How Vulnerable Is Your Business to Hackers?

hackersThe world is a very scary place; it always has been.  Risk has been a part of life for basically the entirety of human history.   Thieves and con artists have existed for thousands of years.  One is never entirely safe from harm for as long as he lives on this earth.  Though businesses have never been secure from external attack, in today’s fast-paced, digital world, they are more at risk than ever.  Hostiles can target one’s business from virtually (no pun intended) anywhere in the world.

Increased risk can arise from a variety of sources, but here are the five most prevalent factors that have increased the vulnerability of information resources: today’s interconnected, interdependent, wirelessly-networked business environment; smaller, faster, cheaper computers and storage devices; decreasing skills necessary to be a hacker; organized crime units, such as gangs or mafia, taking over cybercrime; and the lack of management support.

Computer hackers are after information.   With information, they can steal vast sums of money.  Hackers can access bank accounts, credit card numbers, and trick other people using only a little of your dentifying information.  Here is a basic list of virtual attacks that you should be aware of and prepared for:

  • Virus- a computer program that can replicate itself and spread from one computer to another.
  • Worm- a standalone malware computer program that replicates itself in order to spread to other computers. Often, it uses a computer network to spread itself, relying on security failures on the target computer to access it. Unlike a computer virus, it does not need to attach itself to an existing program. Worms almost always cause at least some harm to the network at large, whereas viruses usually only corrupt or modify files on a targeted computer.
  • Trojan horse- malware that masquerades as a legitimate file or helpful program for a nefarious purpose, such granting unauthorized access to a computer. Trojans do not attempt to inject themselves into other files like a computer virus. Trojan horses may steal information, or harm their host computer systems. The term is derived from the Trojan Horse story in Homer’s Iliad because Trojan horses present themselves as harmless, useful gifts, in order to persuade victims to install them on their computers.
  • Logic Bomb- a piece of code intentionally inserted into a software system that will set off a malicious function when specified conditions are met. For example, a programmer may hide a piece of code that starts deleting files at a predetermined time.  Software that is inherently malicious, such as viruses and worms, often contains logic bombs that execute a certain payload when some specified condition is met. This technique can be used by a virus or worm to gain momentum and spread before being noticed. Some viruses attack their host systems on specific dates, such as Friday the 13th or April Fool’s Day. Trojans that activate on certain dates are often called “time bombs“.  To be considered a logic bomb, the payload should be unwanted and unknown to the user of the software.
  • Phishing attacks- emails that request information from the user such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity.
  • Distributed denial-of-service attacks- an attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users. Although the means to carry out, motives for, and targets of a DoS attack may vary, it generally consists of the efforts of one or more people to temporarily or indefinitely interrupt or suspend services of a host connected to the Internet.  Essentially, what the hacker will do is try to bring down a company’s website by overloading the servers.

Document files are a high risk digital asset.  The information of your clients is one of your most valuable resources.  When a company is hacked by digital thieves, it loses much more than just information; it loses respect.  People trust your company with their personal information.  Do not let them down.  Hire Tarheel Imaging and Microfilming to take care of your informational assets.  If you are housing personal information on an online file sharer, you are incredibly vulnerable.  You need your physical documents secured in a protected warehouse with digital backups.  Tarheel Imaging has both the storage and the technology necessary to keep your data.  We will protect your clients’ information, no matter what form it is in.  In fact, we can transform your documents to whatever form you like.  Be safe: call us now.