Malware Alert: Zeus Trojan Demonstrates Need for Managed Security

7/24/12 10:15 AM Eva Jacob Security

Malware Cyber SecurityAny business that makes use of banking credentials at any phase of their operations will want to understand more about a new Trojan that has been dubbed ‘Zeus’ because of its far-reaching effects. The Zeus Trojan is characterized as agile and fast adapting, and it has proven highly successful at stealing banking information stored in computer system in use at small and medium-sized financial institutions. IT security experts have analyzed and they urge the use of improved IT solutions to combat it.

The Zeus Trojan comes in two primary forms. At times, it is essentially a hijacker, able to take control of a PC. Alternatively, Zeus may arrive as a keylogger program that records each keystroke entered onto a system and sends that information to an external site such as a server operated by a cyber criminal gang. In either case, the goal of the malware is to obtain banking credentials such as user names, passwords, routing numbers, and account numbers. In most cases, the Zeus Trojan is acquired by a ‘drive by download’ in which the user unknowingly downloads malware embedded in a website. Phishing schemes are often used to lure victims to the websites set up to inflict such downloads.

According to IT security experts that have extensively analyzed the Zeus Trojan in action, the primary reason why businesses find themselves victimized by it is because they "have continued to rely on antiquated security measures." What they need instead, insist these experts, are improved IT security measures. After all, cyber criminals are leaping ahead as fast as possible in the ways they leverage technology to attack organizations. SMBs need to be just as diligent about leveraging technology to defend against breaches and other hacking attacks.

Few SMBs are well-positioned to do this without assistance, however, which is one reason why cyber criminals often target smaller businesses; they expect them to be easy pickings. SMBs can fight back effectively, however, by working with an IT company that can provide managed security. This relatively new set of IT solutions enables businesses to take advantage of high levels of automation and remote assistance from IT security experts skilled in helping SMBs to improve their systems and network security.

Many SMBs have found that a managed security approach allows them to afford a greater level of confidence than was possible when they were trying to ‘go it alone’.

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