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Snow, Storm Emma – and Malware?

We have all heard of dangers of malware attacks and we know people who have had their computers and networks infected – but have you ever wondered how they get it and how its brought in to your business network?

With UK weather being at is worst in nearly 8 years and the Met Office issuing red alerts for snow as the Beast from the East hits in the North and Storm Emma hits the South, businesses have been embracing agile working and letting users work from home – sometimes for the first time, and sending in emails, reports, or accessing work systems or intranets. This is a perfect set of conditions for cyber issues to take hold.

Most business nowadays allows B.Y.O.D, (Bring Your Own Device), i.e mobiles, tablets and laptops that belong to employees. The issue around these devices is that the IT teams don’t truly know what the employees are doing with them.

KubeNet’s Cyber Security team has investigated a real-life malware situation with B.Y.O.D, all brought on by poor infrastructure often with little or no B.Y.O.D policy. Here’s what he found:

“The issues started when the employee working from home and who uses their own laptop for business and personal use wanted to get a sneak peek of the movie Justice League, they done the normal, YouTube trailers, visited Amazon video to buy and then realising the movie is not released yet.  The user Googled “Stream Justice League” and found a link that would allow them to watch the film.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? And it happens literally millions of times.

“The webpage opens, they are now thinking, Yes! free film! Later, the user then connects the laptop to the business network and it’s not long before the user starts to complain about slow networks speeds and how the network is not running correctly.

The incident investigation process starts, and the laptop is scanned for a Virus and Malware. On analysis of what has transpired, we find that the user laptop has stumbled into a malware attack when they visited this free streaming website.  The user’s laptop became infected with malware called JS.Coinminer. The user is oblivious to this and then brings the laptop into the business networks.

The malware, JS.Coinminer, is not a typical hijacker. This pest malware uses your browser as a way to steal your computer resources and cause high CPU usage or data loss. Or, it may redirect the user to a website that could cause the user to be tricked or cause the issue to worm (spread) around the network.

This type of activity is so easy to pass from employee devices to your network. You need to invest in threat detection and prevention. KubeNet’s network does this for clients each day with our next-gen hosted firewall. Our Cisco Firepower with URL filtering and AMP infrastructure would stop attacks like this trying taking hold and causing a real mess in your network.

This is out Top Tips to try preventing issue likes this happening to you:

  1. Ensure you are running a Next-Gen Firewall with IDS;
  2. Ensure you are running a secure VPN connection;
  3. Review your B.Y.O.D policies and procedures;
  4. Think about using a Mobile Device Manager (MDM). This would Improve the security of B.Y.O.D by enforcing data encryption, remotely wiping lost devices, and even restricting network access to managed devices. An MDM can help you check that the user has Antivirus and anti-Malware;
  5. Offer staff training, educate your team on the basics of cyber security;
  6. Ensure you are doing vulnerably scans on your networks, keeping software updated and ensure your local IT polices don’t allow any unauthorised programmes to be installed;

KubeNet’s in-house cybersecurity team would be happy to assess your current network security and policies – please contact us to arrange a consultation and an assessment to see how we can help. Email, or call 0344 873 4488.