Security breaches occur every day – whether hackers attack your servers to bring you down for the fun of it or they try to obtain sensitive data for monetary gains. These attacks can come in the form of malware, which can be malicious internet links or authentication breaches, not to mention phishing attacks, which are usually sent through fake emails. They all can catch non-profits and associations off guard without having a good IT support provider or IT department to protect you.
An online Android forum was recently hacked with over a million user accounts being compromised. Members of that Android forum are being encouraged to immediately change their passwords following last week’s serious breach.
The type of information that was compromised from the Android user’s database, included, at a minimum, such sensitive items as unique IDs, user names, emails, hashed and ‘salted” passwords, and registration IP addresses. The hack is reportedly an email harvesting attempt.
Hacking occurrences are no longer rarities. They have become common place to the point where there is usually a daily news item about these events in media outlets everywhere. Such unauthorized incidents result in user accounts, banks accounts, and confidential company data being stolen and compromised.
Yahoo.com, for example, was in the news last week as many of their accounts were hacked, with over 450,000 users affected. This clearly demonstrates the absolute necessity of organizations everywhere adopting stringent IT security measures, no matter what its size.
Most hackers try to leverage the weakest points in organizational networks, using tools such as phishing attacks. Eliminating compromised PCs or setting up permissions for users from wandering around the network looking for poorly protected data is easy when the network is segmented using internal firewalls.
“Organizations need to move security awareness out of the classroom and into users’ minds and desktops,” says, Chris Hadnagy, a Professional Social Engineer. His words echo an IT service provider’s dream when considering the chaos and anxiety resulting from a security breach in an organization or business.
A typical example of this unnecessary breach occurs when a senior executive in a large corporation, who is unfamiliar with his company’s IT support team staff, sees an email from an individual in IT ordering him to reset his password or else he will lose access to the network. Following instructions without further inquiry, the executive then clicks on the link. Boom! Malware has been spread throughout the network! Fake emails, texts, and phone messages, such as the one experienced by the senior executive described above, that appear to be real and get by anti-spam software and website filters are known as social engineering attacks or phishing attacks.
Anonymous has dominated news with taking down government agencies to large corporation websites. IT consultants are hired and companies end up spending expensive hourly rates just to get things up and running.
Not all organizations are lucky enough to have a large budgets to use on IT, especially since they don’t usually plan for such costs. They probably don’t even think about being hacked or losing vital company secrets.
The fact is that not everyone has an IT department to get them out of such bad luck or in general the malware and viruses that just lurk the internet and computers out there. It’s time to get smart and protect your infrastructure no matter how small you are. Trust me, Hackers are finding small businesses because they know they lack IT security and don’t have any systems in place, making them easy targets.
Edtechmagazine.com talks about some preventive actions to avoid a security breach: