Working in the IT field I often see a common occurrence with businesses and consumers alike. Everyone hears about large companies being hacked or their neighbors computer catching a virus, but often times people do not put as much priority on their computers security as they should. We all hope that it never happens to us, and many people think they are too small to be a target for hackers. The truth is, smaller targets are often easier to attack so instead of spending months trying to penetrate a large corporation or financial institution, hackers will spend far less time attacking many small businesses at once. If they cast a much larger net they are likely to catch a lot of small fish.
When discussing securing a network and computers, often businesses don’t like the idea of suddenly increasing their IT budget to do things the right way. In some cases, this is the first time they have even considered having an IT budget! I mean, they haven’t had this expense before so why do they need it now? They haven’t had any problems yet so they should be fine right? Well, the problem with that is technology continues to advance and cyber attacks continue to evolve, which gives hackers more ways to attack and better tools to attack with.
Have you ever typed in the google search bar the word “hack” under the news tab? If you haven’t, I ask you to try it. There are new articles posted constantly about another business, financial institution, government office, being hacked. This is a very real problem and if you are not sure your network is secure, you may want to consider bringing a professional in to assess the situation for you.
So what can you do if you are not currently in a position to hire a professional to secure your network? Here is a small checklist:
(Disclaimer: This is not going to 100% protect you, but it’s a start)
1. Make sure all of your systems have updated antivirus
2. Make sure all systems are fully updated – This means Windows updates and software patches.
3. Learn about social engineering and train your staff on how to identify and prevent engineered attacks (We will be providing training materials on this for our customers)
4. Backup your data!
This checklist needs to be done consistently in order for it to be effective.