World Password Day is May 3rd, so this is a perfect time to examine your cybersecurity strategy. What makes your business vulnerable? Hackers have many tactics they can use to infiltrate your network, and small to medium-sized companies are often the easiest to hack. Here are four ways hackers steal data:
1) The Guessing Game: Passwords and PINs
Passwords and PINs are meant to protect you, but could they actually be putting you at risk? We all know that we need to change our passwords frequently, and avoid using common or obvious phrases and keywords. Today, features like Touch ID and facial recognition are useful because the user does not have to remember a complex password, and the hacker has greater difficulty stealing that complex data. Many of our passwords are simply too easy to guess. Some of the contents of our most common passwords, like a maiden name or birthday, are easily exposed during data breaches. Other hints can be found on our public social media profiles. For example, does your employee’s Instagram account have a picture of his or her dog with the name mentioned in the caption? Now the hacker knows to try different variations of the pet’s name. Complex passwords and two-factor authentication are good defenses against these guessing games but are no guarantee.
2) The Digital Disguise: Phishing Attacks
In phishing and spear phishing attacks, users in your network receive communications like emails or page redirects, which are designed to look like trusted organizations. These methods are known for tricking users into giving up sensitive information like credit card details or social security numbers. Hackers even create falsified login pages that look like banking institutions or other trusted organizations. Once a user has inputted a password into one of these false login pages, other accounts may become vulnerable because of the tendency to reuse passwords. These attacks typically rely on creating a sense of urgency, oftentimes by tricking victims into thinking an account has been compromised and immediate action must be taken, in order to recover the account.
3) Imposter Syndrome: Social Engineering
Hackers are using social engineering tactics to further exploit the tried and true human error. Have you ever heard of the Tech Support Scam? This is a common attack in which a caller poses as someone from Microsoft Tech Support and convinces the recipient to grant remote access to their device. Posing as someone from a trusted organization, the caller acts concerned and sympathetic about the user’s cybersecurity issues, building on the false trust they gained through name recognition to infiltrate their device or network. Social engineering tactics are not limited to remote attacks; they can even include a physical infiltration of an organization’s IT infrastructure. In this scenario, someone may come to the office and pose as an external IT partner there to perform maintenance.
4) Personal Problems: Human Error
The overarching theme of each hacking tactic outlined here is a strong reliance on human error. Even with well-trained and well-meaning staff, mistakes are inevitable. These days, as your employees get smarter, unfortunately so do the hackers. The hacking arsenal continues to grow more sophisticated, and it can be challenging to keep up with the latest tricks. That’s where Managed Services Providers, or MSPs, come in.
Outsourcing your cybersecurity operation to an MSP makes great business sense. While most small organizations do not have the resources to build sophisticated IT security systems, Integritek has the scale and expertise to protect your operations and sensitive data. We also offer best-in-class cybersecurity protection because your IT infrastructure is too important to settle for less. By partnering with us, you will have trusted experts in your corner if disaster strikes. Contact Integritek today and be ready for whatever hacking tactics come your way.