The two famous and highly read newspapers “The New York Times” and the “Wall Street Journal” have recently claimed to be a victim of cyber attacks from the Chinese government. In addition, both of the entities agreed with the security analyst predictions and F.B.I concerns who deducted spying, and other security attacks will try to touch the sky later in this year.
Many small websites/businesses presume to be safe and hence avoid taking appropriate security measures. The working of company and with whom they work are considered the main reasons, which make your business vulnerable to foreign cyber attacks.
One of the experts hired by the New York Times, Richard Bejtlich, said that according to the factors mentioned above a few companies is at higher risk for cyber attacks however it is recommended for everyone to be secure. Companies included in the most vulnerable list are ones, which stand against Chinese namely: telecommunications, aerospace, advanced manufacturing, finance, energy and others.
List gets broader as it includes law firms, non-governmental organizations, think tanks and news media that have Chinese foreign policy issues in limelight like human rights or the South China Sea.
Sometimes small businesses act as bridge for the attackers aiming for the larger organizations. In 2009, Chinese hackers stole all the blueprints of the U.S joint strike fighter planes, the F-35 and F-22. It was almost beyond the scope for anyone to break the Lockheed Martin’s security system but Chinese hackers succeeded in their motto by targeting smaller entrepreneurs and captured assets worth more than a trillion dollars.
Bejtlich stated that small businesses may not be the main targets sometimes instead they are used as entrance. Also he said that rather than thinking that why would someone attack my company one should think that “Does my business have good contacts with a company prone to get attacked”.
Max Kelly, former chief security officer at the Facebook and currently CEO of Leesburg, Va-based Praxis Security, providing computer security services, affirm that any individual, any business or any entity associated with the Internet is prone to security attacks.
Following are some tips that will help you prevent cyber attacks:
- Apply encryption
Encryption ensures the security of the information by making the use of ciphers and cryptography. From data to devices, encryption can help you keep a safer distance from the hackers.
- Teach the employees regarding the in-going threats
Phishing has become the most common type of attack which not only steal your credentials buy also corrupts your networks and businesses. They often can be found in the e-mail messages, which ask to click on the link, which further inserts some sort of malicious code into the system. Training employees regarding the risks associated with such links and doubtful e-mails can protect against threats. Also they should be warned regarding the download of the mobile apps. Apps can consist of malwares. Companies like Appthority help guide about the relevant apps which can be downloaded or are risk-free. It charges $1.50 per month for a user.
- Keep an eye on your network
Being an owner of the business one should have the idea regarding the processes and other stuffs going on in the network. As soon as you notice some funny business or suspicious activity going on, you should be capable of tracking them down and taking appropriate actions to eradicate in order to prevent being victim of some serious cyber crime. Also you can recruit a security expert for keeping an eye on your network, says Kelly.If you are running out of budget in hiring a security expert then open softwares such as Security Onion can come to help. You just need to install it on the extra server and it will track all the activities on-going on the network. Even though you may not be sound in security or technical aspects, if you find something fishy like unusual balance deduction or dysfunctions of some of the functions you can immediately report to the Security Onion.
- Protect the bank accounts
Always make use of multilevel authentication in order to log into you bank’s account, if the banks allows so. This will build an extra wall of may be a virtual token or a phone confirmation along with the password, preventing it from impersonating.FDIC suggests using a different computer for online banking.
- Securing the devices while on traveling
Some of the countries are too risky to leave the computers unguarded. Kelly also suggests building a different computer used only for traveling purpose. Never store important data in that computer also clean it after you return to your homeland. Many a times there prevails a risk in using Smartphones in risky countries as they can insert malicious soft-wares and hence can keep a track of all your phones. Instead buy a phone for time being and then dispose it after use.
Have you ever faced any security issues? kindly share by comment !
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