Virtual Attacks: What You Need to Know


The “2022 Connectivity Benchmark Report” study by Mulesoft, a Salesforce company, reveals that as digitalization accelerates, driven primarily by pandemic, companies could lose seven million dollars in revenue if they do not successfully complete their digital transformation initiatives.

The same study indicates that the biggest challenges encountered are security and governance (54%), followed by outdated IT infrastructure (46%) and inability to keep up with constantly changing processes, tools and systems (42%).

In fact, cyberattacks are increasingly frequent and sophisticated. Portugal ranks 31st out of 101 countries most affected by ransomware attacks, with the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada leading the list, according to a study by S21sec.

Remote work, the aforementioned digitalization and the increasingly online nature of lives are reflected in opportunities for cybercriminals who take advantage of organizations’ vulnerabilities and employees’ concerns. As we move into 2022, there is unfortunately no sign of slowing down.

It is important that you understand whether or not you are the target of a virtual attack so that you can act quickly, or call for help. Here are some telltale signs that you have suffered a cyber attack:

  • Slowness in Device- When starting up or at the processing level.
  • Changes in Browsing Layout- Changing the home page, installing bars and extensions without permission, as well as an unmeasured display of advertisements.
  • Opening of Pop-up Windows- measured opening of ad windows.
  • Disabling Programs- Mainly security programs, which make malware detection impossible.

We had already revealed some more in-depth tips on how to protect yourself and avoid being a target of cyberattacks. However, we remind you of other, more common suggestions that every individual should consider to avoid cyberattacks, not only in the workplace, but also on a personal level:

  • Don’t use your corporate login credentials in applications for personal use;
  • Don’t click on suspicious links. When in doubt, type the address into the browser bar;
  • Try not to carry sensitive information on removable devices;
  • Learn how to detect social engineering attacks and how to defend against them by reporting to the IT team;
  • Lock your staff out when they leave the workplace;
  • Do not modify the configuration of your mobile devices or install unauthorized applications;
  • Avoid accessing corporate email through your personal device. If you must, do not download files to the team;
  • Pay attention to the use you make of e-mail. Avoid sending chain emails.

The head of Marsh says that with “human life becoming increasingly digitized, transferring wealth of value from the physical to the digital world”, it is natural that “crime is directed more towards this medium”.

In fact, many companies have failed to keep up with technological developments, and therefore do not possess solutions that ensure digital security. According to a study by Check Point Software Technologies, 26% of institutions reveal not having solutions to prevent ransomware attacks. These data are worrying, especially in times like these, when cyber attacks have multiplied.

With regard to mobile devices, an increasingly important part of the daily life of an individual, since these devices carry all the important data and information, only 12% of companies that allow access to organizations through these devices use a mobile threat protection solution “This shows how exposed organizations are to the rapid evolution of 5th generation cyberattacks against remote workers”.

Pedro Castro, Systems Engineer at Palo Alto Networks, makes a revelation, stating that “We know that, historically, security has always been the poor relation of IT and it is very difficult for organizations, especially SMEs, to find funds to invest in these areas. When I say invest, it’s not just in technology; it’s in processes, people, in ways to prevent attacks .

According to Gartner, after a company has been targeted by a cyberattack, every second that passes of business downtime is critical and costly, generating losses of up to five thousand euros per minute.

Thus, one realizes the importance of prevention and detection measures, such as protection policies and immediate data availability, which depends on backup copies, the so-called backups, and data storage.

In fact, experts are aware that they cannot guarantee a company’s security 100%. However, they can neutralize its effects in order to ensure business continuity, i.e., the main objective is to increase the security of organizations.

Manuel Coelho Dias, from Marsh Portugal, also assumes that there are no 100% effective solutions that can protect an organization. What is necessary and vital is to have action plans for an eventual intrusion “Preventing cyber-attacks is very important, but it is very important to know how to react “, he says.

In light of this, in addition to the tips already mentioned, it is crucial to implement more complete approaches with regard to the area of security, not least because, currently, data is not centralized in a single location.

The only existing barrier in this sense is the lack of knowledge of the public and organizations about these threats. Without this perception, vulnerabilities are more easily exposed, putting at risk the company’s activity and, in the limit, its continuity.

It is equally important that there is transparency on the part of both governments and organizations in sharing information about how they were attacked and how they resolved these threats.

Protecting organizations and investing in cybersecurity has never been more urgent.

Count on ActiveSys to protect your information systems, through backup solutions and disaster recovery plans, which allow a minimum operation of the entity.


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