One question many people ask is: What motivate hackers.
One of the most common reasons for hackers to hack is to steal or leak information. This could be data and information about your customers, your employees or even private data specific to your business.
Hackers are smart and will attack insecure online systems using Spambots or Botnets to attach to your website or via your email systems to spread malicious software. These “Bots” will look for and attack vulnerable systems by brute force with multiple attacks over a short period of time.
Many botnets are designed to harvest data, such as passphrases, credit card numbers, addresses, telephone numbers and other personal information. The data is then used for criminal purposes, such as identity theft, credit card fraud, spamming (sending junk email), website attacks and malware distribution.
But there are ways you can prevent the incidence of attacks.
Use strong passwords
Creating unique, complex passwords will make it more difficult for hackers to use access your systems. The best passwords include a mix of numbers, letters, and symbols and are at least 8 characters long.
Also use more than one password. Once a hacker has access to one password, you’re wide open to attack on the rest of your data if you use the same password multiple times.
Keep software up to date
Make sure you have the latest versions of all software installed on your devices.
Suppliers like Microsoft regularly update their software to eliminate “bugs” that hackers could exploit. Make it part of your procedures to install all new software updates as soon as they become available.
Use Antivirus Software
Antivirus software acts as a “Bouncer” against viruses. It might not be big and hairy, but it can identify and eliminate the threat before you were even aware of it.
There are many antivirus options available, including free versions, so do your own research before you install. Once you decide on the version you want, only use that option as having more than one antivirus program will slow you PC down and offers no real advantage.
Install a Popup Blocker
Many attacks happen through browsers. Hackers can gain access to your computer from one innocent click on the wrong ad or link.
An ad or popup blocker protects your computer’s data. It will prevent any unwanted pages from opening automatically.
Beware of Email Phishing Scams
32% of reported security breaches begin with a phishing scam.
These often appear as an email form under the guise of a legitimate company. The goal is to get you to either enter personal information or click on an infected link that allows access to your computer.
A legitimate company will have its own domain name for emails. If an email address claims to be from a supplier or customer doesn’t have the domain name of the legitimate business in its address, it’s a scam.
And a legitimate company will never invite you via email to log in and provide personal or billing information.
At the very least, you should perform weekly or even daily backups of all important data. Store it securely in the cloud or on a separate hard drive. Backups can be done automatically by many backup programs.
So if you do accidentally get a virus, your vital information won’t be lost or compromised.
Educate your staff
Finally, make sure you have clear protocols about opening emails, browsing and sharing information throughout your entire team. A few moments of education could mean the difference between cyber attack success or failure.