Calling foul on cybercriminals

Cybercriminals are always looking for timely and relevant ways to expand their campaigns and they don't stop short of leveraging fears sparked by sensational media coverage. These types of threats aren't new, but they're definitely getting harder to detect and more profluent with the increasing use of social media tools.

The recent outbreak of swine flu is a timely example of cybercriminal's use of news to prey on victims. It forces us to re-evaluate policies, technologies and approaches that help arm IT managers with the means to defend their organizations.

Cybercriminals have gotten very sophisticated and have begun to use multiple tactics to gain information that can lead to financial gain – through spam, web threats, email and a combination of these. Also, with the advent of social media and the trend for more companies to allow employees to use new networking tools, online and email threats have taken on an almost organic make-up, providing a new challenge for IT managers that requires immediate reaction and real-time network updating.

Remote workers create another security threat that many companies aren't set up to manage appropriately, especially small businesses or small enterprises that are often constricted by smaller IT budgets.

So, how can IT managers cover all their bases? One way is to increase awareness and education among employees regarding messaging in anticipation of relevant scares and media-active themes. It's always vital to consider real-time filters that constantly update rather than update reactively. It's also imperative for the enterprise to take a blended approach to safeguard its networks. As well, it's necessary to implement remote security policies alongside the organization's telework processes.

IT managers can't anticipate the news, or even where malicious attacks will appear. However, they can take steps to avoid vulnerabilities in anticipation of future unpredictable scenarios. Swine flu won't be the last scare to be capitalized on, so let's continue to share best practices and lessons learned to stay one step ahead.

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