Patrick Brielmayer, former hacker: Analysis of the cyber attacks
Daniel Nussbaumer, Police Specialist: Assistance for victims
This concern also drives Daniel Nussbaumer. The lawyer with a PhD is the head of the cyber crime department in the Zurich Canton Police. His team now encompasses 15 detectives and 30 specialists in digital forensics, including many IT graduates. Increasing digitization has made police work more complex, since the Internet has created completely new ways to commit crimes.
According to Daniel Nussbaumer, many SMEs are affected by, for example, “CEO fraud”: Cyber criminals recreate a typical e-mail from the boss. In it, he asks for an urgent payment of CHF 5,000 to be made. But when the bookkeeping department makes the payment, it ends up with the hackers. "Usually there are complete teams behind it all," he explained. "One programs, one's good at writing and the third one does the research." The police specialist advises to always double check by calling back in the event of unusual e-mails.
Ransom for company data
Stephan von Watzdorf, Product Manager: Protect against residual risk
People are the weakest link
Protect business secrets
Entire web pages falsified
Online shops particularly at risk
When hackers plunder accounts
Once the cyber criminals are inside the network, they procure the credit card data of customers, for example, use it to buy bitcoin and charge prepaid credit cards, explained insurance expert von Watzdorf. For SMEs, the reputational damage is above all relevant, but claims for damages can also arise.
If their own money is stolen, many SMEs feel secure, which is a mistake. They believed their banks would be liable for the losses. "But that's incorrect," according to the Zurich expert. The cause in any case usually lies in the IT of the SME affected: For example, the hackers install a Trojan and observe the bookkeeper until s/he logs into their e-banking account. "The hackers then take over the session while the employee stares at a black monitor. Later he finds out CHF 100,000 have been transferred."
Anyone can become a victim
Preventing attacks through reconnaissance
Eight tips: Preventing cyber attacks – or reducing the consequences
- Keep operating systems up to date, because hackers exploit software vulnerabilities. This also includes replacing old operating systems like Windows XP, for which updates are no longer provided. It is also important to create an inventory of all company IT-assets such as computers and applications.
- Check user rights annually and in the event of role changes. This way you can prevent former employees from accessing the network.
- Install antivirus programs that detect and block malicious software and use a firewall that prevents unauthorized access.
- Use intelligent passwords that include special characters, combine numbers and letters, are at least eight digits long and do not contain your own name, for instance.
- Raise employee awareness and inform them about phishing, for example. After all, employees are the gateway for almost all cyber attacks.
- Perform regular data backups, even on a daily basis depending on importance. The latest backup should not overwrite the previous backup. Otherwise historical data may be lost. Sounds banal, but it's important: The backup should always be taken off the network so that it does not fall victim to the virus as well. You should also regularly test whether the data backup was successful.
- Risk analysis as a management task: What are my "crown jewels" and how can I protect them? This also includes professional crisis management with an emergency plan for cyber attacks.
- Check your insurance coverage: For example, Zurich Cyber Insurance for certain costs resulting from a hacker attack on.