From mobile phones to home computers to office workstations and industrial systems, technology is quickly evolving. This has brought endless possibilities for everyone to excel, including hackers.
To protect your devices from digital harm, you need to understand what’s at stake and how attacks happen. Here are a few details covering cybersecurity threats for home, business, industrial, and government technology.
Cybersecurity is a wide range of high-tech fixes and low-tech mistakes. The tech world knows enough to avoid a lot of common problems, but it doesn’t matter if you’re not a part of the tech world.
First, understand that nothing is unhackable. There are many excellent ways to patch up a system and protect it from sophisticated attacks that would make non-technicians gasp in amazement (or fall asleep during the explanation), but it can all be undone.
Defending Against Phishing
Phishing is one of the more successful, low-tech ways to circumvent any technology. The concept is simple; instead of learning some complicated code to break into a robust security system, trick someone into letting you in.
The most common forms of phishing involve sending fake files/attachments on emails and relying on someone to open the email. It still happens, and training is needed to reduce email/attachment phishing incidents.
It’s not a young versus old issue; there’s a lot of psychology that could be discussed, but members of younger generations still have people who are inexperienced or merely uncaring when it comes to technology.
Some people don’t know or care about the risks until something terrible happens. Antivirus systems and security scans can defend against some problems, but a better company security culture does a better job.
Bad Browsing Habits
Along with opening risky files in emails, how freely do people in your household or business use the internet? While home users may need freedom to browse as they please, companies need to put careful thought into their internet use policies.
The problem is decades old: many professions need the internet for research, resources, or other parts of the job. You can’t restrict every bad website individually because new sites appear daily, and basic firewalls may block needed resources.
The key is nuance. Firewalls and web filters only work as well as they’re designed, so having a team that can advise and edit your security policies will help unlock blocked resources while keeping the bad areas at bay.
Piracy? Not in the Office!
Don’t avoid the topic. Some people pirate games, videos, music, and software. This isn’t condoning anything, but ignorance about the subject is a weakness.
For most businesses, it’s best to simply keep piracy out of the workplace. There’s no reason to use illegal filesharing services in a workplace setting because many sites and services have malware traps that could lock down the entire business.
Any files procured through any manner should be scanned for threats and installed correctly. If you need help with keeping a legitimate business and keeping a clean network, a risk and compliance professional can help.
Physical Security Policies
Some businesses allow personally-owned computers, storage drives, discs, and mobile devices to connect to business devices and networks.
That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s another possible path for attacks. Attack vectors—places where systems can be attacked—get bigger with every device.
Your business needs a documented policy about bringing external devices to the work network. Devices need to be scanned, period. While there are privacy concerns, tech compliance may be a bigger headache than arguing with an employee about their laptop.
Taking Control of Wireless Systems
Wireless connectivity creates a massive set of attack vectors, but it’s necessary in many businesses.
While physical ports can be physically closed off and you can potentially see or track an intruder who sits at a computer, wireless signals can be hacked or accessed from long-distance, hidden areas.
The technology behind Wi-Fi, CDMA, GSM, BlueTooth, infrared, and many other wireless methods require easy access to a receiver. The security happens after the receiver.
This means you need reliable security after the receiver—at the endpoint—and clear distance limits so that you know how close an intruder needs to hide or place their devices.
How to Protect Against Attacks
For most of these risks, you can train employees on proper technology behaviors. But training isn’t a secure enough measure to protect against attacks. As best practice, you should install security software.
There are different types of protection programs, from antivirus to ransomware protection to endpoint security software. While the first two are self-explanatory, endpoint security software is more complicated.
What is endpoint security? For starters, an endpoint is any end-user device connected to a network. It doesn’t have to be a computer; hackers could connect to a smart security camera, smart speaker, a network-connected printer, or any Internet of Things (IoT) device.
Endpoint security is protection for those devices. The difference between this and antivirus or ransomware is endpoint security programs protect against all types of threats, not one specific branch.
Especially with IoT use and IoT compromises growing, you need to be aggressive with endpoint security. Contact a cybersecurity and system protection expert today to discuss better security for your tech needs.