Today, we as individuals and companies are exposed to cyber-attacks. These attacks are generally referred to as Cyber Fraud.
Cyber Fraud is a crime. “Cyber thieves” use information and communications technology to gain access to data with the intent of using it for fraudulent purposes.
Why should we worry about Cyber Fraud? Because the data in our computers/laptops or smart-phones is capable of being accessed by data thieves.
Whether it is a business or personal device these are the danger that we face on a daily basis:
· Bank account/passwords theft
· Copyright Theft
· Business system technology theft
· Personal Health Information theft
· Personal ID theft
Stolen data can also be used for stalking and bullying and terrorist attacks.
How is data accessed? Hacking and Phishing are the most common methods.
What is Hacking and Phishing? Hacking is gaining access to something you do not normally have access to. Phishing is pretending to be a trustworthy source to obtain sensitive information such as a username, password, credit card number, etc.
Victims of cyber fraud are often unaware that it is happening. The technology used by cyber criminals can gain access to a computer within minutes of us logging on to the Internet. This speed of access has apparently led to a person’s identity being stolen every three seconds in the USA.
When a business is attacked there can be severe repercussions - financial damage and damage to reputation can occur.
So, how can we protect ourselves?
Most of us use anti-virus software and Microsoft and Google have told us their technology is trying to detect malware and phishing sites. Unfortunately, when it comes to detecting phishing, training ourselves to recognise the suspicious “links”, suspicious e-mails or phone-calls/messages is the only method with any degree of certainty.
If your business stores any form of personal information, i.e. credit cards, driver licences, bank accounts we recommend a staff training programme aimed at recognising the signs of a phishing attack.
Detecting hacking can be more difficult and we do have to rely on our anti-virus software to help us here.
However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to make accessing data more difficult for a hacker.
Two step authentications is becoming an essential for all staff accessing sensitive information as is the need for frequent staff password changes.
Although this view may not be shared by all, it is possible that data stored in the cloud may not be as secure as within our own hardware or an offsite data storage facility. However, cloud security is rapidly improving, and each business should seek its own advice is this regard.
As individuals there are few methods of compensation available to us for a cyber-attack, but business can purchase Cyber Insurance.
If you believe your business is open to Cyber Fraud contact for further information.