Ryan Francis

About the Author Ryan Francis


Connecting with work from the road? Here’s how to stay safe

Every company has workaholics who can’t leave their duties behind when heading out on vacation. They’re kind of worker who, if the hotel doesn’t have Wi-Fi, will rush to the closest coffee shop or eatery to stay connected, check email and jump onto a video conference call.

Those are the kinds of insecure wireless networks that make IT security managers nervous. 

And for good reason. Public Wi-Fi networks at cafes and coffee shops are open to, and can be accessed by, anyone, according to mobile security vendor iPass. They require neither security keys and passphrases nor firewall protection. That leaves  employees vulnerable to man-in-the-middle attacks.

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The ransomware epidemic: How to prep for a shakedown

‘Know your enemy’ – understanding what to prepare for
wannacry ransom screenshot

Image by Reuters

While ransomware isn’t new, this once-simple criminal hacker tactic has morphed into a devastatingly effective weapon wielded by more advanced cyber-criminals — as seen with the recent Wannacry outbreack. These sophisticated attackers are highly motivated by the profitable nature of their efforts. Dan Larson, technical director at CrowdStrike, looks at the current state of ransomware, why organizations should take  threats seriously and how to build a strong defense.

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Predictive analytics can stop ransomware dead in its tracks

This past February marks the two-year anniversary when Livingston County, Michigan, was hit by ransomware. The wealthiest county in the state had three years’ worth of tax information possibly at the mercy of cybercriminals.

As a local government, county CIO Rich C. Malewicz said they have been a target of ransomware, but in this instance they had backups at the ready. He said the most memorable ransomware attack was a result of a watering hole campaign using malvertizing to infect users visiting a local news website. 

“This attack was very clever in that all you had to do to get infected was visit the website, you didn’t even have to click on the page. Once the user went to the local news website, they were immediately redirected to a site hosting exploit code and the infamous page appeared demanding a ransom with instructions,” he said.

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