NCSC releases 2022 Cyber Security Breaches Survey

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released its annual ‘Cyber Security Breaches Survey’.

The survey is used to inform government policy on digital security, educate British businesses, and ensure UK cyber space remains safe.

Data collected across over 2,400 business and 850 charities produced some startling statistics concerning the ever-looming threat of cyber-attacks infiltrating UK businesses’ digital footprint.

The report discovered that 39% of UK businesses detected an incoming cyber-attack during 2021. Phishing attacks made up a fifth of all threats identified – the most frequent type of malicious attack.

Organisations also revealed that ransomware was being recognised as a serious digital threat with 56% of businesses stating they have installed or will be introducing a company policy to not pay ransoms to cyber criminals.

Whilst 58% of small and medium businesses disclosed to outsourcing their IT Support service, only 23% of surveyed businesses had a cybersecurity incident management strategy in place that is more advanced than a basic endpoint antivirus.

NCSC promote a blend of regular cyber security learning and training processes within your business to better inform the deployment of traditional cybersecurity software measures across all the organisation’s IT systems.

This multi-layered approach aims to counteract the report’s discovery that a lack of cyber technical expertise amongst UK businesses is to blame for threats going undetected.

Similarly, a company-wide policy of digital hygiene erodes the false assumption that managed cybersecurity strategies are a cost to the business rather than a strategic, protective investment.

31% of business admitted being attacked at least once a week showing that any weak link in an organisation’s cyber defence can have grievous financial implications.

To mitigate this, we recommend organisations follow the NCSC’s guidance and adopt Cyber Essentials and Cyber Essentials +. The scheme requires businesses to meet or exceed an assured set of security requirements each year to protect against common forms of online crime, technology dangers and digital threats.

It is estimated that a Cyber Essentials certification can reduce your organisation’s risk of a cyberattack by 98.5% – contact Lineal to assist with your organisation’s application and to help you meet the requirements for a successful certification or re-certification today.


GandCrab ransomware defeated by Bitdefender decryption

Bitdefender have released a free decryption tool rescuing those affected by recent versions of GandCrab ransomware.

The free tool enables stricken users to recover data encrypted by various versions of GandCrab without paying a ransom to cybercriminals.

In a joint announcement with Europol, Romanian Police and other law-enforcement agencies, the cybersecurity provider detailed how a team of experts were recently able to gain access to the GandCrab control server, and access decryption keys for the ransomware that would allow safe recovery of data.

Blackhat developers behind GandCrab have claimed to have exploited more than $2 billion in ransom payments worldwide, and appeared to have enjoyed mocking the cybersecurity industry’s attempts to bring them to justice.

GandCrab became the latest nasty ransomware threat in January 2018 – following a disturbing trend of businesses and organisations worldwide struck by malicious encryption software.

Bitdefender’s previous attempts to quash the ransomware resulted in new versions being released by cyber criminals, but the latest recovery of private keys resulted in GandCrab’s developers announcing their ‘retirement’ – allegedly having exploited more than $150m in personal profit over five major versions of the ransomware.

Bitdefender’s recovery tool and instructions for use is available for download from the Bitdefender Labs here. In order to use the tool successfully, affected users must have a working internet connection and at least one copy of the ‘ransom note’ file present on the affected device.

 

For cybersecurity expertise and support, contact our team today.


Fake Invoices – Don’t enable document malware!

fake invoices

This week’s IT security alert from Lineal – fake invoices which ask users to run a dangerous piece of code.

The example above comes from a fake Word document emailed with a typical text line, such as ‘Please check this invoice’ or ‘Double check my numbers for me’, to an unsuspecting user.

Upon opening, the document appears to load a popup from Office 2016 prompting the user to ‘Enable Content’ for compatibility purposes, before they can view the detail of the ‘invoice.’

In fact, the display is just an image within the word file, and the ‘Enable Content’ content button instead runs a piece of Visual Basic code downloading unknown malware from the internet.

The scam relies on users’ curiosity at the unusual $1999.00 charge, and upon reaching a user still running an outdated version of Microsoft Office.

 

Several measures can be taken to prevent this kind of attack:

  • Don’t click any popup that doesn’t visibly pop ‘open’ in Microsoft and don’t ‘Enable Content’ you can’t see in a document.
  • Consider an email filtering service like Barracuda – in the above example, Barracuda had recognised this email as malicious and stripped the code from the document before placing it in the correct email inbox for the intended recipient.

 

For IT Security advice and guidance – speak to Lineal today.