Their name may not prompt anxiety, yet script kiddies are much more dangerous than they sound. These cybercriminals aren’t elite hackers, but they can still compromise your business.
What is a Script Kiddie?
Someone considered a script kiddie, or “skiddie,” has nominal coding skills. They can’t find the vulnerabilities in software or a website; they rely on others to do so. They download pre-existing scripts or tools to carry out an attack. With some tools, the hacker needs only to press a button to compromise your business.
Script kiddies may not even fully understand the consequences of their actions. They may act on impulse or simply want attention or to cause disruptions when they:
- deface websites;
- launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to flood your site with traffic;
- spread malware;
- attempt to breach business systems.
That doesn’t make their attacks less dangerous. In fact, they could unintentionally cause more damage than planned, but at least the attacks are often less sophisticated and easier to detect.
How to protect against script kiddies
These novice hackers often go after easier targets, so they’re less likely to attack businesses with sophisticated cybersecurity. Here are some steps you can take to protect your systems and networks.
Script kiddies often target known security flaws. Automatic updates will install manufacturers’ patches for any discovered operating system, applications, or software vulnerabilities.
Use Strong Passwords
Require employees to use complex passwords. These should include uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. Warn them against repeating passwords or using easily guessed access credentials.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Adding two- or multi-factor authentication adds more security. This makes gaining access more challenging for the script kiddie, even if they do get hold of a password.
Use antivirus and anti-malware software to detect and prevent malicious software, install firewalls to filter your incoming and outgoing traffic, and consider adding intrusion detection or prevention systems to alert you to suspicious activity.
Backing up your important data and systems provides you with a safety net. In case of an attack, you’ll have the data needed to restore your systems to a known good state.
Isolate and Limit Access
Isolate critical systems from less secure parts of your network. This prevents hacker movement through your network. Limit access by granting your users the fewest privileges necessary to do their jobs. This also helps cut potential damage spread.
Ensure people know to avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading questionable attachments. Secure their mobile devices with PINs and encryption, and have them use virtual private networks (VPN) when online to further minimize risk.
Engage a Cybersecurity Professional
Combat script kiddies and other cyber attackers by hiring a reputable cybersecurity firm. We can assess your systems, identify vulnerabilities, and recommend improvements. Contact us today about maintaining a strong defense against cyber threats.