File transfer security risks and how to avoid them

July 8, 2019 | Karoline Gore

close up picture of a connector

Ransomware attacks increased by 105% in the first quarter of 2019, according to Beazley’s tally of insurance claims and data analytics. Other alarming reports show that new variants of Ransomware keep appearing almost every month. In addition, two years after the WannaCry Ransomware attacks, 1.7 million computers still remain at risk in 2019 according to TechCrunch. Fortunately, there are cybersecurity solutions that can protect your data during file transfer and file storage.

File transfer and storage risks

Cloud adoption continues to grow as more businesses discover the cost saving potential and convenience that comes with it. However, misconfigured servers are still a major risk for companies using infrastructure and platform as a service. Misconfigured servers are characterized by default accounts and passwords, unrestricted outbound access, enabled debugging functions, and more. The number of files exposed on misconfigured servers, storage and cloud services in 2019 is 2.3 billion according to an article on ZDNet.

However, not all businesses primarily use the cloud for file transfer and data storage. Some people still prefer using bulk USB drives because they do not require an internet connection, and can be physically protected. Apart from this, their use cannot be restricted for the owner, and they have been reducing in size yet their storage capacity has been increasing. However, USB’s could come from a vendor preloaded with malware that can infect everything they are plugged into.  

You can protect your computer system

The greatest risk of USBs is that they are very small yet someone can use them to steal massive amounts of data and easily take that data anywhere. Some companies and organizations like the US military have responded to this risk by banning their use completely. To ensure employees or workers stick to this ban, companies use software that can detect when someone plugs a USB flash drive into their networks.

As far as misconfigured servers are concerned, companies should use third party security tools that can constantly look at configurations. They can also hire third party security testers to make sure that everything is configured in the right way. Another thing they do is train employees on better user password habits instead of relying on default passwords.

Businesses or enterprises should focus mostly on preventative measures such as using file integrity monitoring techniques and secure file backup systems. The reason for this is that even if you manage to take back control of your computer system from malware, you may still lose your data.  

Karoline Gore

About the Author: Karoline Gore

Karoline spent most of her working life in tech development before leaving to pursue her passion as a freelance writer. She enjoys the slower pace of this life but still loves to geek out on technology topics.

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