How To Protect Your Business From Hackers

How To Protect Your Business From Hackers

Over the last decade, hackers have upgraded from the typical identity thefts to business data breaches. The hackers are now centered on businesses and governments. For the most part, hackers target large companies such as Target, Facebook, Marriot, British Airways, etc.

They often go for large brands as they make headlines, unlike small businesses. However, small businesses tend to be softer targets as they are easier to hack.

If you own a small business or startup, the least you can do is protect your business from data breaches. It doesn’t have to be layers and layers of protection. A simple data protection will do. Run diagnostics and figure out the vulnerable areas. Come up with a meticulous plan to protect the entire system, as well as the vulnerable areas such as customer data.

Such vulnerabilities include:

1. Malware

Also known as malicious software, it’s created by hackers to steal sensitive data, gain access to a computer or mobile networks, hijack systems, and disrupt operations. There are at least eight types of malicious software.

Computer security

2. Ransomware

It denies users or organizations access to their data or systems by encrypting their files, making them inaccessible to the users and system administers until a ransom is paid. The ransom is typically paid in cryptocurrency. In case the company or user decides not to pay, the data is either destroyed or released to the public.

This is why organizations are advocating for infosec compliance awareness in a bid to mitigate ransomware attacks.

3. Point Of Sale

The idea behind POS attacks is to steal payment card data. Typically, payment cards are encrypted, but they are vulnerable when you are processing payments. Hackers steal card data, and either make purchases using your information or sell the data on the dark web.

“Overall, there are now over one million compromised South Korea and the U.S. issued credit cards posted for sale in the dark web since May 29, 2019.” (Baptiste Jean)

As a business owner, you can prevent POS attacks by using code signing, chip readers, or whitelisting technology.

4. Spyware

It’s malicious software that infects computer and mobile devices. Its sole purpose is to track your activity and gather personal information. The malware will monitor what you do online, the websites you visit, payment information, downloads, emails, usernames, and passwords.

It’s a sneaky attack, and you will rarely notice it as it runs quietly, monitoring and collecting your personal information. You can prevent spyware attacks on your business by using antivirus software from reputable companies. Resist from opening emails, especially if you don’t know the sender. Also, limit your downloads, especially from unknown untrustworthy sources.

Phishing attack

5. Phishing

Phishing is an attack that involves sending you a bait typically via email, hoping you will bite. The attacker often masquerades as a trusted entity such as a bank, university, or corporation. The message usually involves something the attacker thinks you want or need.

A simple click on the link provided could have dire consequences such as a ransom attack or installation of malware. The attacker could also steal your information or empty your accounts.

You can prevent phishing attacks by using two-factor authentication and educating your staff on the consequences of clicking the phishing link.

6. Denial-of-Service Attack

DoS attacks aim at shutting down systems, networks, or machines, thus locking out users. Such an attack can be detrimental for your business as it will interrupt or/and suspend essential services.

DoS attacks often target high-profile organizations by flooding their servers with so much traffic that their systems crash or slow down. The attackers will rarely steal information, but it will cost your business a fortune to get your systems up and running.

You can mitigate DoS and DDoS attacks by securing your network infrastructure, outsourcing DDoS prevention, practicing basic network security, etc.

7. Eavesdropping

Eavesdropping attacks are directed to network paths, thus allowing attackers access to network traffic. The attacker gets to listen to your network communications. Such attacks are a common occurrence in public Wi-Fi networks as the passwords are readily available.

An attacker can use the available password to join the network. After this, he/she will monitor network activity, giving him/her access to valuable data.

You can prevent eavesdropping by encrypting your systems and using applications that offer top-of-the-line encryption. You can also implement network segmentation, thus restricting network access to certain systems.

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