Cybersecurity is a must-have for every business. Not only do you want to protect your financial records, patient files, client information and employee identification, but you also want to stay ahead of the technological advancements that allows hackers more tools and ideas for how to access your business.
Because technology is always evolving, you can’t simply install security software once and forget about it. Eventually (and usually sooner than later), people will use advanced technology to get ahead of your defenses.
Here are some examples of how new tech can increase cybersecurity risks and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
Social-media websites have taken off in a big way. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are the big names in social media, and they all offer different types of services for users. These services are not meant to be used for hackers and cyber terrorists, but they can be. Here are some examples of how personal social media affects a business’s security.
Social media allows many hackers to have access to certain information very easily. Birthdays, workplaces and even addresses are often shared through social media.
When a hacker can access this information, they are not only more easily able to answer security questions surrounding employee accounts, but they can also find networked people who work for the same company. False emails, pay forms or even tax information can be mailed through company group connections to try and target a specific group.
Hacktivists who try to expose secrets and finances of larger security groups can lift statements and posted workplace photos and videos that should have been left in private email accounts, just by having the “inside” information that social media accounts provide.
New social media platforms are launched all the time. Some, like Snapchat, take off and become popular. Others may only be used sparingly. However, you should encourage all employees, especially those with high levels of security clearance, to keep their accounts off work-based computers and to never sign in to accounts, even from a smartphone, while using company internet connections.
Do not allow employees to “friend” clients or partners on Facebook. Also, require your employees to change passwords for work accounts frequently, and do not permit password sharing for personal and work accounts.
Many social-media platforms provide shared content and affiliate links from third-party advertisers and other users. Whenever you click on one of these, you open yourself up to cyber-attack by accidentally opening a door to malicious software.
While you cannot feasibly ignore social media — many businesses need it for advertising and reaching their client base — you should make sure that you have the accounts monitored by a professional security company, who also secures the company server.
Some social media sites frequently request your location. When people state “at work” or “hanging out with people from work,” this gives a hacker an inside look as to who is at work at a certain time and who they should target in order to get information. Companies with strong social-media security will request that employees do not share their locations for work-based events.
In the past, phishing might have been hit or miss. You might have gotten an email from a supposed long-lost relative looking for money or received a message that looked like it was from a local bank, asking for financial information. However, with the ability to view people’s actions and workplaces through social media platforms, unsecured servers and malware, phishing today is much more advanced.
You could get an inter-company memo asking for social security numbers per “new human resources updates,” or you might get an email that only targets the graphic design department, asking for names and addresses in order to complete a set of invites for a company party. This is called “spear phishing,” and even people who ignore blatant email scams can fall for it.
Email monitoring and increased company security through a professional service that works to stay ahead of these types of advanced methods are the best defenses for businesses. You may not be able to comprehend how new tech will be used until it is used against you.
Hackers are always looking for more effective ways to steal information and money from people without them realizing. In the past, hackers might have sent a virus that allowed them to view your email address to sell to spammers.
With increased technological developments, they now might have a bank of computers that not only records your email but also passwords, social security numbers and even credit-card numbers and account details. With online business accounting and lists of employee information, these computer banks, known as botnets, are a force to be reckoned with.
You can protect yourself by constantly updating your business technology. Stay on top with software updates (the most common source of botnet malware), and teach employees about the risks associated with media use and downloading in the workplace.
Contact us at CyberGuard360 for more information on the protections that are available for your business.