Issue No. 23June 2014

Cybercrime: $400 billion per year

Cybercrime has been capturing a lot of headlines in the past year, and for good reason.  Cybercrime is a worldwide problem and estimates indicate a cost to the global economy greater than $400 billion a year. Countries with higher income levels are a primary target, and cybercriminals have cost US business roughly $200 billion alone.

A U.S. Commerce Department report found that all IP theft (not just cybercrime) totaled $200 billion to $250 billion annually for U.S. businesses. The Organization for Economic Development predicted that counterfeiting and piracy costs businesses as much as $638 billion per year.

June Graph

In recent years, U.S. businesses were hit harder financially by cybercrime relative to other countries. Seven percent of U.S. organizations lost $1 million or more, compared with 3 percent of global organizations, according to PwC. And 19 percent of U.S. organizations lost between $50,000 and $1 million, compared with just 8 percent of global respondents. The report, which was released Wednesday, measures damages from 2011 to 2013. (Source: www.cnbc.com)

It is highly recommended that you have a computer security policy in place that defines the ways in which your company store, access and protect sensitive data from unauthorized access.  A business class firewall, antivirus software on all computers and spam filtering of email are some of the basic layers of security that should be in place to help reduce the likelihood that your company is a victim of a cyber-attack.

If you have questions regarding cybercrime and its prevention, please contact our Support Desk.

 

 

Microsoft Patch Tuesday – June 2014

Scheduled for release in June 2014, Microsoft has issued a record 59 fixes for its Internet Explorer (IE) browser, including one critical vulnerability that had remained un-patched since it was made public on May 22nd.

Customers are advised to follow the following security best practices:

  • Install Vendor patches as soon as they are available
  • Run all software with the least privileges required while still maintaining functionality
  • Avoid handling files from unknown or questionable sources
  • Never visit sites of unknown or questionable integrity
  • Block external access at the network perimeter to all key systems unless specific access is requires

Microsoft’s summary of the June releases can be found here:
https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms14-jun.aspx

A large amount of malware and virus infections are spread via fake Adobe Flash Player update banners, popups and warnings that may be presented when surfing the web. These fake alerts are very official looking and fool many people into installing malicious software. You should always be suspect when presented with a Flash player update window while browsing the Internet. The latest editions of the Flash player are configured by default to install updates automatically, and the update process occurs outside of the Internet browser, usually when your computer is first started. The popular browser Google Chrome come with Flash embedded, so the updates for that browser will happen automatically when Chrome is automatically updated.

If you have questions regarding the Microsoft patches or need help installing updates for Flash or other software, please contact our Support Desk.