Cyber Security Threats

The Business Of Hacking

New Threats In Cyber Security

A Multi Billion Dollar Business

The days of hacking being primarily done by individuals for bragging rights or small financial gains are over, and have been for quite sometime. These days, it’s a business.

A multi-billion dollar, worldwide business comprised of vertically-specialized and vertically integrated criminal enterprises and nation-states.

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Common Cyber Security Risks

Cyber security threats are one of the top problems businesses and their critical infrastructure are facing in the United States. Water utilities have suffered a range of attacks, including ransomware attacks, tampering with Industrial Control Systems, manipulating valve and flow operations and chemical treatment formulations, and other efforts to disrupt and potentially destroy operations.

Most malware these days are distributed via email. While our email filters catch the vast majority of these attempts, no system is 100% effective. With that said, there are numerous cyber security threats your utility must prepare for. Here are our top 5 common cyber security risks:

Phishing Attacks
Carefully targeted digital messages are transmitted to trick people into clicking on a link which can then install malware or expose sensitive data.
Software that performs a malicious task on a target device or network.
This is a form of malicious software that attempts to encrypt your data and then extort a ransom to release an unlock code. Most ransomware is delivered via malicious emails.
Attacks on IoT Devices
IoT devices, such as industrial sensors, are often vulnerable to multiple types of cyber threats. These include hackers taking over a device to make it part of a DDoS attack. Then, the device is able to gain access to unauthorized data. Given their numbers, geographic distribution and frequently out-of-date operating systems, IoT devices are a prime target for cyber criminals.
Data Breaches
A data breach is a theft of data by a cyber criminal. Motives for data breaches include crime (i.e. identity theft), reputation damage, and espionage.
Third Parties
Third parties such as vendors and contractors can be a huge risk to businesses. The majority of these businesses have no secure system or dedicated team in place to manage these third-party employees.

Recent Cyber Security Threat Examples

2017  – The NSA Hack

In 2017, the National Security Agency, our nation’s most elite cryptographic experts and hackers, were themselves compromised. Now, their own hacking tools are available to other nation-states and criminal syndicates to use to attack the smallest of utilities.

The game changed tremendously then, and now traditional firewalls and anti-virus programs do little to protect you or your utility.

2018 – City of Atlanta Crippled

For over A week, the City of Atlanta has battled a ransomware attack that has caused serious digital disruptions in five of the city’s 13 local government departments. The attack has had far-reaching impacts—crippling the court system, keeping residents from paying their water bills, limiting vital communications like sewer infrastructure requests, and pushing the Atlanta Police Department to file paper reports for days.

 2018 – Colorado CDOT Offices Hit

More than 2,000 Windows-based computers at CDOT offices were knocked offline February 21 by a version of the cyber security threat virus known as SamSam. Colorado has spent between $1 million and $1.5 million recovering from a February ransomware attack that took out thousands of computers at the state’s department of transportation (CDOT). 


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Cyber Security Threats – Who Are These Criminals?

Nation-states that are under severe sanctions are desperate to raise cash. North Korea has recently raised tens of millions of dollars through ransomware attacks, and Iran is generally assumed to be actively attacking the United States’ infrastructure, including water utilities.

Add criminal syndicates to the mix, and soon you realize where millions of daily attacks are coming from.

Cyber Security Company Reviews

Peace of mind. If any disaster occurs, Irontech Security has our back.

"Irontech Security provides us with the peace of mind knowing that if any disaster occurs, they have our back. When we create a service ticket, response is prompt. If you’re undecided about changing providers or choosing Irontech Security, ask anyone in our office if they’ve had a bad experience or problem that wasn’t promptly served. The answer would be “No.” Can you say that about your IT firm?”

Jack Wells

River South Water

Irontech Security provides peace of mind that we’re backed up and secure every night.

"The biggest benefit of working with Irontech Security is knowing that everything is being backed up every night. Calling for help is easy, and I’ve been happy with the experience and results. Undecided about choosing a service? I may not know anything about your other choices, but I’d recommend that you go with Irontech Security.”

Susan Cloos

Watalula Water Users Association, Inc.

The biggest benefit since moving to Irontech is the confidence they have.

"The only hesitation we had when choosing Irontech Security was finding a cyber security company that would fit our needs. You guys have done that since day one and now for many years. Unlike other IT firms, your response to our calls when we need support has been so much better. As the manager, I would say the single biggest benefit for me would be the confidence that you guys have in your knowledge and expertise to resolve any problems that arise.”

Cecil Zolliecoffer

Ozark Water Department

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Cyber Security Company For Water Utilities

P: 479-434-1400
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