As a business owner there are many tasks that you have to undertake on a daily basis, from managing your team of employees, payroll, accounting and overseeing day-to-day operations. But what about your data network, do you ever consider that as a critical factor to ensure your business is able to operate at 100% and also from a security point of view?
How to Safeguard your Data from Hackers and Vulnerabilities
In this article we look at potential network vulnerabilities, preventing IT disasters and protecting your data. Speaking with IT professionals, industry specialists and local businesses getting their view point which will hopefully help point out possible threats to your business so that you can prevent them.
Why Hacking isn’t just a Threat for Government Agencies
Almost daily there is a news story about Anonymous or a notorious hacking group liberating data from a government agency and it’s almost become the norm.
But what we don’t often hear about, as it’s not as glamorous is SME’s who have their network breached and data stolen, leaked or destroyed.
The Severity of Zero Day Threats
Syntax IT Support London published an article about combating zero-day threats, which I recommend you read.
What are Zero Day Threats?
Simply put a zero day threat is a security flaw that is uncovered by hackers who are then able to abuse this vulnerability to either take control over a system be it a single PC, server to networked hardware. Most of the times these vulnerabilities go unnoticed unless you have an in house or outsourced IT company looking after your network. Hackers will continually exploit these vulnerabilities and it never stops, your data is never 100% safe unless you have someone managing your network updating the latest security patches.
Examples of Well Known Zero Day Threats
2 years ago Sony Pictures Entertainment was hacked by hacker group #GOP
The hackers message was clear OBEY or we will leak all of your data.
The data from Sony Pictures Entertainment included:
- Unreleased movies
- Personnel information
- Private emails
- Financial data
The BBC reported that Snapchat hack affects 4.6 million users. The details including phone numbers, email addresses, and usernames of 4.6 million snapchat accounts were downloaded by hackers and uploaded to a public website called SnapchatDB. The site was taken down but not before all the information was publically leaked.
Snapchat officials have since said that they have increased the security safeguards in order to protect user data.
The hacking group responsible said:
“We used a modified version of gibsonsec’s exploit/method,” they were quoted as saying by tech blog.
One of the most prolific hacks of 2016 must have been Cisco. The security software and hardware company were indeed hacked, and Cisco claimed that NSA hacking tools were used to implement the hack (very controversial).
SME’s are Under Threat from Hackers and Network Vulnerabilities
There was a great article published in January on isBuzznews which said ‘SMEs must better understand the cyber security threat in 2017’
BYOD could Open Your Network to Vulnerabilities and Hackers so Beware
BYOD or ‘bring your own device’ means when employees use their own personal laptops, smartphones and tablets and connect to a company network. If your personal device had been updates with the latest security patches they should in theory be as safe as the companies own pcs and devices. But how many SMEs in particular even know what non-company owned devices are connected to their network at any given time? Probably not very many.
Why Smartphones aren’t that Smart for Your Business
Something as simple as a malware-ridden smartphone might allow hackers to breach your business data network. Our suggestion would be to audit your entire data network on a regular basis to see what devices are connected at any given time.
Top 6 Network Vulnerability Software
We always recommend seeking the help of a specialist IT company but you can also do some in house checks with software. Below is a list of some of the highest rated network vulnerabilities scanners as reported by Networkworld.
- Retina CS Community
- Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer
- Qualys FreeScan
- Microsoft Enterprise Mobilty Suite
GDPR Compliance in 2017
If you haven’t heard about GDPR yet then where have you been hiding because it affects every business.
The EU’s general data protection regulation GDPR will be imposing fines for data loss to business in 2018. These fines were previously very small in relation to the scale of the businesses effects but in 2018 these fines will rise dramatically in order to make companies up their game.
What are DDoS & Volumetric Attacks
DDoS are very old school hacks and have been used for decades. DDoS or Denial of Service are where hackers or hacker group flood a network with huge amounts of data in order to take over it.
With DDoS on the rise specialists such as Arbor networks have created specialist software that will prevent DDoS and volumetric attacks from gaining access to your network by diverting them.
With DDoS, GDPR, BYOD and many other hack acronyms making front-page news, it’s not just corporations, banks and government agencies under threat. SMEs must open their eyes to the severity of the growing threats and vulnerabilities and take action.