If you know about the many different types of cyber attacks, you’ll know that they can infiltrate systems in many different ways, under different guises. From Trojan horses and viruses, to information theft and service disruption, cyber attacks can enter a business’ infrastructure in a number of ways, and it can be all to easy to be blind to the signs and even encourage an attack yourself.
‘But I would never encourage an attack on my own business, why would I do that?’, you may ask this seemingly obvious question, but it isn’t a case of ‘wanting’ to let an attack in. With the disguises and tactics hackers and attackers are using these days, it can be really difficult to spot the signs. Here are five things to look out for in order to stay smart and secure:
Don’t Click Links in Emails that Look Suspicious:
If you don’t recognise the name of a sender or something seems suspicious in the email content, play it safe and don’t click any links that take you to other websites. Ways of flagging an email as suspicious are:
- Noticing an email address that seems similar to a legitimate address but slightly different. It may have full stops in strange places or have a different suffix/email domain.
- An email that asks you to click through to a webpage that you haven’t heard of before.
- Anything that asks you to enter sensitive information.
Be sure to also utilise an email spam filtering tool to filter out anything that isn’t safe.
Be Wary of USB sticks/External Hard Drives:
Something as innocent as co-workers sharing files on USB sticks can lead to the spreading of a cyber attack. Not to say that the attack would necessarily come from a staff member deliberately wanting to spread a virus, but USB sticks could be misplaced, mixed up and may have been in other devices outside of the workplace that unknowingly contain harmful files.
You can be secure in the workplace by having the correct desktop antivirus software installed, as well as implementing a strict policy on personal use of USB sticks as well as not using them in any systems not owned by the business. This strategy may differ slightly for each business/department.
Keep Passwords Safe and Hidden:
It goes without saying that your passwords should be kept safe and hidden, but what does this actually mean? By keeping any files with log in information password protected and away from shared areas.
Choosing complex passwords that are hard to guess is also a good measure to take, the use of uppercase and lowercase as well as numbers helps to keep your passwords harder to guess.
Be Cautious in Emailing Financial Details and Sensitive Information:
To follow on from the tip about email link clicking, it is always worth taking precautions whenever anyone asks for financial details or sensitive information via an email. Through clever tactics and trickery, there’s nothing stopping an innocent-looking link going straight to a fraudulent website after you’ve entered your bank details.
Keeping your details safe, even when communicating via email with internal staff, creates a written record of whatever you typed. This record can then be hacked and copied at a later date, so be careful what you send in emails.
Lock Your Workstation:
Sensitive information that is left unguarded on a screen could be stolen and used for the wrong purposes. Whether it’s a password, business bank account number or customer details, they should always be kept away to ensure they are not released to the public or used against the business in any way.