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Cyber attackers are using malware to compromise your web browser and its plug-ins in the form of “Malvertising.” Today, in the cybercriminal world, attackers are utilizing third-party ad networks to embed malicious codes in legitimate websites. Malvertising is the latest computer hijacking technique, which is becoming more challenging to handle by businesses.
They need to build resilience through governance, risk and compliance, and mitigate risks from malvertising with their enterprise security operation centre. However, prior to that, it is essential to understand how malvertisements work.
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Malvertisements are placed on a website in either of these two ways:
- Legitimate advertisements: For the first few months, a cyber criminal may place a series of advertisements on a trusted site that runs third-party in order to establish a good reputation. Later on, the attacker injects malicious codes into the ads. After infecting various computers that open that website, the attackers then removes the ad from the website.
- Pop-up Ads: A pop-up ad appears on the viewer’s screen as soon as he/she opens the website, and the malicious code is delivered to your computer system. Sometimes, the malware is also downloaded when you click the “cross” button to close the window.
Why malvertising is a threat to businesses?
Business executives, officers and employees are aware of correct Internet practices, so they always avoid clicking odd-looking links and downloading strange software updates when browsing legitimate websites at the office premises. The real danger with malvertising is that you don’t have to click anything; adverts secretly inject malware onto your system by just browsing the website. The problem is no organization can readily pre-empt a malvertising attack by blacklisting trusted sites and web applications.
How to Protect Your Organization from Malvertising?
Preventing the spread of malvertising requires a persistent effort on all fronts. Set up a security operation centre (SOC) at your organization. SOC’s security professionals will evaluate new security measures to prevent potential threats and spreading of malicious code throughout the IT network.
Next-generation firewall (NGFW) is one solution that offers users greater protection and control over access parameters. Use anti-exploit security software that monitors your enterprise’s web server and watches for techniques browser exploits use. Other ways to prevent malvertising attacks include:
- Disable automatic browser update and make sure your security officers regularly install updates manually in order to avoid malware from entering into web server.
- Almost all malvertising use plug-ins, so protect your computer systems by enabling click to play plug-ins. If you don’t use plug-ins frequently, uninstall them. This will reduce your attack surface, giving cyber criminals less potentially vulnerable software to target.
Compromised computers can be used to carry out identity theft, corporate espionage and even ransomware activity. To achieve high level security, comply with risk, governance and compliance and peace of mind, consider forming a security operation centre that can help you protect your most critical assets.