- Why Abacus?
By Dave Parsons, Chief Information Security Officer at Abacus Group
Abacus Group recently implemented next-generation antivirus (NGAV) software on the full client and staff workstation fleet attached to our private cloud platform. The NGAV software monitors the processes spawned by the operating system, making decisions to determine if processes are malicious.
Fileless malware comprises more than 50% of all current workstation attacks. A fileless attack does not depend upon the installation of malicious code on a victim’s machine. Instead, the attack subverts legitimate tools in a browser or operating system and turns them against the user. This form of attack is attractive as it’s relatively stealthy and difficult for legacy antivirus systems to detect. Basic system hygiene, such as patching and least privilege policy is important; however, more important is managing staff understanding of the risks at hand. Most fileless malware is distributed by social engineering, i.e. phishing/spear-fishing, malvertising, watering holes and similar attacks.
Abacus Group provides a multi-layered, defense in depth cybersecurity strategy based on people, process and technology. The user community is the first line of defense in every organization, and consistent staff education is a cornerstone in every healthy IT security program. Our AbacusFLEX™ IT-as-a-Service solution includes an annual cybersecurity awareness education program designed to provide employees with cybersecurity training, an understanding of common social engineering threats, and the steps required to avoid exploitation.
Abacus Group has seen a vast improvement in the identification and reporting of phishing attempts since the implementation of a web-based training program in 2017. Our cybersecurity education program, provided by our training partner KnowBe4, inspires our clients to perform exceptionally well compared to industry benchmark data:
AbacusFLEX Client phish-prone % = 0.35%
Industry phish-prone % = 13.10%*
* Based on 6MM worldwide users of KnowBe4 training videos and phish testing.
Phishing: a scam by which an Internet user is duped (as by a deceptive e-mail message) into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly (source: www.merriam-webster.com)
According to KnowBe4’s 2018 Threat Impact and Endpoint Protection Report, “organizations continually performing security awareness training, as well as periodically testing employees with phishing emails saw the lowest percentage of ransomware attacks (8%) and malware-based external attacks (14%) in the last 12 months.”
This is why we offer our clients a multi-phase cybersecurity awareness education program, which includes the following components:
One of the most common results of social engineering scams that we’re seeing these days is referred to as CEO Fraud.
“CEO Fraud is a scam in which cybercriminals spoof company email accounts and impersonate executives to try and fool an employee in accounting or HR into executing unauthorized wire transfers, or sending out confidential tax information. In the time period from January 2015 to June 2016, the FBI reported a 1300% rise in losses from this type of fraud. Most victims are in the US (all 50 states), but companies in 100 other countries have also reported incidents. While the fraudulent transfers have been sent to 79 countries, most end up in China and Hong Kong. Unless the fraud is spotted within 24 hours, the chances of recovery are small.” (source: KnowBe4)
KnowBe4 has outlined 5 common attack scenarios for CEO Fraud:
Make sure YOUR firm is protected from social engineering by mandating staff completion of annual cybersecurity training and phish testing.