It is becoming harder and harder for the IT community to keep up with threats that are emerging at an ever-increasing rate from hackers and other cyber criminals. From online extortion via ransomware to the theft of personal photos in the cloud, security is struggling to keep the criminals at bay.
Keeping employees aware of risks is one of the most important aspects of keeping businesses and organizations safe from hacks and phishing attempts. If employees aren’t aware of what to look for then they might be more susceptible to falling for a scam or phishing attempt. These days phishing attempts are much more “customized” to the targets, and can be a lot harder to spot than in years past when the usual phishing attempts were those “Nigerian prince” emails.
However, an interesting study has just been done that shows that students that have greater knowledge of phishing were more likely to click on phishing links. The researchers at UMBC have no explanation for this finding as of right now, and this is the only experiment of its kind so it’s inconclusive of anything. But it does point out that even if your employees say they know what phishing attacks are and what to watch out for, it’s a good idea to ensure that they have a refresher course.
Phone scams are another thing to coach employees about — in a recent Krebs On Security article it was shown that even experienced tech writers and those who you’d think should know better can fall for these elaborate schemes. The issue at hand is that many times these scammers have part of your information, making them sound much more convincing over the phone as a bank agent or other type of agent.
It’s crucial that your business or organization has a backup and disaster plan in place in the event of a data breach or a catastrophic hardware failure. Many organizations leave this kind of thing to last, and continually put it off. However, hardware failures can and do happen, and it’s unavoidable. The best time to have a backup strategy in place was yesterday. However, getting it in place as soon as possible is crucial if you don’t have one. Many companies that get wiped out by ransomware attacks could have avoided much of the damages if they had an off-site backup plan in place.
If your organization is tight on staff, then hiring a managed IT company can be a great solution to help ensure that you have all of your technological ducks in a row. We talked with San Diego based IT solutions company AMA Networks about the most important things a company needs, technologically speaking, and the answer was a proper backup system. This was even before heightened security, the reason being that security is never foolproof, but a well-designed backup system is almost 100% reliable.
If you aren’t sure if your company’s backup and disaster plan is up to par, then consult your in-house IT staff or consult with a third party IT company that can help you set one up. The cost of doing so is much, much less than getting caught without!