Cyber security experts regularly talk about the importance of preparation in minimizing intrusions and other attacks.
But this is only part of the challenge – it’s vital to continually update and adapt the protection you offer your customers, because hackers are also adapting and refining their methods.
So rather than installing protection once and calling it good, the modern security plan calls for constant vigilance in figuring out how to protect all your customers from hackers, no matter where they are. It’s a scary world out there, with plenty of worms, viruses, ransomware and other possible infections.
Try these strategies.
- You can offer the best electronic monitoring and newest anti-virus programs. But the security weak link is employees, who can easily introduce malicious software into the system. It could be accidental, which can be reduced by education in handling suspicious software, emails, or hardware like thumb drives, plus keeping passwords and other access data confidential. Or it could be deliberate, which can be minimized with tighter security, including creating various privilege/security levels for certain parts of the network.
- Look beyond computers. The new term in security circles is “surface area” which shows that electronic geography no longer includes just PCs, but tablets, phones, car dashboard systems, even smart watches, smart TVs and fitness trackers. This larger connected landscape makes it easy to access information from anywhere, but also creates plenty of potential for unauthorized people to take and use this data. You may want to advise your customer to keep some devices out of critical areas or restrict usage.
- Don’t rely on past practices. Not too long ago, Apple products were billed as mostly un-hackable and safe from the viruses that have plagued Windows users. Little attention was given to the company Macs while Windows machines were closely monitored. But determined hackers have been finding different ways to intrude into ApplePay and iOS mobile devices and insert malware. Luckily, most anti-virus programs can help block these.
- Watch the cloud. There are advantages in sending information to the data cloud – no hardware or physical security is needed, and no worries about capacity problems. However, this trend can create some worries since private information is now out of a physical location, and could be accessed by anyone with the right credentials. One concern is cloud hijacking, which is when an unauthorized person accesses the cloud. SC Magazine said companies can take several precautions, including requiring several levels of authentication for anyone wanting to access the company cloud, creating local back-ups, restricting IP addresses, and encrypting vital data.
- Be realistic. If you think that big hacks only happen to big companies, it’s partially true. Companies like Sony or Target are definitely higher profile. But lower-profile criminals can go after lower-profile companies, and every location is now within reach. Computer Weekly suggests that information professionals must be ready for anything, anytime, have a familiarity of their internal networks, and communicate with their peers.