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Security Breaches On the Rise

A fair amount of time has passed since news of the Target security breach hit the news, but don’t let this fool you into thinking security breaches are a thing of the past. Publicly reported breaches are only the tip of the iceberg, there’s an underworld of hacking activity that doesn’t get disclosed. No longer are security breaches mainly caused by an error or negligence in your IT department. As the number of security breaches increase, so does the number of factors causing them. Today, a security breach is just as likely to be the result of a corrupt email or an unsuspecting employee making an error. There are a few types of common vulnerabilities largely out of IT’s control that are gaining in popularity among hackers. You need to become aware of these, as well as understand actions you can take to keep your company safe.

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  • Ransomware. Yes, that’s right. I am discussing ransomware AGAIN! If you aren’t a regular reader of this blog, all you need to do is go to Google news and search “ransomware”. Read even a handful of articles, and you will understand why we feel obligated to help spread the education on this topic. Most ransomware comes in the form of Trojan horse programs that appear as legitimate files that plant themselves on your computer or network and takes control. One infected user on the network can take down your entire system.
  • Social hacking. This is where human interaction is used to obtain confidential information by pretending to be a client or business partner. Typically, the email looks legit to you but upon further inspection, the email address may be off a letter or intentionally misspelled. If you don’t catch that, then you may respond to the email with the private account or billing information. The hacker now has the data he needs to do damage.
  • User error. User errors are typically not intentional. A user is careless with their device and it gets stolen. A user inadvertently deletes the program on their computer that was there to protect them from outside attacks. A user opens an infected file or video. The category of user error can range from many, many things because let’s face it, as humans there is a lot of errors we can make!

As you can see, these challenges are real and they are scary because prevention of them is difficult. Here are few things your business can do to stay safe.

  • Apply technology. You need a full security solution. There are solutions out there such as anti-virus, firewalls, and anti-malware detection software. These should not be optional; you need these to stay safe.
  • Train employees. First step, educate your users with cybersecurity training. Human error is going to happen, but arming your users with information and educating them on common mistakes, can help minimize this. Social hacking becomes challenging for hackers if your employees are trained to look for the signs. Users should be trained to not give confidential information over email. Pick up the phone, it’s safer.
  • Plan for a disaster. A disaster can happen to any business, even ones that might have the best security solution and smart employees. Your business needs to have a solid disaster recovery plan and solution in place. This should include regular and frequent backups. You need to have a plan so your business can get back up and running quickly after an attack.

The hard truth is this; once an area gets secure, hackers turn their attention to another one. It is a never-ending battle, but one that you must remain vigilant in fighting. Breaches are getting smaller than they once were, but the number of them is multiplying. Meaning, no one is safe. Are you protected? 2W Tech is an IT Consultant that specializes in IT security and would be happy to work with you to develop a security plan to keep your business safe. Contact us today to learn more.

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