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What better time to gather around the campfire and share the frightening tales of poor cybersecurity practices and the terrifying situations that can result than Halloween? Since the dawn of the personal computer age, technology has become a totally natural part of the workplace environment, something people interact with every day. This casual comfort may come at a price: Employees might not realize that data breaches are a real, constant threat. It's time to scare them into better practices.
The following are just a few of the chilling anecdotes you can use this October to get your team in the Halloween spirit, and to hopefully inspire security attentiveness that will last well beyond the 31st.
One of the most prominent and insidious ways in which hackers attack companies today is through spear phishing attacks directed at individual employees. Rather than employing widespread mass emails targeting thousands of possible victims, spear phishing is based on messages carefully crafted to seem like they are coming from a friend or colleague. The hacker appears in a familiar guise, then escapes with valuable company information - now that's scary.
CSO magazine explained that hacking via spear phishing targets all sorts of employees. This means that even people without access to valuable financial accounts and personally identifiable data can become victims. The attackers gain whatever credentials they can from these trusting targets, then make their way ever further into the company's network, until they find something to steal. These relentless and crafty criminals are worth watching out for.
When cybercriminals find an idea for data theft that works, they establish themselves and become better at exploiting whatever weakness it involves. Making them stop stealing information, money and identities is never a matter of waiting it out. As long as there are ill-gotten gains to be had, the thieves will keep at their work. While it's true that defenses are becoming more sophisticated over time, there's never an excuse for becoming complacent about data loss.
The FBI recently released warnings about ever-growing security threats to mark National Cyber Security Awareness Month. The agency noted that criminals' scams to steal money through fake corporate emails have increased in volume. Since the beginning of January 2015, losses from this attack type have increased 1,300 percent. Thieves keep incorporating other kinds of attacks into their approach: Malware and spear phishing can crack open legitimate email credentials, which the attackers then use to extract money from tricked victims.
There is a perception of cyber security as a battle of inside against external threats. If you put a Halloween spin on it, it's similar to the humans locked inside as a scary horde of zombies batters down the doors. However, the scariest threat can often come from the inside. IT Pro Portal explained that either on purpose or by accident, there are ways that current and past employees can put their companies at risk.
Accidental record exposures have occured when employees aren't paying attention or following coporate policies. These accidents are far more common than true attacks by malicious insiders, but both kinds of threat are worth thinking about when designing practices and educating employees.
Fear can be a useful tool when it comes to keeping employees and company systems safe from identity theft and other cyber risks. But, in today's business technological climate, staying away from digital systems just isn't an option - despite the scary threat of hacking, employees have to venture into the creepy woods of online business.
Stay with Identity Guard Business Solutions to learn more about staying safe this October - and beyond!