This article was written by Vasilii Chekalov, a digital entrepreneur from Ukraine.
For most of us, the issue of cybersecurity is old hat. We get blasted with messages about securing our computers and devices all the time. Which is perhaps part of the reason that we become somewhat complacent.
We get the anti-virus software, install firewalls, and choose difficult passwords. We know better than to click on links from dodgy sites or links in emails where we don’t recognize the sender.
We’re doing our bit to fight cybercrime.
Or, at least we think we are. The statics tell another story altogether. If we look at some of the biggest data breaches in history, we soon start to realize that we aren’t quite as safe as we might have thought. In 2017, the accounts of 143 million Equifax users were hacked. If you look at the infographic from EveryCloud, you’ll see that this is just a drop in the ocean. It’s quite sobering when you realize just how good these hackers can be. And, while your office PC might not be as tempting a target as Equifax’s, it could still be a target. Think of all the data that you store there – it could very well be a goldmine of information, and we can guarantee that you don’t have the same level of protection that the big corporates do.
Think for a minute how damaging it would be to your business if you were unable to access your computer system. Or what would happen if a data leak was traced back to your office? What if all your data was wiped? Or a virus was sent out from your computer to all your contacts?
Hollywood tends to glamorize hacking. We have this idea of the lone hacker fighting against the corrupt company or government. There are some hackers that are activists, but there are also a lot who use their skills to turn a profit. A lot of them are opportunistic. They have sophisticated programs that enable them to take advantage of small loopholes in your system’s security. Which means that your data is always at risk.
And do let go of the idea of that solitary hacker sitting across the world in some place you cannot pronounce. Hacking is easier if the hacker can gain direct access to your system. Which means that your data is only as safe as your employees are careful.
Sometimes, it’s an employee that uses a ridiculously simple password. If the hacker gains access to the property and can use that password, you won’t know you were hacked.
Sometimes hackers will apply for work at their target firm to gain physical access to the property, or bribe someone on the inside to do so.
Finally, they might even just park in your parking area. All they need to do is to get close enough to pick up the Wi-Fi signal. They then hack this, and your computer system is not much of a problem after that.
There are a lot of hackers out there, with different motivations and tactics. There are plenty of ways for them to get the information that they need for a hack.
So, is your business a good target for cybercriminals? Any business is. The best way to protect yourself is by always expecting an attack. That way, complacency never sets in.