Many businesses have made strict choices to maintain both a website and a native app without giving much consideration to the possibility of this up and coming middle ground.
No matter your business, digitizing your operation is essential for increased workplace communication, productivity, and success. However, with this new digital frontier comes new problems, and even the most internet savvy individual may fall prey to some common issues of cyber security.
Navigating cyberspace is such a part our daily lives that we rarely consider the potential consequences of utilizing online conveniences. However, even the most experienced and well intentioned user may find themselves making detrimental cyber security mistakes every day. The key to avoiding mistakes is reassessing the most common cyber security myths and find how to truly protect ourselves and our businesses. Here are the 5 most common cyber security myths:
It just won’t/can’t happen to me.
Everyone has told themselves this message at some point in time. While ignorance may be bliss, it has proven to be an incredibly unsafe thought that any individual or company is not a potential target of hacking and cyber security risks. In 2015 alone, the Identity Theft Resource Center found that 312 breaches of cyber security occurred targeting businesses, and this shocking number of attacks only makes up 40% of the breaches within the year. Before you change your passwords, the first thing you must do is change your mindset. A breach can happen to anyone, reduce your chances of an attack by arming yourself with the right safety tools and tips. For example, backing up your computer is one of the most important tips you will hear from any IT company.
I have a strong password and therefore I am protected.
This myth can be busted on two fronts. First you have to ask yourself, “How strong is my password really?” In 2016, Keeper Security found that one of the most popular passwords was “123456789,” second only to “123456.” The takeaway here: don’t be predictable. An easy step you can take to safeguard your information will always include creating a difficult password that uses a variety of letters, numbers, and symbols, such as “3b5A!A765d!”
I can safely browse on any network.
Assuming your password is all the protection you need leads is another common mistake. Network Security is a major issue when it comes to protecting your data. While taking time out of the office to work at a nearby café may sound relaxing, it can have disastrous results if you connect to a public network. To avoid the devastating consequences of having your data copied and stolen, it is best advised to use your own device on a network you know is secure and trustworthy. If you are traveling and must access a public network, make sure you have backed up your important information. Thankfully, there are 5 Cloud Storage Services that can help.
“Leaving my computer unlocked while I do ____ will be fine.”
The hard truth of the matter is that having your data copied or your device infected can happen in seconds. Even if you know you’ll be back to your desktop in less than a minute, it is always best practice to lock your device while you’re away. This is incredibly important if you are using a public computer. Always log out of your email, social media, and personal accounts. Classic wisdom will always lend itself to the philosophy of “better safe than sorry.”
“I can minimize cyber risk if I unplug and switch to paper.”
While this may be true to a certain extent, switching to paper comes with its own set of risks. One of the biggest issues with paper is that it can be easily copied with little to no evidence of theft. Another undeniable downfall is that not utilizing digital methods of productivity can greatly dent workplace efficiency. At the end of the day, using your computer can be as safe, if not safer, than using paper for your private information. The best way to protect yourself is to ultimately stay up to date with appropriate safety measures and apply them within your own home and workspace.
The fact of the matter is Cyber Security is constantly evolving and will continue to do so. If you are concerned for the safety of your computer and private information, Intellithought can help.
As you may be aware, a serious and vicious piece of malware made its rounds over this past weekend. It goes by many names, WannaCrypt, WannaCry, or Wncry, but the fact of the matter is it has already infected over 200,000 computers across more than 100 countries. Any un-patched computer may still be vulnerable to WannaCrypt and any of its variants. Researchers have announced that WannaCrypt 2.0 is beginning to spread along with other variants.
These all fall into the category of malware known as ransomware.
The malware will encrypt files on the computer and then display a message demanding a ransom be paid before restoring access to these files. WannaCrypt, in particular, has demanded users shell out $300 to $1,000 in Bitcoins to regain access to their systems. This will effectively render the computer useless until the ransomware is removed and the files restored from backup.
As everyone may not have complete or any backups, this type of malware can be devastating to a business as the files may not be recoverable, potentially losing days, weeks, months, or even years of work.
How does this happen?
Ransomware has been around for years. This began in 1989 but, throughout the years, has developed into complex malware. However, WannaCrypt is particularly difficult because the attackers gained their resources from a NSA leak. WannaCrypt took advantage of a hole in Windows Server Message Block connections, which are used to transfer files and data between authenticated computers.
The primary delivery method of WannaCrypt ransomware is through email. Be extremely cautious of any email you receive with an attachment even if the sender is known to you. If there is an attachment, especially a .zip file, delete the whole email and never open the attached file. Remember: “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Wannacrypt does not discriminate. Businesses like FedEx and Renault, various universities worldwide, hospitals across Europe, and even Russia’s Interior Ministry and telecommunications company, Megafon, were all hit by WannaCrypt. Patches have been made by Windows but it is extremely likely that similar ransomware will strike again.
How to prevent a ransomware attack.
Intellithought can assist with making certain the machines on your network have the appropriate Microsoft patches that close the security hole currently being exploited by WannaCry and its variants. Services range from a Basic security package for personal users, to Real-Time Monitoring for bigger companies and businesses.
We also provide Intellithought Phoenix which can provide effective patch management and anti-virus/anti-malware to protect against malware such as WannaCry. Phoenix will allow Intellithought to make certain that the computers on your network have the most up to date security patches and are running up to date anti-virus/anti-malware software. Contact Us to receive more information on Phoenix.