Are you concerned about hackers breaking into your company’s computer systems or gaining access to your business bank account, or worst still taking over your identity and then borrowing large loans in your name? How to protect my business from hackers
Or more commonly, concerned about email accounts being accessed and all your personal emails duplicated and sent to a malicious hacker
or hackers trashing the company website?
You’re not alone.
Hackers are becoming more sophisticated and persistent, and they’re targeting businesses of all sizes.
We’ve all heard about the Optus and Medibank hacking, these are huge, you hear about these disasters since they affect so many individuals and they’re popular public companies, but there are plenty of smaller businesses being hacked on a daily basis that aren’t heard about.
Smaller entities when hacked don’t reveal to the public.
They are usually easier targets as they just don’t have the same resources as the larger firms and just go unnoticed by the general public. But it does happen.
Personally, In the last 1 year, I’ve seen firsthand and helped more and more Business owners with their Websites being deleted due to outdated software or malicious code being inserted on computers or virus issues, identity theft, fraudulent GST, etc etc … And we’re not even a security company.
It’s a major headache when a hacker has stolen your identity and taken out a $500k loan in your name. Large sums like this end up in court with you trying to convince the judge that it wasn’t you.
Honestly, I think Australia is being targeted more and more these days as we’re seen as an easy target and easy money to be made by the underground community.
Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your company from these threats.
So, how to protect my business from hackers?
Here are 10 practical ways to help protect your business from Hackers:
Keep ALL your software up to date to prevent intrusion through vulnerable software.
One of the most important things you can do to keep your computer secure is to make sure your software is up to date. Software updates often include security fixes that can help protect your computer from malware and other threats. So be sure to install updates as soon as they become available.
You also need to make sure everyone on your network is secure, as other devices can affect you too!
It’s important to keep all devices in your office or household up to date in order to close vulnerabilities. This includes your PC, and computers belonging to your staff or family members.
By keeping everyone’s computers updated, you can help protect your home or office network from potential attacks.
Furthermore, mobile phone updates shouldn’t be forgotten either. They can provide new features along with improving security. Remember to keep your mobile phone secure with the latest software updates.
This will help protect your device from any potential threats.
It’s also worth mentioning if your business has a website, you need to make sure it is secure. There have been cases of hackers breaking into company websites and stealing data or destroying information.
This can be a serious problem for your business, so it is important to take steps to protect your website. You can do this by using a strong password, keeping your software up to date, and using security features like two-factor authentication.
At Hype Studio we have measures in place on our servers for our hosting customers, detecting 100’s malicious attacks and blocking them daily.
However, if your website has an outdated WordPress plugin that is known to have a vulnerability there’s nothing we can do to prevent hackers from gaining access to your website. It’s a common occurrence we see, hacked and destroyed sites or worst identity theft or important personal emails duplicated and sent to the hacker’s email.
Computers, Websites and phone apps are constantly being updated with new features, security patches, and other improvements. While it can be annoying to have to constantly update your devices and apps, it’s important to do so in order to keep your and your client’s data secure.
Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to prevent hackers from using brute-force password guessing.
One of the best things you can do to protect your data is to use strong passwords.
A strong password is one that is at least 10 characters long, contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols, and is not easily guessed.
You should also consider using multi-factor authentication (MFA) for additional protection where available. MFA requires you to provide two or more pieces of evidence to verify your identity before being able to access an account.
This can include something you know (like a password), something you have (like a security token), or something you are (like your fingerprint). By using both strong passwords and MFA, you can significantly reduce the risk of your accounts being compromised.
Also, It’s important to never use the same password for all your logins, as this can make it easier for hackers to gain access to all your accounts.
Instead, use a different password for each account, and banking passwords should be different to computer login credentials and also different from social media passwords.
Don’t use Password123. To help keep track of all your passwords, we suggest using a password manager, which will store and encrypt every password you have.
Change your modem/router’s name (SSID) to something obscure. For example: netgear CM2000 Wi-Fi – makes it obvious to hackers the type of modem your using and any vulnerabilities it may have. You should also update your Wi-Fi’s password, making it something difficult.
Train your employees in cybersecurity awareness. Educate on the basics on how to protect their environment in the office.
In order to protect your company from a cyber attack, it is important to train your employees in cybersecurity awareness.
By teaching your employees how to identify potential threats and how to report suspicious activity, you can help to keep your company safe. In addition, regular training on cybersecurity best practices can help to keep your employees up-to-date on the latest threats.
Hackers can you all sorts of methods to gain access to your networks, For example I heard recently, the NSW police department was hacked from the inside as a hacker left a USB stick with a virus.
A curious staff member plugged the USB stick into their work PC and that’s all it took for the hacker to gain access to the internal network.
Implementing security policies and procedures against hackers is another way to protect my business from hackers.
In order to ensure the security of your company and your employees, you should implement security policies and procedures.
This will help to deter potential security threats and protect your company assets. Security policies and procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated to ensure that they are effective and up-to-date.
Discuss Scams and phishing with your staff.
If it’s too good to be true or you’re not quite sure, then better to be safe than sorry. Delete it. Make sure all staff are advised to delete unknown offers, deals etc that arrive via email.
If they want to open such emails, they should copy the link (not forwarded by email) and take it home.
Forwarding spam or malicious emails to their personal Gmail can get your work email/domain flagged by Google for sending unscrupulous material and future emails sent from your business email will land in spam folders.
Your IP address can get blacklisted, which will affect the deliverability of all emails from the company domain.
Conduct regular security audits, and outsource ethical hackers to run audits.
Conducting regular security audits is an important part of maintaining a secure environment. By auditing your security regularly, you can identify potential weaknesses and take steps to correct them.
This helps to ensure that your security is up-to-date and effective.
I mean audits don’t need to be complex, professional systems, it can be a simple check over your data.
For example, check your social media privacy settings to make sure your personal details stay private. Scammers can use information that both you and your friends/family share on social media.
Invest in security tools and technologies to reduce the chance of hackers gaining access to office computers.
As the world becomes increasingly digital, businesses must do everything they can to protect themselves from online threats.
One way to do this is to invest in security tools and technologies. By staying up-to-date on the latest security measures, businesses can make it much harder for hackers to gain access to their systems. In addition, investing in security can also help businesses to recover more quickly from attacks that do manage to get through.
How to protect my business from hackers? Make Use of virus cleaners and firewalls. Here at Hype, we use Macs, as we find them less susceptible to viruses and malicious code compared to PCs
Moreover, take a look at companies like Equifax to Reduce the chances of identity theft
Partner with a managed security service provider for your business.
If you want to ensure that your business is as secure as possible, then partnering with a managed security service provider is a great idea.
These providers specialise in keeping businesses safe from cyberattacks, and they can help you create a comprehensive security plan that will protect your data and systems.
If you are very serious about office security and your data, have the IT contractors do Penetration tests to audit your computer network and systems
Educate yourself, stay up to date and be vigilant on cybersecurity threats and latest hacker news
To stay safe online, it is important to educate yourself about the latest cybersecurity threats.
Be sure to keep your software and antivirus programs up to date, and be vigilant about clicking on links or opening email attachments from unknown sources.
By being aware of the risks and taking steps to protect yourself, you can help keep your online experience safe and secure.
I’m sure you have seen many scam emails that look like they’re from the original company, trying to get you to click through to their own malicious website. Make a habit, don’t click on any email links. Instead, visit the company website directly and log in from there.
I’d like to mention 2 important tactics scammers use
When doing a Google search for a company, don’t assume the top listed company is the actual company.
They could be a scammer with ads similar to the real company. Although Google works hard to reduce this.
Here’s an example, Scammers ran Google ads that came up for people searching for Facebook, when clicked on the ad visitors were taken to a fake Facebook website with the same branding where the scammers collected passwords from the visitors.
So make sure you’re on the right website.
Also, For example, recently, a friend working in cyber security at NSW Health was almost duped into giving the details of a person he had just been in a car accident with. The scammers this time acted like Budget Direct insurance.
He had searched on Google for his insurance company Budget Direct to get their number and clicked on the first ad. The first ad was a fake Budget direct company website. The scammers answered and asked a series of questions to gather data.
While speaking on the phone to the scammers, my friend got tipped off by the local tow truck company driver who was at the scene, at the last minute, before handing over valuable information that actually belonged to the other driver. In this case, the target was the other driver where driver details are exchanged.
Scammers don’t have morals, they’ll take advantage of any situation.
You may not always be in a vigilant state of mind, but if you put into practice, good habits in the way you browse, click on links etc, there’s less chance of being caught out.
Be prepared for a breach. You may not be able to protect your business from hackers
If they can hack a cybersecurity conference, there’s always the possibility of a breach.
Be prepared. Make sure you have a good plan, documentation and the right people around you, so that if a breach occurs to quickly recover from the disruption.
Earlier this year, a meticulous relative explained to me, he had his business identity stolen.
The scammers got a GST refund in his name. He was notified by the ATO after lodging his BAS. His account was locked by the ATO which prevented him from doing any tax work.
He had a good accountant which reduced the stress, took care of the situation, and was able to prove it wasn’t the relative that scammed the ATO.
Every situation is different but having a backup plan (or backup person, company etc) to get you out of trouble is paramount for a business to continue running smoothly during or after a breach.
Have an incident response plan in place for your data and communication.
When a data breach occurs, it is absolutely essential to have a disaster recovery plan in place. This plan should include backups of all important data so that if it is deleted, the business can still continue.
Data backup doesn’t have to be complex, even an external drive sitting on your desk saving daily backups is better than nothing.
Without a disaster recovery plan, a data breach could completely destroy a business.
It’s important to have an incident response plan in place in case of a security breach.
This plan should include steps for identifying and containing the breach, as well as steps for mitigating the impact and restoring normal operations.
Having a plan in place ahead of time will help ensure a quick and effective response in the event of an incident.
- Identify the scope of the incident and contain the breach
- Gather evidence and assess the impact of the incident
- Determine the root cause of the incident
- Develop a plan to mitigate the impact and restore normal operations
- Communicate the incident response plan to all relevant parties
There’s so much to cover, however its not possible to discuss it all in a blog. Cyber security can be overwhelming, you may feel helpless but don’t let hackers easily take your business hostage.
Every step makes a difference, Start small, one step at a time, Implement these simple practical tips to protect your company, yourself, your staff and your clients from hackers starting today.
When it comes to your cyber-security, be safe, smart and cautious. We’re all in this together.
If you think you may have been a victim of hacking, or if your business is at risk and you need help with protection, contact us.