Nowadays, the growing use of the internet has increased the number of cybersecurity scams. Hackers are continuously involved in malicious practices to take advantage of growing online transactions by hacking software across the world. This has raised a general concern regarding cybersecurity techniques to protect user data from cybercriminals. So, our guest blogger Harsha has pulled together some examples and top tips for you to consider.
There are many examples of big companies that have been the victim of cyber attacks and ended up with heavy losses. Some of them are mentioned below:
Equifax, a well-known credit bureau, suffered a terrible cyber attack in 2017 as cyber criminals stole the personal data of around 145 million people.
Verizon, Yahoo’s parent company, was a victim in the hacking of 3 billion accounts in 2013. Moreover, Marissa Mayer, the former Yahoo CEO, claimed that the company were only made aware of 1 billion account breaches. These claims were made during Mayer’s enquiry surrounding the data breaches 3 years after they happened, in 2016.
Leaked government tools
A group of hackers, known as the shadow hackers, unveiled a pack of hacking tools that belonged to the National Security Agency. With the help of these tools, they were able to control different Windows servers and Windows operating systems like Windows 7 and Windows 8.
These examples highlight a dire need for advanced cyber securities and the protection of software and data within companies. In fact, many organisations have started showing interests in cybersecurity training, making it a part of their work culture and training schemes. Meaning employees are more likely to be equipped with the knowledge and trends of the cybersecurity industry.
In this blog, we will look at the best techniques to safeguard you and your company against cybersecurity scams in 2018. Let’s get started!
Don’t click on malicious websites through Internet browsing
Being naive to internet browsing often leads to unintentional mistakes that certainly make us prone to phishing attacks. Preventing access to specific sites can help reduce the chance of being a victim of security breaches. Make sure you hold a training session for employees where they get to know what tactics phishers use to break your security codes, security awareness should be an integral part of training in order to prevent them from using malicious websites, both in the workplace and at home.
Six surefire ways to check whether a website is genuine or not:
- Read URLs fully to find the real domains with zero spam.
- The sites that don’t use https are more likely to be suspicious. Http websites are usually fine, but generally https sites are more secure.
- Look for the secure padlock. Websites that are safe to use will have a green padlock with the word ‘Secure’ at the start of the URL.
- Use VirusTotal to scan whether the website is malicious or not.
- You can even detect a malicious website through a community-based filter like The web of trust.
- Use an ad blocker.
A strong back up can help you retrieve data you might have lost in the past. Ensure you back up critical information regularly; that includes financial records, business strategies, customer records, and personal information. This will help you down the road, in case of any disaster, breach, and technical problem. Moreover, it won’t cost a fortune. If you wish to tighten your data security, then multiple backup methods should be part of your work processes. A competent backup system includes:
- daily incremental backups to a portable device and/or cloud storage service
- server back-ups at the end of a week
- server back-ups quarterly
- server back-ups yearly
Backing up your data to a portable device like a USB stick can be an added advantage. However, be sure to keep it in a safe place and not consistently attached to your laptop or PC. This will give you a physical copy of your data that you can easily carry around with you, should you require a little more assurance. Make regular data backup checks from your backup source a normality in your business.
Furthermore, passwords and login information are becoming evermore necessary. It is recommended that we don't use the same password across all platforms - as this gives hackers easier access. More than ever before there has been a huge necessity for password managers to help users keep track of login information as well as protect and secure our information across various platforms.
Jailbreak is dangerous
‘Jailbreaking’ or ‘rooting’ your phone is a technique to break software restrictions placed on mobile devices for security purposes. This allows users to download apps which cannot be downloaded through official app stores like iTunes or Google Play. Not to mention that if an app is not available for download through legitimate means, it could contain malicious software that will pose a danger to your phone. An attempt of jailbreaking invalidates the identity of a phone, cancels out any insurance you have taken out on it and limits your access to future updates thus exposing you to more cyber threats.
Anti-virus software is only powerful if you get the right one
Having antivirus software in place does not protect you from cyber attacks completely. Step up from traditional cybersecurity principles and switch to advanced page fingerprinting and track any change in web page elements. Today, criminals take advantage of cyber fear and contact organisations to offer a solution in the form of a Remote Access Trojan. If you want to purchase or use anti-virus software, make sure that is it a tried and trusted one. Don’t download software from anyone who contacts you or asks for you to download it from suspicious websites.
Companies can take multiple steps against cybersecurity scams. They must stay updated with the latest practices while refining their security tools, policies, and solutions. Make the cybersecurity picture clearer by going through training, webinars and reading e-books. This would address potential security issues that you are likely to face in the future. Well-informed employees and adequately backed up systems are the foundations for preventing avoidable cyber breaches.
Author bio: Harsha Goel is tech enthusiast who redefines the boundaries of cyber technology through her knowledge. She is efficient and knowledgeable in cloud storage, big data, ML, AI and deep learning, and comes up with industry fit solutions which have helped experts across the world.