5 Ways to Protect Your Business from Hackers
In the 1830s Napoleon Bonaparte commissioned the Chappe’s telegraph network, a colossal chain of mechanical arms stretching across France and into Germany and Italy to be used solely for transmitting top secret military information using a form of semaphore. The network had only been in use for a year before brothers Francois and Louis Blanc bribed the system operators to transmit stock market information from Paris to Bordeaux where they lived ahead of other traders. This represented a major turning point in human civilisation. It’s was the world’s first hack. The moment where technology was, for the first time, manipulated by nefarious outside influences for their own gain.
Hacking has come a long way since then, but has never stopped presenting a threat to businesses. It’s no longer enough to simply set up a firewall and add a couple of numbers to your password. Data protection needs to be active and it needs to be uniform across an entire business. Gafencu looks at the five behaviours and techniques most recommended by security specialists to avoid cyber attacks.
Stay up to date
This not only means keeping your software current and changing your passwords often but also staying abreast of new ways hackers are using to infiltrate data networks. “White hat hackers” find and repair any gaps, which could leave you and your business vulnerable, before malevolent hackers can. Password management company SplashData releases an annual list of the worst passwords to have. Check and make sure yours isn’t one of them.
It’s inadvisable to have your entire bank of data available to everyone in the company. Trainees and third-party maintenance operatives in particular should be restricted from accessing sensitive data or networks.
Educate your staff…
Hackers are increasingly preying on “low status” employees such as receptionists, secretaries and interns – essentially, people the boss may not be thinking about but who do have the power to, however accidentally, open you up to more serious threats. Make sure the all staff have an understanding of how to keep themselves and the company secure, especially if they deal with emails. 91% of advanced cyber attacks begin with opening a phishing email.
…and your children
As well as lower level staff nefarious hackers are also looking to the children of wealthy business owners as a weak point in their security, particularly if they use social media. Ensure that your children understand how to use social media safely and not to publicly associate themselves with your business.
Make a back-up plan
Sometimes the unthinkable happens. Knowing how to recognise a cyber attack and what to do afterwards can make all the difference. Look out for unauthorised transactions, unwanted toolbars suddenly appearing in your browser or friends on social media receiving messages you didn’t send. Be aware that in many cases closing a browser window or clicking ‘cancel’ after opening a malware link does not do anything to stop the attack. Most importantly ensure that your data is regularly and safely backed up meaning it can be recovered if the worst should happen.
Text by: Alice Duncan