The topic of cyber security is a hot one and can often get muddled with the big stories that hit the headlines but lack a practical guidance on how to take precaution as an individual and business. Here at All Mountain Technologies, we provide outsourced IT for our partners with the hope that their business is safeguarded by backups, updates, and security systems that not only keep business running at an optimized rate but also provide barriers to an attack on sensitive data. It is no mystery that many businesses today are experiencing the grievances of attacks on their systems. Below is a brief but helpful review of the most common types of cyber attacks and why it's important to safeguard you and your business' systems.
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts private data and holds it ransom at a cost to the data owner, lest it be published or lost. This is now the most common form of virus attack by encrypting all the data available before it lets you know that it's there. Once data and sensitive information it is encrypted is nearly impossible to retrieve it without paying the required ransom.
Phishing is the process of attack by searching for sensitive information making it vulnerable for malicious reasons. This often happens by the attacker posing as a known or reputable source with the intent of gaining personal information that can then be used or stolen. These attackers seek sensitive information such as login credentials, bank numbers, or any personal info that may convince others that they represent you or someone in relation to you.
Whaling, similar to phishing, is the process of obtaining sensitive information from individuals with access to larger "fish" which could be an employee with access to private information to steal from the larger company, etc.
Attackers find ways to access this sensitive information through email in the form of spam or infected messages, unprotected internet connections, and overall unprotected and vulnerable environments.
Why is back-up important?
Back-up and Anti-Virus systems allow your sensitive information to be protected in the case that files are jeopardized by malware or unforeseen accidents.
How could a security issue affect my business?
Phishing attacks can lead directly to money or sensitive data being stolen. Ransomware may prevent you from ever seeing your data again.
How can I better protect myself and my business? Protection requires more than anti-virus software. Employees need to be trained to spot phishing attempts as well as secure email, password, and document handling habits. Networks should be evaluated for security as well as resiliency in the case of an attack. Backup plans should be robust enough to survive data encryption.
How amt can help? All Mountain Technologies offers educational opportunities for our Always-On™ clients as it is important that companies train their employees to notice the warnings signs of a possible attack or breach on sensitive information. We help secure our partner's environment to prevent attacks from ever happening.
In other news, Wired reported on how a new app will help individuals encrypt their photographs for increased privacy. It is no secret that as technology becomes more advance, so must our systems and technological framework to better suit our personal and professional lifestyle, efficiency, and overall safety.
co-written by Andy Parker and Kendra Smith of All Mountain Tech