Stay safe with IT best practices

Published on: 24 May 2021
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France is one of the world’s top 10 countries for cyberattack targets

When it comes to cyberattacks, France is the 7th most frequently attacked country. If you look beyond the USA, the country most often targeted is the UK, with 216,633 incidents reported. The next two countries are Canada (5,399 incidents) and India (2,930 reports).

The list continues with Greece (4th) and Australia (5th), South Africa (6th) and then France, in 7th place with 1,640 incidents reported. Germany (8th) comes close behind with 1,578 incidents, followed by Mexico (9th) and Belgium (10th). These are the top 10 countries for reported cyberattacks, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

Following attacks on hospitals, city councils, shipping companies, freight forwarders and transport operators, the latest victim has been the network of pipelines supplying the US East Coast with half its fuel, with a cyberattack that paralysed a whole region of the country.

What causes these attacks? What is a virus?

A virus is a malicious piece of software that is designed to spread through computers and networks with the aim of disrupting the operations of a business or organisation. A virus can spread via any digital data transfer method, through networks or through external storage devices such as flash drives or hard drives.

The two most common styles of attacks are:

  • ransomware, malicious software that blocks access to an information system unless a ransom is paid,
  • Trojans, pieces of software that disguise their true nature. Once they have got into the target machine they often use a range of methods to run, either through a user’s action or via other software in the affected system.

Computer viruses often spread via email attachments or messages on social media.

They may be contained in attachments containing funny pictures, e-greetings, audio or video files. They can also spread through downloads from the web, or be hidden inside pirate software (e.g. streaming sites for watching movies).

Has my computer got a virus? Here are a few clues:

  • Your computer is running slower than usual,
  • Missing foldersor folders moved to your desktop,
  • A different homepage on your web browser,
  • Bugs and error messages(e.g. you can’t open some programs, or programs shut down suddenly or open unexpectedly),
  • Unexpected reboots,
  • You can’t see or access peripheral devices
  • Unexpected pop-up windows appear (even when you are not on the Internet).

How to avoid issues:

  • Protect all your accounts with strong passwords
  • Regularly back up your data
  • Install updates to your operating system and applications whenever they are offered
  • Install an anti-virus/anti-spam system
  • Think twice before opening strange or unexpected messages
  • Use social media carefully
  • Separate professional and personal use of computers
  • Avoid non-secure public Wi-Fi networks
  • Do not use flash drives

MGI tips and advice:

  • Regularly check government advice

https://www.ssi.gouv.fr/en/

https://www.cybermalveillance.gouv.fr/bonnes-pratiques

  • Talk about risk prevention and best practice (use training workshops, awareness-raising initiatives, ANSSI guides, etc.)
  • Take care and use antivirus, antispam, antiphishing systems

Next month… look out for an MGI cyber surprise !

 

 

 

 

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