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Cryptojacking Detection & Defence – Better Computer Network Security

Protecting your organisation from cryptojackers.

Cryptojacking detection is today more important than ever. While prevention is always better, it is not always possible and so having a cryptojacking detection and defense plan in place becomes a vital action for all businesses that have any sort of computer network.

In our previous cryptojacking article, “Cryptojacking – Are You Compromised? Bitcoining it at Your Expense?”, we discussed the rise of cryptojacking and how it has now surpassed ransomware as the #1 digital threat for enterprises.

We also delved into what cryptojacking is and how cryptojackers illegally access computer networks to mine cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

Cryptojacking Detection & Defence

Once you are aware of the threat that cryptojacking poses you can take steps to detect cryptominers and boot them off your computer networks. Unfortunately, many organisations are likely to fall victim to illegal cryptomining practices before they have ever heard of it.

Since cryptomining pushes computer processors to their limits in order to mine cryptocurrencies such activities will necessarily cause spikes in processor activity and give rise to slow or malfunctioning computer systems.

Simple monitoring tools such as the Windows Task Manager will display unusual processor spikes. More comprehensive monitoring tools are obviously better and can be used to monitor daily activity more closely. Cryptomining activities will quickly show themselves in high after office hour usage as computer processing should be minimal during this time.

Where computer systems show signs of overwork, cryptomining should be ruled out as the cause straight away. Prolonged cryptomining activity will cost you money in the form of computers wearing out before their time, production slows and higher electricity and cloud service bills. These higher than normal costs will also alert you to these malicious activities.

Defending Your Computer Networks from Cryptomining

As already mentioned, your best defence is prevention. Where this fails, a layered defence can prevent extensive infection by cryptomining scripts.

First steps should include educating employees about social engineering and phishing attacks as well as general computer security in the form of passwords and access to computers via mobile storage devices.

Further education on how cryptojacking works should also be undertaken. Being able to avoid malicious websites and adverts from installing mining scripts in your employee’s browsers can save you from a lot of unnecessary expense.

Other measures that can be taken by your IT department include carrying out regular software updates and patches to close loopholes attackers may use as well as ensuring that all computer systems are running the latest anti-virus software which should also have an anti-cryptomining measure.

Going one step further, your IT team should ensure that computers are set to only allow software installs to be made by an IT team member and so prevent unauthorised software being installed.

Any existing malicious scripts should be removed as soon as they are detected and regular data backs and archives should be made to ensure computer data can be restored should hardware fail or files become infected and damaged.

As always, ongoing efforts to learn more about threats and to deal with them is a must. The more knowledgable you become the better your cryptojacking detection & defence plans become.

Partnering with Iron Mountain South Africa

Iron Mountain South Africa is at the forefront of mitigating the risks associated with data breaches such as illegal cryptomining. Our service offerings cover the full gamut of data and records management solutions to help your organisation reduce its risk.

Contact us today to find out about the right solutions for your organisation and enjoy greater peace of mind.

Image Credit: Pixabay/mohamad_hassan

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