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Is Your Small Business On A Hacker's Watchlist?

In the last decade, billions of people have had their information stolen from one, if not multiple, business sectors. Technology is constantly expanding, and with new technology comes new ways of hacking into seemingly secure data. As technology advances, people tend to forget about outdated technology and are lackadaisical about security. Outdated devices, human error, malware and theft are all things that contribute greatly to the possibility of a data breach. It’s important to ensure companies are well aware of all possible breaches in order to secure them. No business wants to face the PR nightmare other companies have.

Outdated devices and software increase risks of malware infections due to the fact that devices are susceptible to vulnerabilities that have yet to be patched. Often times, these patches don’t even occur because of a lack of memory or non-compatible OS software. Another issue that can occur when using outdated technology is not meeting the newest WIFI protocol standards. This means the device would not be receiving a secure connection, something hackers love to see. You make their job so much easier that way.

This list would be incredibly inaccurate if human error wasn’t on it. Human error is a huge reason data breaches occur. It’s not new information that humans are flawed and often let things slip through the cracks. Majority of the time, these errors are not made on purpose and are simply an accident. However, that doesn’t excuse them from potentially wrecking a business. Some examples of these missteps are using weak passwords, falling for phishing scams and sending sensitive information to the wrong recipient.  This can be avoided with employee education and basic data security training.

Malware breaches are easy to get caught up with if you don’t know what you’re looking at. An anti-virus will help patch vulnerabilities in your device but other forms of malware may not be as obvious. Plus, as mentioned before, with new technology, comes new ways to hack your data. For example, a packer is a type of malware that could hide from your antivirus because of the coding that compresses it.  A crypter creates altered, and infected, copies of a program. As soon as it’s clicked on, it begins to decrypt. Polymorphic malware is malware that repeatedly uses packing and crypting methods to change the way it looks. Then finally there are many kinds of malware staging programs called droppers or downloaders which first learn about the system and then proceed to infect with the real malware.

Physical theft is always a risk as well. Whether it is an employee or a stranger, depending on the data stolen, the effect can be detrimental to a business. Especially if there is no backup data recovery set in place, important data could be lost forever. This vulnerability is hard to predict due to the opportunistic nature, but keeping important items secured at all times can reduce these opportunities.

Are you guilty of any of these items? Don’t worry most of us are, but knowing that will enable you to stay off a hacker’s radar and save your data. Knowledge is power and prevention.