Cyber-security might sound a bit dull, but for the business or professional user, it’s a big issue. Online criminals are just over your shoulder. One in ten of us was hit by online fraud last year. That means at least one of your close network – but they probably aren’t talking about it.
Online criminals are just over your shoulder
There are all sorts of ways hackers can cause trouble – from identity theft to blackmail – and no one ever thinks it will happen to them, until it does.
1. Data Theft
An increasingly common cyber-crime against businesses is data theft, where hackers steal the information you hold about your clients, suppliers or customers. You may think your business won’t be noticed because it’s small and/or local, but hackers see you as a soft target, for just that reason. And don’t forget – every business has a legal responsibility under the Computer Misuse Act [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1990/18/contents] to inform the authorities of any data theft. You commit an offence, and risk multiplying the financial impact – if you keep it to yourself and hope no one finds out.
2. Identity Theft
Identity theft is another big issue. There are outfits who can help you recover your identity, but it’s expensive, time consuming, and for many victims psychologically damaging. You feel violated, like being burgled. You’re furious but not sure who with, so you may turn your anger on yourself, lose confidence and turn inwards.
3. Cyber Ransom
Cyber-criminals even blackmail businesses nowadays; holding your information to ransom. The criminals get access to your network, encrypt your data, and demand money for the password – which more often than not won’t be given to you, even when the cyber-criminal has been paid.
Protect, protect, protect
So how to protect yourself from cyber criminals?
Physical security, short delay log-offs, long and meaningless passwords – there ain’t no way round them. Finger-print and iris recognition are coming, but it will still be years before they can do the whole job.
Password and restricted access may be a pain but they’re part of life. You should have a different password for every account you hold online, mixed numbers, letters and symbols with mixed upper and lower cases.
Perhaps you’re not the biggest business in the world, but for just that reason you may be a juicy target for an opportunistic hacker, who can cause far more damage to you and your business than a few forgotten passwords!
Of course, if you’d like to discuss your broadband and take advantage of our experience with protecting individuals, business and schools then feel free to give James or Linda a call on 01228 217171 or email me.