Cyber Security: Are You At Risk?

The short answer to the question posed in the title of this article is: yes, you are at risk.

The long answer is a bit more complicated.

Think of your data like a big pile of money – say, a hundred thousand dollars.

That’s no tiny sum. If you’re going to keep that kind of cash around, you better keep it secure. That’s where things like strongboxes, safes, and vaults. But even the highest security facility is still vulnerable to robberies, which is why banks are forced to continuously keep up to date with the latest innovations in security. It’s part of the cost of their business.

But no matter what banks do to improve their security, there are still bank robberies on a regular basis. Go to Google News and search for “bank robbery”, and there will probably be at least few results from within the last three days.

The more money there is in a specific location, the more enticing a target it becomes. And the same is true with data theft.

Why Would They Steal My Data?

If you’re a small business owner, you might be wondering why someone would bother stealing your data, or attacking you with a ransomware attack? After all, hackers would be better off targeting a much larger organization with much larger cash reserves. They stand to gain much more.

And that’s true in most cases. If we stick with our bank robbery analogy, you’d probably get a lot more from robbing a Bank of America bank than you would robbing a local credit union.

But here’s where our analogy breaks down. With a bank robbery, you need to physically be at a bank with a gun, a squad of criminals, and a getaway vehicle. With a cyber attack, you don’t need to be in any one place in particular.

If you want to send out a litany of phishing emails, you can hit a million people or more in one fell swoop. And you only need one of them to click your link and input their information to defraud someone out of their life savings, implant some ransomware on a computer system, or steal a swath of user data and credit card information.

This is why it’s a lot more than just big corporations that are at risk of cyber attacks.

Sure, a hacker will get more from attacking the systems of a big bank than they would a recent college grad with a boatload of debt and $67 in his account, but in the digital world there’s no either/or. A hacker could hit both in the same day, the same hour, even the exact same moment, and be no worse for wear.

How To Protect Yourself

So what can be done to protect you, the individual, from cyber security threats?

Part of it has to do with basic online literacy. Know how to recognize a phishing email, have an effective antivirus and antimalware strategy, and never give out your credit card information to a source that seems fishy.

Limiting the number of services to which you’ve given your personal information can help protect you from cyber security attacks as well. The next time Yahoo suffers from a hack and loses its users’ personal information, for example, you can only lose your information if you have a Yahoo account in the first place. And the more companies have your information, the more likely it is that they can lose your information.

For those that do have your information, be sure to keep tabs on whether they’ve recently experienced a hack. If they do their due diligence, they’ll inform you, but you can’t always rely on that.

If your information has been stolen, it’s important to know how to react appropriately. If your Tumblr account is compromised, for example, it may not be a major issue, but if you happened to be one of the many people whose social security numbers were leaked in the Equifax breach, you’ll have a larger issue.

In a future article, we’ll talk about what to do if you find your personal information was a part of a hack or has leaked.

Contact 1st Secure IT

If you run a business that retains the personal information of your customers, you can’t afford not to take your cyber security seriously.

Contact 1st Secure IT to find out how you can improve the security of your systems and reduce the risk of cyber attacks.

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but nobody wants to see their company’s name in media headlines right next to “data breach” or “cyber security attack”.

Contact 1st Secure IT to find out how to keep your company’s data safe and secure.

1st Secure IT

4613 N. University Drive #323
Coral Springs Florida
(866) 735-3369

Cyber Security Risk Management and Consulting Services | 1st Secure IT | When Compliance Is Not Enough

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Monday, 19 August 2019

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