The rising threat of cyber attacks and the sophistication of these crimes have created a frightening security situation all over the world. The cases of data and privacy breach are increasing every day. Both private and public sector are at risk and understandably the average internet user is very paranoid. Cybercriminals keep innovating new ways to take advantage of security vulnerabilities present in systems.
Cryptojacking is one such cyber threat that has targeted countless unsuspected users all around the world. Particularly in India, cryptojacking has become a pressing problem. According to a recent study by Quick Heal Technologies, from January to May 2018, nearly 3 million cryptojacking cases have been reported.
What is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking is a method of hacking into systems and illegally using them to mine cryptocurrency. Malicious scripts are loaded into machines without the knowledge of owners. The group or individual that loads the malicious program reaps the rewards of cryptomining activities, while the owner of the machine isn’t provided any kind of compensation.
There are two types of processes used to carry out cryptojacking attacks:
In the first process, a cryptomining code is installed in the compromised system by means of an infected file.
Why is Cryptojacking So Challenging for Businesses?
The malicious script transmits processing power from the compromised machine to the unauthorized cryptocurrency mining. This affects the computer in the following ways:
- Slows down the system
- Causes the machine to lag
- Some applications become completely inaccessible
- Resource-intensive operations related to cryptomining damage the hardware of an infected system and at times even cause it to crash repeatedly.
Cryptojacking is a serious business hazard. These disruptions result in downtime and IT tickets, which basically cost the business a lot of money. Global businesses lose billions of dollars due to IT downtime. Infected systems consume huge amounts of electricity and hence the operational costs increase significantly. Bottom line, cryptojacking eats away business revenues, which if taken precautions may be avoided.
How to Protect from Cryptojacking Attacks?
The modern cyber-attack landscape evolves every minute. In the face of such dynamism, it is absolutely essential to adopt a multi-layered approach for preserving IT security. The need of the hour is to invest in advanced security solutions. These solutions must include the following features:
Endpoint Security: In order to protect endpoints from cryptojacking a robust Endpoint Security solution with cutting-edge features like behavior based detection and antivirus is necessary.
Web Filtering: Web Filtering includes a set of tools that can be customized to safeguard your business network from suspicious websites. Distrustful websites are blocked and users are prevented from accessing them.
Network Monitoring: This is a tool that is able to detect huge surges in processor activity, which is a well-known symptom of a cryptojacked device. It helps network administrators keep a close eye on data anomalies.
Mobile Device Management (MDM): Business users depend on mobile phones for conveniently carrying out activities. Hence, deploying a robust MDM solution is important for preventing this type of hijacking.
Apart from these, businesses must ensure basic security hygiene, such as installing a web security solution for the safety of visitors on their website and also carry out patching of latest security updates. For example, SecBI has developed an artificial intelligence solution that analyzes network data and identifies cryptojacking threats.
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