Posts Tagged Security

The Most Common Ways Hackers Attack Small Businesses – and How You Can Protect Yourself

The Most Common Ways Hackers Attack Small Businesses – and How You Can Protect Yourself

There are several common ways that hackers may attempt to target your company. The news of recent large-scale data breaches should be making every business owner think about the security challenges facing their organization. It is
a critical issue because many businesses do not have a technology infrastructure that includes the latest state-of-the-art data security appliances to prevent hacker attacks. The fact is that even large corporations that do deploy these systems are still targeted
and can be victimized.

The good news is that you can guard against common avenues of attack with simple education or technology deployment. It is not necessary to become an expert to learn how to stop hackers. Maintaining effective business data security doesn’t
have to be difficult but requires a company-wide approach to developing and following best practices.

To help you learn what you need to know, here’s a guide to the most common ways that hackers target small businesses and what you can do to protect yourself.

Choosing Secure Passwords Organization-Wide

The number one way that hackers are going to try to target you is by exploiting weak passwords. In their

2016 Data Breach Investigations Report
, Verizon found that 63% of known data breaches occurred due to weak user passwords. This is a security deficiency that can be easily remedied.

Start by establishing strong password guidelines for all business-related accounts. You will also need to encourage your employees to follow the same guidelines on their personal accounts since it’s very common for people to use identical
or similar passwords across multiple platforms. Be sure to follow any strict password requirements that already exist for services your business is using. Where possible, create long passwords comprised of several, unrelated words. Studies have

indicated
that this type of password is the hardest for an automated attack to crack.

Phishing Emails

It is likely that either you or your employees are already being targeted by phishing emails. This type of attack involves a hacker sending official-looking emails to users as a means to trick them into divulging personal information
or access credentials. The level of sophistication that can be involved in these types of attacks will often make it difficult for the average user to immediately spot a fraudulent email.

You will need to create policies for your employees to follow regarding proper email usage and educate them about types of information stealing efforts that may arrive in their inboxes. If you are running your own email system, invest
in anti-spam software that can use statistical analysis to detect suspicious emails and route them to a junk folder. Endpoint protection software for workstations will also often have anti-phishing scanners available and offer an added layer of protection.

Exploitation of Known Security Vulnerabilities

Another excellent method to increase your data security is to manage and deploy security patches network-wide. Attackers will often prey on small businesses because they know that they often lag behind in applying security updates
to their devices. It’s crucial to make sure that all computers are set to receive automatic updates, which can be scheduled during off hours to minimize disruption. Using a patch management and monitoring service can remove the guesswork and make sure you’re
always up-to-date.

Be aware that security patches will only serve to protect you from known vulnerabilities. Hackers often exploit security flaws that haven’t been patched yet through the aforementioned updates. That is why it is also a good idea to make
sure up-to-date antivirus and malware protection are guarding all of your devices. This will help keep your systems secured against any emerging threats. Most of these types of software packages use shared heuristics to detect attacks that fit suspicious patterns.
The major antivirus providers know how to stop hackers and you’ll be leveraging their expertise to stay safe.

Social Engineering

This form of attack has become more common than ever. Social engineering refers to an effort by an attacker to try to impersonate a legitimate user in order to gain unauthorized access to a system. Rather than using deceptive emails
or password cracking tools, a hacker will try to gather as much data about a user as possible so they can then call or contact system administrators to request a password reset. Making educated guesses will often allow them to bluff their way through security
questions and convincingly impersonate a legitimate user.

Both you and your employees must become more aware of what information is being shared online. The prevalence of social media is making it easier than ever for hackers to build profiles of individuals for use in an attack. Take care to avoid giving out birthdates, names of family members, and any other personally identifying data. If that’s difficult or impossible you can make it a practice to create a false set of answers to account security questions. Doing so will keep any of your real
information from being used against you.

Ransomware

The latest and most dangerous type of attack aimed at businesses is ransomware. The hacker begins by infiltrating a business computer system and installing malicious software. The software is designed to spread as widely as possible with the goal of encrypting the data on your network. Hackers know that your business will be paralyzed without access to its data. If they can hold it hostage they can then demand an exorbitant payment to provide the keys to unlock your files.

This type of attack can cripple a small business. If you are targeted, you could suffer losses that may jeopardize the very survival of your company. Your antivirus software will provide some level of protection against ransomware but is far from bulletproof. The dire consequences of such an attack mean that you cannot afford to take any chances. A business-grade backup solution that will protect all computers, servers and network devices is essential to guard your data. While it won’t
prevent hacker attacks, it will guarantee business continuity in the event of a breach.

Generally, available file backup solutions will not be enough in this case. Cloud backup solutions designed for businesses will include the ability to back up workstations and servers at a much deeper level than traditional file backup.
Many business-grade backup services include machine-level imaging to protect all of your data. Using this method means you will be able to recover from a ransomware attack by restoring whole machines at once. This removes the need for time-consuming operating
system and software reinstallation.

A Top To Bottom Approach

There are so many ways that your small business can be attacked that you will need to employ a comprehensive approach for protection. Providing employee education and common-sense data security policies are the simplest method to keep your business safe from hackers. Following these basic steps will have you well on your way to securing your data. Utilizing the other strategies outlined here will assure that all of your business systems are attack hardened and protected by a reliable backup
scheme.

Contact us to discuss the best approach for your business. Knowing that your systems are safe will help you sleep a little more comfortable, secure in the knowledge that the things that matter most to your company are well defended.

 

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you to set your set up your security protocal. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in the USA with you.



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Hacker Attacks and How to Protect Yourself

Hacker Attacks and How to Protect Yourself

The truth is that Internet opens a lot of opportunities. Different business owners and entrepreneurs are capturing the possibilities in order to expand their markets and to further their reach and if we have to be completely honest – that’s one of the best ways to do so. However, you have to be well aware that the opportunities that the Internet has to provide are not only beneficial. A lot of people are not so benevolent, and they want to take advantage of your vulnerability in order to scam you and make their profit. Attackers use various phishing techniques and you have to be extra careful as such attacks can have disastrous consequences on your company and business.
 
Spear PhishingIt’s not a Sport
 
Spear phishing is a type of email fraud which is executed by highly skilled yet malicious cyber criminals that want to scam you out of your business or money. Spear phishing is an email that you are going to receive. It’s going to appear that it’s sent from a known source such as a friend or some business – but it won’t be. This is something which relies on familiarity to get you in your comfort zone. This, on its part, is going to lower your barriers, and you won’t be as suspicious or as cautious as you would generally be and that’s what the hackers are relying on.
 
Hackers usually embed a link in an email that redirects you or your employees to an unsecured website that asks for sensitive information. You could also get a Trojan installed on one of your PCs via a malicious file attached in the email or an ad, which would allow the intruder to exploit loopholes and ultimately obtain sensitive information. Cyber criminals can also spoof their address in an email to appear as if sent from a reputable source and request information. In addition, they may attempt to obtain important company information by impersonating a well-known company representative or IT department.
 
Be Careful
 
There is nothing else to do here than to be incredibly cautious. If you receive a spear phishing email, you need to be incredibly thorough. You must carefully read your emails and verify that they come from a legit source prior to giving them any information at all. Under no circumstances should you reveal any substantial information over the internet. Cyber criminals are there lurking for that, and you don’t want to take any unnecessary and unwanted risks. Make sure to be extra vigilant when it comes to browsing the internet and communicating through it. One way to ensure your business’ safety is by contacting professionals who know how cyber criminals act and can provide protection. Our devoted specialists are always at your disposal, eager to help you ensure the safety of your business. So why risk it when you can contact us right now?

Click here to learn how DigaCore can help you with your Network Security. The first step is to schedule a meeting to go over our Technology Consulting Services for your business in the USA with you.

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