How Your Network May Be Attacked By Hackers
With the growth of technology there have been many benefits. People have access to everything, from looking up how to do something new to being able to further their business. However, with all the advantages that technology has brought it has also brought disadvantages. One of the downsides to Internet connected technologies is that people, known as hackers, try to steal information.
There are numerous ways your network may be attacked by hackers. Small and midsize businesses are more likely to be attacked than larger companies due to the fact that they often have inferior network security protocols.
While your IT group is working to secure your environment using up to date security software, anti-virus, anti-malware, and special configurations within the servers and firewalls to protect you and your data it is important to realize that you may still be at risk with the things that you do. We have compiled a list of the top ways hackers might attack you or your account directly and offer some suggestions on how to protect yourself against these types of threats.
Weak passwords are to blame for over 80% cyber-attacks. Many users utilize the same password across platforms, choose simple words and phrases, or do not incorporate things like upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters. We suggest you choose a few words, combine them, and then add in some numbers and special characters for good measure. You want the strongest password possible to fend off cyber-attacks. In addition, do not store your passwords online, on your cellphone, or on a piece of paper near your desk.
Malware, or malicious software, is often delivered through email phishing scams, which will be discussed below, but they can also be installed by accidentally visiting certain websites, bringing in an infected USB drive, or even downloading a seemingly-innocent web application. Once a computer is infected, the malware might spread to other computers on your network and compromise your data.
Social engineering is basically when someone poses as you, or your company, in hopes of obtaining access to confidential information. This could include someone pretending to be you or someone from your business, and contacting a help desk asking for a password reset. Although this type of attack is more difficult to protect yourself against, it is essential to remain alert and limit the amount of personal/confidential information you put on the web.
There is a wide variety of email phishing scams out there. Most are directed towards businesses; however, there are sophisticated ones that can target individuals, this is called spear-phishing (yes, there is a little bit of humour in the IT world). These emails can look like legitimate emails from a department within your company or a business partner. They will ask you to click a link to provide them with the information they need. As soon as you click the embedded link, malware is downloaded and installed on your computer, often making its way through your company’s network. Sometimes, these hackers even go as far as to hold a company’s information for ransom where they threaten to delete the files or sell them to other interested parties.
Although we have provided you with the 4 most common ways, you or your business, might be attacked by hackers, it is best to remember that these are not the only methods they employ. In our ever-growing reliance on the internet, networks, and technology, it is essential that we remain vigilant, utilize a trusted IT services company, and strengthen our passwords.
If you are wanting to protect your business from hackers, or are unsure if your protocols are strong enough, call Longhurst Consulting. We will discuss with you how your business can become more secure from hackers.