Microsoft Exchange Server Attacks: Patch Your Systems Now!

A top Canadian cybersecurity agency is warning businesses and organizations to apply the emergency security patches released by Microsoft. This is to seal the vulnerabilities discovered in the in-house Microsoft Exchange Server software. A popular email application used by hundreds of thousands of businesses the world over.

The Shadowy Suspects Exploiting the Vulnerabilities

Microsoft as well as some government agencies have linked the cyberattacks to a state-sponsored band of hackers operating from outside China. Using cloud-based technologies to infiltrate their victims’ IT systems. They are exploiting loopholes recently discovered in the Exchange Server software. And are using them to force entry as well as manipulate host IT systems.

The vulnerabilities, also dubbed the zero-day bugs, give loopholes to cybercriminals. Letting them try to force their way into host IT systems via the in-house Microsoft Exchange Server email software. Here are the vulnerabilities:

  • CVE-2021-26855: This server-side request forgery allows cybercriminals to break into your systems via port 443 through untrusted connections.
  • CVE-2021-26857: This bug exists in the Exchange Unified Messaging Service, allowing to deploy code in arbitrary locations in the SYSTEM.
  • CVE-2021-26858: A post-authentication file write bug that thugs can use to bypass security features in the Exchange Server software.
  • CVE-2021-27065: Online crooks are using this bug to write malicious code in the Exchange Server.

Why Your Business is at Risk

Regardless of the size of your business, you are at risk if you haven’t applied the emergency security patches released by Microsoft recently. Most small and medium-sized businesses haven’t installed the patches. Due to the assumption that cybercriminals wouldn’t be interested in their small businesses.

Truth is that these criminals are indiscriminate: they attack any business they see. They have also expanded their operations to include small businesses, government institutions, institutions of higher learning, as well as individuals. If you haven’t patched your in-house Microsoft Exchange Server software, you are a sitting duck for cyber thugs.

In fact, hundreds of thousands of organizations as well as businesses have fallen victims to cyberattacks. And you would do well to install the emergency security patches before it’s too late. The consequences of failing to secure your Microsoft Exchange Server email software go beyond your business downfall. Additionally, here are some of the consequences you need to consider:

  • Loss of business: Many businesses don’t survive after a cyberattack.
  • Costly downtimes: The cost of downtimes occasioned as you try to restore or backup your systems after an attack can run into millions of dollars.
  • Frustrating government effort to fight cybercrime: Failing to patch your systems is akin to abetting cybercrime.
  • Encouraging criminal activity: Cybercriminals are operating on the assumption that not everyone has patched their IT systems. This is the reason behind the continued attacks.

Way Forward

To determine the way forward, you need to understand a little psychology of the hackers. They want to steal your sensitive information and sell it on the dark web. Or lock you out of your own IT systems as well as demand a ransom before they can grant you access. The problem is that you cannot trust them to keep their word. You pay the ransom and they disappear without unlocking your systems.

Here is what you can do to protect your business from the threat of cybercrime:

  • Apply patches and updates as soon as they are released. For instance, Microsoft released emergency patches to seal loopholes in the in-house Exchange servers to help protect you from these attacks.
  • Have reliable cybersecurity measures in place. Use strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, as well as employee sensitization, to keep out cybergangs.
  • Migrate your business to the cloud. It could be expensive, but you can outsource such services cheaply to reliable managed IT, service providers, such as Compunet Infotech.

Need help securing your IT systems? Please contact us today.