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Ethical hackers. Third party service providers. Security breaches. These all sound a lot like party favours at an event held by uber geeks at a tech hub, not issues that face the average business. If you think that your business is safe from being hacked, breached or attacked, you are wrong. Here are five things your business needs to know about how its security is threatened every day…
1. Weak passwords
Honestly, you’d think that by now the whole password problem would have been resolved. Superb password managers like LastPass have been around for a while, and people have been repeatedly told that these little word/number combinations are important. Well, according to the 2013 Trustwave Global Security Report, out of three-million passwords analysed, 50% of business users still use passwords that are easily guessed and the most popular is…. Password1.
2. Outsourcing can be dangerous
Third party solutions to standard business processes are becoming increasingly common, usually because they are cheaper, easier and require less in-house speciality knowledge. Unfortunately they can also open the door for malicious activity and if they do not have a clearly defined policy, you can be left hanging in the event of a breach. Your service provider will be scrambling to prove that they are not responsible while you’re left to pick up the pieces. Avoid this by making sure that anyone you work with has policies and procedures that are compatible with yours.
3. Software updates
Do you have a little flag or exclamation mark waving enthusiastically at you on your computer’s dashboard? Have you clicked on it to see what it is, or have you just assumed it is the software doing a little something extra to entertain you this fine Monday morning? The Trustwave Report mentioned above found that the majority of systems did not have the latest operating system patches or business-critical software updates. Get the idea of regularly updating computers into your employees’ heads, and add it to the “Please use a real password” list.
4. Your mobile devices
You’re probably already heading to the nearest wall, ready to bang your head at the mere mention of bring your own device (BYOD). Stop. Mobile malware has exploded by 400%. That is an astonishing growth spurt. You’d invest in it if it was legal. Prepare your business for the influx of BYOD, put security checks and balances in place and investigate how you plan to manage and monitor it in the future.
5. You will be attacked
There is no longer any doubt that your business will be attacked in some way. Cyber-attacks are increasing with no sign of stopping and if your business has valuable data it will be a target. Take the time to learn from the experiences of others and to apply tactical and strategic changes to the way your business works with security.