In this day and age, technology is accelerating faster than most of us can keep up. For businesses, knowing how to not only how to utilize technology to its fullest extent, but to also protect yourself from cyber predators is a highly necessary tool to prevent attacks that compromise your system, and the loss that follows. Once a system is compromised, attackers can access and harvest data such as user credentials, and steal your data, emails, credentials, credit card information, and more. The clean-up that these issues would entail is difficult to estimate, but with responsibility and effort, it is preventable.
One of the new issues emerging now involves smart phones and tablets as a target for cyber attacks.
The latest: “New capabilities, such as Near Field Communication (NFC), will be on the rise in 2013 and will increase the opportunities for cyber criminals to exploit weaknesses. NFC allows smartphones to communicate with each other by simply touching another smart phone or being in close proximity to another smart phone with NFC capabilities or an NFC device. This technology is (also) being used for credit card purchases… Risks associated with using NFC include ‘eavesdropping’—through which the cyber criminal can intercept data transmission, such as credit card numbers—and transferring viruses or other malware from one NFC-enabled device to another.”
We want to not only be unafraid of technology threats, but embrace technology to the fullest, which is easy to do by following these Tips for 2013, from the Chief Information Security Officer, State of Texas:
•Enable encryption and password features on your smart phones and other mobile devices.
•Use strong passwords that combine upper and lower case letters, numbers, and special characters, and do not share them with anyone. Use a separate password for every account. In particular, do not use the same password for your work account on any other system.
•Disable wireless, Bluetooth, and NFC when not in use.
•Properly configure and patch operating systems, browsers, and other software programs. Do this not only on workstations and servers but mobile devices as well.
•Use and regularly update firewalls, anti-virus, and anti-spyware programs.
•Do not use your work email address as a User Name on non-work related sites or systems.
•Be cautious regarding all communications; think before you click. Use common sense when communicating with users you DO and DO NOT know. Do not open email or related attachments from untrusted sources.
•Don’t reveal too much information about yourself online. Depending on the information you reveal, you could become the target of identity or property theft.
•Be careful who you communicate with or provide information to on social media sites. Those friends or games might be looking to steal your information.
Have you been affected by cyber attackers? Tell us your story! Krapp@rem4.net