Are Your Computers Vulnerable?

Are Your Computers Secure?

Anywhere in business today, security awareness includes the digital side of operations. If your devices (computers, mobile phones, tablets) are kept up to date with the latest software, you are doing good. Hackers will first look for targets of opportunity, those devices that are easiest to break into. Many times, digital ‘break ins’ happen because software was not updated and kept current. Keep in mind that you need to regularly update software and apps such as:

  • iOS or Android smart phone software
  • Apps on your devices (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc…)
  • Operating system on your computer
  • Email and Internet browser software
  • Any security software such as antivirus, firewall, antimalware, antispyware
  • Any Adobe software (Flash has had ongoing security issues for a long time)

Protecting yourself and your business data requires a bigger picture approach. Hackers will target devices and accounts (online) that are easiest to break into. Don’t make it easy for them to break into your system. Keep the bar high enough so they move on to another easier target.

Backup, backup, backup. Always make sure you have a backup of your devices and data. One Ransomware attack can wipe out a business. Ransomware attacks happen when a hacker successfully executes malicious code on your device that encrypts your data. They then hold your data for ransom, keeping the encryption key until you pay them. Often times companies that pay never receive the encryption key to recover their data. So, KEEP BACKUPS.

Passwords, longer is stronger in almost all cases. Make them difficult to hack. Never share your password, keep it that way. With social media today, many users will have tons of public information that can be used against them in a digital attack. Hackers will try to break into your password protected system in 3 basic ways:

Key loggers: little bits of spyware they get onto your system when you inadvertently open a malicious fill that comes to your as an attachment in email or downloaded file. Just like it sounds, the malicious code logs everything you type on a keyboard… including your passwords.

Brute force: password hacking uses programming code of some kind to use likely combinations of possible passwords. They often use combinations of company and user names with a list of common passwords used, such as ‘pasword123’. Please don’t use these kinds of passwords—You know Who You Are (so stop it).

Dictionary code hacking: will use combinations of words from a dictionary that will systematically try different combinations, trying those that are most likely to succeed.

Digital security needs a comprehensive approach and you should have a company strategy for maintaining the integrity of your company systems.