Social Engineering

Human Vulnerabilities: Don’t Be a Victim!

The advances to technology which make our lives simpler in return make our lives more difficult, creating the ultimate paradox. Every year nearly 43% of companies experience a data breach (Global Knowledge). With such a high possibility of an attack at any given moment, it is imperative to implement the best level of security to meet your organization’s needs. Advances in technology cannot be who’s to blame, humans have been proven to be the top link when it comes to vulnerability in sensitive data. How is this the case? Humans make the choice whether to shop on an unsecure, public WI-FI or email sensitive data such as social security numbers. Human also make a conscious decision when choosing to upgrade their technological devices to the latest security software, or not.

There is no need to feel bad, EVERYONE has done wrong at some point in their life. The way to better protect your personal data in the future is to be fully aware of the risk factors. The following displays two types of everyday activities where sensitive data can be at risk:

Checking Emails and Instant Messengers

With the use of emails and instant messengers in the business world dramatically increasing since they first came into existence, both forms of communication are at risk for a potential data breach.

What’s the Risk?

Most business transactions are conducted via emails. With that being said, think about what information is obtained in order for a business transaction to occur. Sensitive data such as credit card numbers, addresses, and social security numbers sent via email can easily end up in the wrong hands and wreak havoc. Skilled hackers are now able to practice Phishing Attacks where fraudulent emails and copies of what appears to be legitimate websites are used to obtain private data from a user’s computers. These phishing attacks can also be used to drop malware onto a user’s computer making it possible for hackers to view your hard drive. As far as Instant Messenger, this form of direct communication is often used for employees to easily communicate while in or out of the office. For Example, sending sensitive organizational data such as passwords without coding them first can be risky. While IMing, it is best to always think about what is being sent and if it is sensitive data before hitting “Send”.

Realizing Something is Phishy

Being aware of potenial malware is not easy task. Especially when data breaches can occur at any time if the proper protective tools are not in place. In an effort to gain a better understanding on what phishing is, here are three different types of phishing attacks and how they are used:

  1. Smishing: Via SMS text messaging by prompting to click on a link or make a call
  2. Spearphishing: A targeted attack pertaining to a group that has been studied for some time
  3. Whaling: This type of attack usually are specifically aimed towards executives. Information is acquired via research or a successful spearphishing attack on the executive’s colleagues.

In an effort to prevent phishing attacks, preforming Malware Scans can help spot potential vulunerabilities before malicious software harms you. Visit Secure128 to learn what Malware is and how Anti-Malware Scans can help protect you.

Remote Working

Thanks to modern day technology and the invention WI-FI, it is now easier than ever to physically work anywhere. The days of being confined to your office or even your home are officially over. Although this freedom is ultimately positive, there are unfortunately some things one must consider before working remotely.

Wi-Fi Access

Almost everywhere in the world (including fast food restaurants) has free, public WI-FI for consumer’s convenience. Sounds like a pretty good thing, the ability to surf the web while shopping…WRONG! Trained hackers rejoice when they see “Free WI-FI” signs. Why? Because they are able to invade into the devices of anyone who connects. If working remotely and dealing with sensitive customer data, this can be detrimental to an organization. Even WI-FI that requires a password can pose as a threat for your device. Be sure to always check to see if the Wi-Fi you are connecting to is secure and only visit sites secured with a SSL Certificate. You can find this information by looking within the browser. If the browser is highlighted in green, that means the site is using an extended validated certificate which is the highest level of SSL security and is highly perfered. Domain and organization validated certificates will not make the browser change color but they are also used to secure domains.

Hacker Repellant

The best way to work remotely is to use a portable WI-FI device. That way you can control who joins your network, keeping hackers in their place!

While working remotely, the safest place is to work from home where you have secured WI-FI connection. If that option is not possible and you find yourself working on-the-go, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. Be aware to be certain no one is looking over your shoulder or reading your computer screen if you are dealing with sensitive customer data. It is best to always sit against a wall so no one can sit behind you and distance yourself enough from neighbors sitting next to you.

Make Vulnerabilities a Thing of the Past

If nothing else was taken from this article today I want ONE thing to resonate in your mind, ALWAYS BE AWARE! Whether online at home or in a public place, trained hackers are always looking for ways in infiltrate your system. Don’t make it easy for them while carrying out daily routines. Taking the extra effort to ensure you are practicing safe internet behaviors can keep you from being a hacker’s the next victim.

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Global Knowledge Training LLC (2015)

#Vulnerabilities  #Phishing-Attacks  #Remote-Working  #Email-Hacking
#Spearphishing  #Smishing  #Whaling
#Risk-in-Instant-Messengers  #Dont-Be-a-Victim