"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a common and useful rule for many business owners. It serves to protect your business against unnecessary costs and unneeded downtime. While protecting your business against many types of danger, it poses an outright threat when it comes to IT security.
to your firm move so fast that your IT should be working twice as hard as your
company just to keep up. Every day, hundreds of thousands of new malware
threats are released. Falling even hours behind means any one of these attacks
can threaten your business.
The single most
dangerous thing IT security can do is stand still. Keeping up with the latest
advice, technology, and updates the security industry offers is vital to keep
your business safe. This makes up much of the unseen job of IT professionals.
Hackers never stop looking for new ways into your system, which means your
security can't stop looking for ways to keep them out.
Modern Systems for Modern Business
One of the most
common security threats a business opens itself to is using an outdated
operating system or software package. Many firms are scared to upgrade,
update, or renew their IT over fears of breaking legacy systems. Many rely
heavily on old software and are afraid to make a large change themselves. Some
businesses today still run machines on Windows XP, an operating system first
released back in 2001.
systems stop receiving security updates and patches that protect against newly
released attacks. These systems become very vulnerable, presenting a large
target for knowledgeable hackers. This happens many years after newer versions
have been released, giving knowing IT firms a chance to migrate safely.
If you want to scare someone who works in IT, start talking to them about ransomware. There are few things as scary for IT professionals as the prospect of their systems locking up with hackers demanding money to return things back to normal.
When discussing it, you may notice them breaking into a sweat and starting fidgeting as they contemplate one of the most terrifying cybersecurity threats computers face.
How does ransomware spread?
There are several ways that ransomware can get into computers.
Email is one of the most common ways in. Hackers will send bad files that can trigger a ransomware infection when opened and quickly spread across your network.
Another favorite way to spread ransomware is to send bad URL links that download ransomware when they’re clicked. This ‘drive-by downloading’ can happen without anybody noticing that anything has happened until it’s too late.
privacy are at the very top of our priorities when considering business IT.
Major data leaks are in mainstream news on a near-daily basis and hundreds of
thousands, if not millions, of customers are impacted every time they happen.
Our number one goal is to make sure our businesses are kept out of danger.
institutions, such as multi-national banks and credit card companies, are
expected to handle your data well. Unfortunately, less secured businesses
require access to our data too.
Even just booking into a hotel often requires you to leave your name, address, date of birth, passport number, and credit card details. These few pieces of information are more than enough to steal your identity, start a line of credit, and access many of your vital services. You can often only hope your chosen hotel handles your information as well as your bank does.
Securing Your Business with Smarter Thinking
There is no
way to change how your favorite hotel service operates, but you can affect your
own business to improve its security for your customers.
You don't need
the manpower or funding of a major banking chain to handle data securely. With
simple tweaks and powerful changes, you can minimize the chances of your
business suffering a data breach big enough close your doors for good.
In the midst of a global lockdown, many of us have been relying on webcams to stay connected. These cameras let us join virtual meetings for work and online hangouts with friends. But bad actors can also use a webcam to spy.
Someone watching through a small laptop or personal computer camera may sound farfetched. And if you don’t make a hat out of tinfoil, aliens will take over your brain, right?
Except, it is true that webcams can be used for spying.
Seeing someone with a piece of tape over their webcam isn’t that unusual. Even Facebook’s founder does it. At conferences now, you might even receive a branded sliding webcam cover as swag.
How Webcam Spying Works
How can someone access your webcam in the first place? Typically, they’ve installed malware. The malicious software allows them to remotely control your computer and view its webcam.
Many families today have a shared home computer to help with day-to-day activities. A teen can search for a job and stream shows. A parent can check work emails, pay household bills, and shop online. A youngster can play an educational game to buy Mum or Dad a few minutes of peace. Yet with COVID-19 sending so many people home to work, the shared computer is getting a lot more use.
Not every employee was lucky enough to get sent home with a business laptop. Some employers ask you to use your own computer. At the same time, you may also be accommodating kids doing online learning.
But sharing the computer can now present a security risk. You may have important work documents on the home computer. You could log in to the business network unaware of malware downloaded onto your home device, and, of course, that malicious software isn’t doing your home computer any favours either.
With so many people using the computer, make sure to set up virus protection on your home device. Additionally, you may set security patching and software upgrades to happen automatically. One of your young users could be seeing the message requiring an update and ignoring it. That leaves you unaware the software is vulnerable to bugs or threats.
Setting Up Personal Profiles
With everyone sharing the desktop, your work is at risk. You could have downloaded a spreadsheet containing employee personal identification information. That represents a compliance risk if another user inadvertently accesses the document.
Information security is on every business’s radar these days. Data drives so much of what we do. Looking to contain the risks, many sectors have established IT compliance regulations. Whether meeting a standard or not, don't overlook these common areas of concern.
Governments and regulatory agencies have established compliance standards for the financial, legal, healthcare, and energy sectors. Other organisations abide by best practices for data protection and improving system security. Whether mandated or not, the goals remain similar:
- Improve security protocols.
- Identify vulnerabilities.
- Prevent breaches.
- Reduce losses.
- Increase access control.
- Educate employees.
- Maintain customer trust.
can mean compliance concerns, industry fines, customer churn, and brand
reputation damage. Being proactive about these four common issues can benefit
companies in any industry sector.
that Thwart Compliance
Companies with Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies save $350 annually per employee, according to CISCO, but cost savings aren’t the only reason organisations are embracing BYOD. Letting people use personal mobile devices at work improves productivity and engages employees.
Yet allowing BYOD in the work environment can make the organization more vulnerable.
Unless you’re in the advertising business, you probably try to avoid ads. You pay extra to stream ad-free content online. You leave the room if you are actually watching live TV shows with ads. You filter spam out of your inbox. You immediately click out of ads on the Web pages you visit. But are you actively blocking online ads? You should be. They are more than an annoyance. They could be a security risk.
Crooks Can Utilise Legitimate Ad Space
Cybercriminals are smart and savvy crooks. They don't advertise what they are doing, and it's not that easy to spot, but they do buy legitimate ad space to lure users to malicious sites.
Malvertising uses legitimate online advertising networks to target you with malicious code. Sites you know and trust that use legitimate ad networks can end up serving up the malicious ads. Cybercriminals have run ads on the New York Times, Spotify, and the London Stock Exchange redirecting to malicious websites.
Adware Pose Significant Risks
Adware is another risk. Packaged with legitimate software, adware runs on your computer without your knowledge. It displays unwanted advertising, redirects search requests to ad websites, and mines your data.
The cybercriminal wants to steal your ID, or your financial and contact data, or to encrypt your information, spy on, or hijack your computer.