As a business owner, you are likely familiar with various cyber threats like ransomware, malware, and phishing. However, another stealthy menace that could be targeting your company’s devices is called cryptojacking.
Keep reading to learn what cryptojacking is, how to identify warning signs, and discover measures you can take to protect your company’s devices from falling victim to this growing threat.
What Is Cryptocurrency?
Cryptocurrency is digital money that doesn’t have a specific regulator, such as a bank or government. Cryptocurrencies are exchanged on blockchains, where all transactions are transparent yet anonymous. Bitcoin and Ethereum are well-known examples of cryptocurrencies.
What Is Cryptojacking?
Mining cryptocurrency for profit is a resource-demanding process that requires powerful hardware. If you’re struggling to imagine how much computing power is needed for effective cryptomining, the news on how a group of Russian scientists allegedly repurposed the supercomputer at a research and nuclear warhead facility might be a great illustration.
Some opportunists resort to the illegal practice of cryptojacking. They exploit other people’s devices without consent in order to mine cryptocurrency in the background, siphoning off computing resources and electricity.
Because it’s very hard to detect, cryptojacking is a low-risk cybercrime. This covert nature allows the attackers to continue mining for extended periods, maximizing their potential profits.
A cryptojacked system may cause tangible expenses for your business, including electricity expenditures, IT personnel expenses, and foregone prospects.
Let’s go over some warning signs you can look out for:
- Have you or your employees noticed a sudden slowdown in your devices’ performance? Cryptojacking scripts consume significant amounts of CPU power, leading to sluggish response times and increased fan noise as a device works harder than usual.
- If you notice your company’s devices are overheating or the batteries are draining rapidly, it could also be a sign of cryptojacking.
- Another red flag is an increase in your electricity bills without any significant change in your usage patterns.
How to Protect Your Company’s Devices
Keep Software Updated
Ensure your operating systems, web browsers, and antivirus software on all business use devices are up-to-date. These updates often include security patches that can help protect devices from vulnerabilities.
Use Ad Blockers and Script Blockers
Installing ad blockers and script blockers on web browsers can prevent malicious scripts from running on websites without the users’ knowledge.
Be Cautious of Suspicious Emails and Links
Educate your employees to avoid clicking suspicious links or downloading attachments from unknown sources. Phishing emails and links often serve as entry points for cybercriminals to inject cryptojacking codes into devices.
Employ Robust Security Software
Invest in modern antivirus and anti-malware software to detect and block cryptojacking attempts. These security solutions can identify and quarantine malicious codes before they can cause harm.
At BSC Solutions, we bring over 30 years of experience when it comes to helping your small or medium-sized company manage computer systems. If you are located anywhere in the greater Toronto area, reach out to us today!