You received an email sourced from somewhere outside the organization. The email had a very compelling you cannot help yourself opening. The attachment is a pdf format but later turns out to be an executable .exe. And that was it that was the last time you had access to the data on your server.
Such types of activities have seen a massive growth. The idea behind hacking a server instead of a single machine is that the server is connected to a number of users on the network. A single break in can therefore give control of multiple VMs. Thus, there are better chances of pulling off some profit from the scam. Server management services these days increasingly focus on safeguarding the network against such small threats.
Ways in which hackers break in the system
A spammer cannot enter your system until you let him to. The only way you could be made to do so is by luring you into installing malicious software on your computer. The application, once installed, runs a number of scripts that can override firewall and Windows defender.
Some scammers are so creative you would not know that somebody has sneaked into your server. However, most scammers still run same old-school techniques. Nonetheless, people still for it.
No matter how technically sound and professional the hacker is, all scamming will begin with someone seeking permission to access your computer. So, it should now ring a bell every time someone claims he is from support and mentions terms like team viewer, anydesk, remote connection.
As a measure to prevent scams, team viewer pops up a precautionary warning when connecting to IPs in several countries (including India).
However, the not-so-smart scammers found a way around the warning, but in a more complex pattern. They now overrun the warning by first connecting through an alternate connection and only then proceed towards connecting team viewer.
Unless sure, never move spams to your inbox as these might contain links or applications directly that can jeopardize privacy and leave you bankrupt. Email protection is one of the prime things taken care of during server management services, though there is no assurance that a managed server will never face an attack.
Email services like Gmail, yahoo are already protected enough and there are little chances that your server will get broken into with just an email – though it is not impossible. One should always refrain from clicking links from emails that are not in the contact list.
If you are running email services from the same server that hosts your website there is even greater risk that an email threat can also bring down the website. It is essential to deploy firewall vital for the smooth running of business operations. Such essential security is generally taken care of by almost all providers operating Server management services.
Fraudulent activity via call
As opposed to money-duping frauds, which sees result quickly, hacking server is rather a painstaking and time-consuming process. It could take months of planning and monitoring to pull off an attack on a server. The chances are no more than 20 to 80. The scammers only need to get things correct once.
Websites cannot be directly scammed through calls as the data packet transferred are not enough advanced to implant threatening applications.
Phone calls cannot directly influence security of the server except when the scammer sounds so compelling that the user itself gives away the credentials. Some scammers are so hard-grown pro they can coerce their victims into divulging information that is not to be disclosed normally.
How server management services can help?
Server management services man the server and associated tasks are handled by the provider from where the hosting service has been purchased. Managed services unlock provider’s expertise and brings it at your disposal. Contradictory to the belief that whether the service is managed or unmanaged has nothing to do with the server, managed hosting can actually prevent malicious attempts.
The professionals of the hosting company assigned to take care of your server are more experienced and better versed with the challenges lingering in their network. Thus, when your hosting services are handled by these professionals you are less likely to face issues while on your server. Moreover, the host can better understand its loopholes and vulnerabilities. Thus, the provider can produce better results in less time.
Some professionals also put it this way – the host knows what action to take when under a threat. It is well aware of the potential damage that an application can have and can mitigate risk prematurely.
Things you can do from your end
Server management services are not the end of fraudulent activities but just a mitigation of potential risks. When the required expertise is available in-house unmanaged services can prove to be equally reliable and secure. All you would need is a server administrator along with several other cyber security professionals. Following are the things you can do to bring down the possibility of an attack -
- Configure firewall – firewall monitors not only incoming but also traffic outgoing from the main system. Traffic that appears suspicious or malicious is either brought to the admin’s notice or denied access outright.
- Install internet security or 360 security – while an antivirus alone can deal with most malware on your computer, it is always better to have an all-round security to safeguard internet, email and online services at once. You never know from where you can become victim of a fraud
- Have your own security measures – restrict server access to a limited number of users and never make logins public. More the number of users with access to the server, greater is the risk of its compromise. You can further have a separate portal for login and redirect to the original network once the credentials have been verified.
Downsides of managed services
While server management services may now seem like win-win, it is not so. It involves huge upfront costs and recurring operating costs. The upfronts can be reduced by leasing server space instead of actually buying hardware. However, leasing server space, which though saves initial investment, bumps up the operating cost.
Plus, the control you would be longing for with dedicated server hosting may not be promised with a managed service because a number of things are at the hands of the provider.
Thus, there is always a compromise between the two aspects.