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Intermittent encryption - a new threat to cyber security

Cyber criminals and hackers keep coming up with 'innovative' new ways to strip clients of their privacy, assets and data. Another new tactic, Intermittent encryption, is now emerging in the area of cyber crime.

According to a blog Intermittent encryption: The newest threat to cyber security by Munich Re Specialty Insurance (UK) (NMU) intermittent encryption is an emerging ransomware tactic, that follows a scattergun approach, where hackers use intermittent encryption to cause maximum damage in as short a time as possible.

Intermittent encryption involves encrypting only fragments of victims’ files instead of encrypting entire files. This seemingly random but clinical, calculated approach makes it much more difficult for threat detection tools to recognize an attack.

This is due to partially encrypted files looking very similar to unaffected files. The ransom demand could be the first a victim knows of a breach. So, the damage can be stealthy, swift and brutal.

It is clear that new techniques being used by cyber criminals, such as intermittent encryption, underline how quickly the cyber threat landscape is developing and why cyber security alone is not enough anymore.

The blog says that as always, the strongest and weakest links in a business’ armoury is human error and social engineering fraud. These are still the most frequent in terms of claims volume.

Hence, the best strategy is to invest time to train and educate workforce on the signs of cyber crime and how they can individually play a role in preventing a cyber breach from happening. For example, not forgetting to verbally double check bank details for payment requests.



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