An Overview of Network Security

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  • There are a number of threats that could affect you, or your organization 
  • Network Security is something that everyone will need to understand 
  • It’s your job, as an Endpoint Administrator to educate your users. I suggest that you show the users in your organization this video. 

Adware – What is Adware? Adware is designed to display advertisements on your computer 

  • People have asked, how did adware get installed on my computer?

Most of the time you get Adware from downloading software bundles – These programs install adware alongside programs you can get for free.

  • Adware knows what types of ads to display, based on the users computing habits. Sites visited and computer usage.
  • For prevention download your software from an official site, not a third-party site.

Spyware – What is Spyware? Spyware is designed to steal a user’s personal information.  

  • Spyware is a form of malware which is short for malicious software 
  • Spyware is installed without the users knowledge, it runs in the background. 
  • Spyware can record audio, video, and record calls from your smartphone and capture credit card numbers.

For prevention – Be selective about what you download to your computer. Beware of clickable advertisements

Mitigation of spyware and adware 

  • Be aware that free software can include spyware or malware.
  • Be sure that your antimalware software is up to date.

Viruses, Trojans and Rootkits 

  • These are all installed without user’s knowledge

What is a computer virus? 

  • A computer virus is a piece of code that is capable of copying itself, and has the potential of destroying data and corrupting your operating system. 
  • A virus can be application specific. For example, a macro virus for a Microsoft Word application can replace the regular commands with the same name, and run, when the command is selected. These malicious macros may start automatically when a document is opened or closed, without the user’s knowledge. 
  • A virus can be triggered by date and time or event, the virus could be triggered next time you visit a certain website as well.

Rootkit – What is a rootkit? A rootkit allows a person to get admin level access to your computer system. 

Rootkits: 

  • Often replaces operating system files
  • Allows criminals access to the device
  • Applies to Windows, Linux/Unix
  • For prevention avoid clicking a questionable email link. The rootkit is spread because the user clicks on a malicious link in an email, and now the root kit is spread to all recipients and sent to all the people in the users contact list.

Trojan 

  • Masquerades as legitimate software 
  • The user is fooled thinking that they are downloading and installing helpful software when in fact it is malware. 
  • The criminal takes control of the computer in the background and starts sending personal information over the internet to thieves. 
  • Trojans are executables, they have extensions like “exe” “vbs” “com “bat”. Generally, you have to open the file before you are affected. 
  • For prevention do not click on an attachment unless you are sure of the source. 

Mitigation of Viruses, Trojans and Rootkits 

  • Educate your users, define each threat. Make your users aware of what to do and what not to do. 
  • Be sure your antimalware is up to date
  • Beware of free software 

Phishing 

  • Tricks victims into revealing personal or sensitive information such as passwords, SSN, addresses) 
  • Fraudulent email messages, telephone calls, website links 
  • Phishing is all about stealing personal information such as username and passwords Ransomware 
  • Blocks access to your computer until a ransom is paid
  • It could encrypt data files until the ransom is paid
  • Ransomware requests Bitcoin payments, (which are hard to trace to the recipient of the payment)
  • Does not guarantee that you will get your data back if your system has been encrypted with the ransomware.
  • Can be infected by viewing a website not just clicking.
  • Ransomware features unbreakable encryption
  • It can scramble your file names and add a different extension to your files.  

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