Drive-By Download Dangers: How To Keep Hackers Out Of Your Computer

There’s no denying the convenience of online shopping. In 2021 alone, 2.14 billion consumers shopped online to find the best prices and have packages delivered right to their door. The online shopping experience will continue to flourish this holiday season, and around the world, countless people will shop online without thinking twice about the websites they’re spending time on.

But doing so can be costly as cyber criminals are becoming deceptively more creative with ways to manipulate and capture website visitors. There are likely to be more inconspicuously dangerous sites during the holidays, and legitimate websites can also fall victim to cyberattacks. If you happen to visit a website that’s been compromised, your computer can quickly be infected by cyber criminals implementing a popular drive-by download attack.

Drive-by downloads are one of the most common methods used by cyber criminals to install malware and gain unauthorized access to your device, so knowing how they work and what steps you can take to avoid them is essential. Here, we’ll look at what a drive-by download is, types of attacks, and how to stay protected this holiday season.

What Is A Drive-By Download?

When a computer becomes infected with malicious software just by visiting a website, it’s known as a drive-by download. The user doesn’t have to stop or click anywhere on the page, so simply visiting the page is enough to cause an infection. Most types of drive-by downloads take advantage of vulnerabilities in web browsers, operating systems, or file editors and viewers like Microsoft Office and Adobe Flash.

In a typical drive-by download attack, the hacker compromises a legitimate website by embedding or injecting malicious objects inside the web pages. While invisible to the average visitor, the infections could be injected through JavaScript code, iFrames, redirects, malvertisements (an ad that triggers malicious code when viewed or clicked), cross-site scripting, and other malicious elements.

When a user visits the infected webpage, the malicious elements are triggered and exploit a vulnerability in part of the software stack on the user’s computer. Malicious files are then downloaded silently onto the user’s device, giving the hacker complete control over the device. Hackers then have the ability to extract passwords or other potential sensitive information from the device.

Types Of Drive-By Downloads

Hackers can use a variety of malicious applications to hack a victim’s device, including:

  • Trojan horses. These provide remote control of the user’s device, usually through backdoors or rootkits.
  • Ransomware. Allows the attacker to encrypt or destroy data on the device.
  • Botnet toolkits. Attackers may directly install botnet applications that perform actions like sending spam emails.
  • Droppers. Malware built to load more malware without being detected.
  • Man in the middle tools. Also known as MitM, these tools enable attackers to eavesdrop on the user’s communications, insert data into forms, hijack sessions, and steal credentials.
  • Keyloggers. These perform keystroke capturing that allows the hacker to gain access to passwords and other sensitive information.
  • Data transfer. Tools that allow the transfer of sensitive data to its control center.

How A Drive-By Download Attack Unfolds

The growing complexity of internet browsers are contributing to the increase in drive-by download attacks, as the number of plug-ins, add-ons, and browser versions continually rises. This means there are more weaknesses for cybercriminals to exploit—especially during the holiday season, when more retailers are creating new websites, offering online deals, and putting additional time and effort into building their online presence. – Read more

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eWay-CRM vs. Bitrix24 Comparison

A free CRM may be the best introduction to understanding CRM. They are free after all!

Without any pressure of committing money, you can spend time learning how CRM software works.

We’ll compare free versions of two excellent systems: eWay-CRM and Bitrix24 to help you get started. Let’s get going!

eWay-CRM’s free version

eWay-CRM is a comprehensive, fully-featured system for Outlook users looking to improve communication with their customers, as well as turn basic data into operable intelligence. The fact it is embedded right into Outlook helps significantly reduce the learning curve.

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eWay-CRM’s free plan offers:

  • Contact, sales, tasks, project, and direct mailing tools modules
  • Own form designer tool
  • Inbuilt Word & PDF templates (i.e., for invoices, project sheets)
  • No limits on the number of records
  • Desktop version
  • 200MB cloud storage
  • Email support

eWay-CRM upgrades are completely automatic and free of charge. Once you upgrade to its Premium, you can enjoy many awesome features. And don’t forget that eWay-CRM also lets you try its Premium for up to 30 days free.

Bitrix24 CRM’s free version

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The CRM system in Bitrix24 handles interactions with clients and prospects, partners, journalists, and other persons. Its free plan offers:

  • Deals/contacts
  • Product catalog of 100 items
  • Custom fields
  • Automatic duplicates detection

If you find its free plan limited, you can activate a free 15-day trial or upgrade to the paid pricing plans.

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Benefits of ERP software: Risks, rewards, and realities of alternative software systems

Balancing risk and reward is core to any business. As a company grows, maintaining a comfortable balance between the two becomes progressively more challenging. Why? Because growth can demand substantial change—such as refining technology infrastructure or new technology implementation. And when there is big change, the potential for greater risk (and rewards) will follow.

When a company expands, the number of data points increases, demand for real-time reporting increases, and new workflows emerge. These changes require full transparency across departments and roles, custom reporting, and deeper insights into business functions—often leading businesses down the path to consider new systems for management, like enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation.

ERP software has been around for years—long viewed as a silver bullet for managing multiple business functions and data points. And while ERP vendors design their ERP systems to bolster efficiencies via a centralized database, they also come with their fair share of risk and headaches, including a hefty price tag and a highly complex and time-consuming implementation process.

So, before you take your business down the ERP route, it’s best to understand the risks, rewards, and reality of alternative software solutions. Read on to learn how QuickBooks Online Advanced can serve as the hub for business operations and why it’s the best cloud ERP-styled choice for your growing business.

ERP implementation: Not always what it seems

Risks

While enterprise resource management systems are designed to bring all business functions under one integrated suite of solutions, the complexity of integration and the project management lifecycle can cripple a business. It’s also important to understand that ERPs were designed with large-scale enterprises in mind—offering more solutions than growing mid-sized or small businesses may need or want to handle.

Integration alone can be a massive undertaking. Take a moment to consider just a few major requirements:

  • Full buy-in from upper management.
  • Training and re-skilling of your entire workforce, which often requires hiring an ERP specialist to lead.
  • Development of a change management roadmap, which typically takes 18 to 24 months.
  • Strong project and business management throughout the company and several dedicated champions to ensure that implementation progresses and is completed.

When you factor in the human resource hours required to accomplish ERP implementation, both cost and risk grow bigger. The truth is that major changes need to be made companywide to properly implement an ERP that fits the specific needs of your business.

Rewards

The rewards of implementing the right ERP system can certainly be worth the initial time and cost investment. The ability to stitch together workflows across departments via an ERP can increase operational efficiencies, improve team productivity and scalability, and provide the transparency into data that business leaders need to make informed decisions.

Further, with custom views and reporting capabilities, inventory management and real-time data access from across the company, ERPs can help fortify the bottom line and set a company up for long-term, sustainable growth.

Reality

The reality is that, historically, ERP solutions have been a highly effective way to automate and integrate functions in growing businesses. However, most ERP solutions come with a steep cost and significant time investment. But recent technology innovations offer better alternatives that are more intuitive, timesaving, and cost effective. These solutions have the key functionality of an ERP for a fraction of the pricing.

QuickBooks Online Advanced offers ERP functionality and can serve as the “nerve center” of your enterprise. Starting with your accounting department, you can leverage the system’s advanced features to build out more efficient and more streamlined business processes as your company grows—an accounting-first operational approach.

Essentially, Advanced represents the launchpad for better, more efficient planning and management. From custom reporting to powerful workflow automation capabilities, there’s much more to QuickBooks Online Advanced than many business owners realize.

Just consider the system’s Custom Report Builder feature, which allows users to select the data they want to see and create the reports that are most impactful to their business. Reports can be filtered, grouped, and summarized to highlight the KPIs and data that are essential and unique to each customer’s operation. With custom reports in hand, business owners can easily identify and showcase critical information that provides deeper insights and supports informed, data-driven decisions. – Read more

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