There is a Cyber Risk that is not an old tool but the use of the tool is increasing.  The tool is malicious botnets.   Botnets are the not so secret weapons of cyber criminals. They are armies of compromised devices, all under the control of a single bad actor. These can be anything from your computers, servers, smartphones, tablets and even your smart refrigerator. A new report observed "massive spikes" in the activity of these botnets.  Usually, there are around 10,000 compromised devices (botnets) activated each day, with 20,000 being the highest number researchers had seen. In December of 2023 the number shot up to 35,144, and two weeks later, it rose even further to 43,194.   On January 5 and 6 there were spikes of more than a million devices!


Botnets are the bad actors front line and are being used to scan the internet, searching for weaknesses in websites, servers, and even email systems.  Think of the internet as a large apartment building with many doors and windows. These cyber criminals are looking for unlocked doors and open windows to sneak in. They focus on specific "ports" that serve as entry points.  Once they find the open doors or windows the bad actors go to work looking for treasure that is not theirs to take.  


Protecting Yourself:

  1. Keep your software, operating systems, and applications up-to-date. Regular updates often fix vulnerabilities.


  1. Install and maintain a commercial grade firewall at your business and your home. 


  1. Ensure your devices have a high level End Point Protection on your devices that is managed and monitored by a Security Operations Center.  


  1. Educate your employees about cyber security best practices, such as avoiding suspicious links and emails.


  1. Make sure your “smart devices” are separated from any systems you use to connect to your business services.  (VLans or Separate Wireless Access) 


  1. If you have any doubt ask your IT expert for help. 


The objective is to have the botnets move on because your place is all locked down.  If you have any questions please reach out to the River Run Cyber Security Team.  The River Run Cyber Security Specialists wish you and your team a Cyber Safe week! 



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