Don’t become a victim of cyber threats – you won’t get a second chance
Truthfully, no business can ever be 100 percent immune to security threats, because cyber criminals are constantly inventing new methods to tap into our systems and infect our computers using tricks that some anti-virus products may not even identify yet.
Major security threats in 2014
The following information was retrieved from a data breach report published by Verizon in April 2014.
Cyberespionage is the act of accessing unauthorised networks via state-affiliated actors. It is estimated that about a fifth of these incidents originate from countries in Eastern Europe, although many have also been instigated by China. Shockingly, according to Verizon, incidents of cyberespionage tripled in a 12 month period between 2013 and 2014.
Denial-of-service (DOS) attacks
The purpose of these attacks is to compromise the availability of business system or network and have, unfortunately, become increasingly common among companies operating in the retail and financial industries. Although these attacks have more to do with antisocial behaviour and opportunistic ‘fun’ than money-making, they can wreak havoc on businesses by shutting down their websites.
Some of the most common ways for computers to become infected with Trojan horses include clicking on malicious links, opening attachments from unknown sources or clicking on fake advertisements that are actually links to malicious websites.
Trojans can paralyse your computer systems
One of the most dangerous is the Trojan.Ransomlock, which locks the desktop of a computer, rendering it unusable. Often, the only way to unlock the computer is to pay a ransom, which could be considerable.
Web app attacks
Now widely considered to be the most common data breach in 2014, web app attacks are often achieved through malware, phishing and weak passwords. One way to reduce these attacks, therefore, is to make your online passwords more difficult for criminals to gain access to.
Don’t make your passwords an easy target for criminals
Many websites already require people to have a minimum of eight characters and at least one digit in their passwords. Of course, why not take it to the extreme and create a password with 6 digits, 6 letters and 6 punctuation symbols, all jumbled (provided this is within the character limit). As long as you can remember it, you are making it much harder for criminals to get into your systems.
Remember, up-to-date anti-virus protection is vital
From a quick observation of the latest landing threats identified by the anti-virus software provider Symantec, a dozen types of Trojan viruses had to be eliminated during the week of July 14-21, 2014. Times this by 52 and you have more than 600 different threats a year, or almost two a day.
Never leave your systems vulnerable to attack at any moment
Judging from the data above, in just over half a day without anti-virus protection, your computer could suddenly become infected by any one of these dangerous Trojans, compromising all of your data and potentially jeopardising the future of your business. Don’t take any risks – if you think your business systems are not adequately protected, get the latest software or ask an IT specialist to install anti-virus protection for you as soon as possible.
Alex Viall is the Director of Mustard IT a London based IT support company. Alex feels that every business owner should be fully aware of all the security threats that could potentially jeopardise thier business.