After a cyberattack on a U.S. motion picture firm, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is alerting businesses to the potential for more significant intrusions, Reuters reported. The warning comes after major data breaches caused by malware exposed the information of millions of Americans this year.
One of the latest attacks against Sony Pictures Entertainment resulted in new films being exposed on filesharing sites, which could lead to financial losses for the company, PC World reported. In addition to the FBI, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is also investigating the breach on the California-based unit of Sony Corp. Similar attacks have been carried out in other countries, such as South Korea and Saudi Arabia.
The company said it is cooperating with law enforcement agencies after learning about the breach.
"The theft of Sony Pictures Entertainment content is a criminal matter, and we are working closely with law enforcement to address it," a Sony spokeswoman said Dec. 1 in an email, according to PC World.
In an FBI report accessed by the news company, Reuters said the malware used on the Sony attack and similar hacking tools could override data on computer hard drives, which could hinder devices from starting up while compromising data recovery methods.
Tips to Prevent Malware Attacks
With destructive malware potentially affecting more U.S. businesses, companies should secure their networks and follow these five tips to combat cyberattacks:
1. Scan systems regularly. While malware can slip past defenses, it's important to scan networks, systems and devices for malware frequently to stop data breaches as soon as they start.
2. Don't open suspicious emails. Malware is easily downloaded through malicious links in emails.
3. Protect credentials with strong passwords. Although passwords seem unrelated to security, they are the first line of defense for companies. Create passwords that are a combination of lower and uppercase letters, numbers and special characters to prevent hackers from simply guessing the correct one.
4. Ensure third-party providers are protected. One of the ways companies are most vulnerable to cyberattacks is through an insecure third-party service provider. Cybercriminals can steal credentials from these third parties to gain access to the company and information they are targeting.
5. Update software and patches. Software and tech companies often issue software updates and patches to fix security flaws that cybercriminals can exploit. Staying current on this software could close loopholes that businesses are at risk for, Google suggested.