It is happening every day all over the world. Companies are getting blindsided by a hack that ends up costing them thousands of dollars in order to recover. The US National Cyber Security Alliance discovered that 60% smaller businesses are not able to keep their companies afloat for over 6 months after being attacked. About 4,000 businesses are being hit per day and the hackers are only getting more creative. Once they get in, they have access to all of the company’s secrets and confidential plans. Every company is at risk, no matter how big or small.
Larger companies tend to feel safer because they have a huge network backing them up, but that could only make them more appealing to the more advanced criminals. An attack on Google in 2011, which was called Operation Aurora, gave hackers access to hundreds of user accounts and sensitive information. Users had trustfully depended on the name of Google to provide their people with a secure and dependable service. Everyone is vulnerable to a mobile hack, and you need to get yourself protected or the damages could very well be too much to come back from.
How They Get In
There are many ways that a hacker can get access to a company’s information, such as:
- spear phishing/social engineering through email
- infection through a download that has been implanted in a website
- malware implanted through a USB key
- server scans that locate vulnerabilities to allow for the crashing and exploiting of unprotected systems
- guessing passwords
- exploiting open wireless networks
- stealing third party credentials and using them to infiltrate a company
No matter what technique is being used, hackers have two main purposes: to steal data or connect an infected computer to a botnet that will completely take over the device. Once they do this they have access to every person’s personal information who has ever been connected to the company. With their capabilities, hackers have “stole[n] up to 1 billion dollars from 100 different financial institutions across the US, Germany, Russia, Ukraine, and China over the past 2 years.”
Mobile Devices Create Vulnerabilities
Smartphones and the way that employees are using them have proven to be a major vulnerability for businesses. 16 million mobile devices were infected by viruses last year. Once a hacker has tapped into a phone they can use it as an entry point to whichever business the device is connected to. This does not mean that companies shouldn’t be using mobile technology. Mobile devices are essential for this day and age. However, knowing where your vulnerabilities lie and taking the proper precautions can make world of difference and save a company from a great deal of suffering.
What Can Be Done
There is never a complete guarantee that an intruder will not be able to find their way through your security methods, but you can make it much more difficult for them. It is also essential to have a plan set for when a breach takes place so it can be immediately recognized and dealt with. Business owners should establish protocols and practices such as:
- organizing an incident response plan (immediate security measures that must occur once you know your system has been compromised)
- keeping security software current
- deleting anything that appears suspicious in any way (any links in emails or posts online)
- anything that connects to the internet should be protected
- scanning all external devices before plugging them into a mobile device or computer
- encrypting all sensitive data by making it unintelligible to any person who does not have the key to decrypt it
Stay On Guard
Corporate data is being leaked and identities are being stolen. This may sound dramatic to smaller businesses, but they are currently at the highest risk, as 75% of all organizations have had a security breach in the past year. Cybercrime is taking over and should not be taken lightly or ignored. Just one mobile hack can cause a business to suffer or go under completely. Don’t be one of those who thought they were the exception, make sure you are protected before it is too late.