cause huge financial losses to the business. An amalgamation of cyber security & business continuity plan can help in combating business disruption caused by loss of data due to a data breach. Implementing regular data backup as a part of disaster recovery strategy is a logical action that helps in restoring access to data.
  5. Emergency Access Management: In times of crisis or recovery management, it sometimes becomes essential to grant access to third parties. However, appropriate policies should be laid down to make sure that level of access is limited to required systems or networks only.
  6. Prioritize Communication: Timely detection & remediation is key to preventing or fighting against cyber-attacks. So, promote multiple communication channels and make your employees understand the importance of communicating any irregularities or signs of breach to the designated team.
  7. Deploy Firewalls: A firewall is essential to secure network and systems from outside threats. However, as businesses now have both on-premises and remote systems or devices, it has become essential to deploy multiple firewalls – centralized firewall & program firewall. A centralized firewall protects the hardware while a program firewall helps in ensuring the security of individual devices.
  8. Automate Critical Processes: It is important to ensure business continuity even if the business faces a crisis such as cyber-attack. Also, it helps in ensuring the smooth working of critical business operations to minimize the impact of the crisis. This can be done by automating critical operations to make sure they keep running without any manual intervention even during a crisis.
  9. Formulate a Disaster Recovery Plan: Make sure that disaster recovery is a part of your business plan. A disaster recovery plan lays out thorough steps for threat recognition, response, & remediation for minimizing the impact of an attack.

Consult Centex Technologies for enterprise cyber security solutions. Contact Centex Technologies at Killeen (254) 213 – 4740, Dallas (972) 375 – 9654, Atlanta (404) 994 – 5074, and Austin (512) 956 – 5454.

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