Over the past year we have seen an increased awareness from clients regarding internet security and cyber-crime. This is mainly due to security breaches on social media and other platforms making headlines. Based on this awareness we have heard a number of questions like How safe is my network, or Can we be hacked.
Our answer to this is If a bank can be hacked, so can you.
It is also important to understand that an intrusion or attack on your network is not necessarily to gain access to your information, but sometimes to gain access to resources for a larger orchestrated crime (one that you might not even be aware of).
So the question is how do you stop this? Unfortunately there is no way to stop it, but you can implement some steps to avoid it:
- Always ensure that Windows or MAC systems are up to date with the latest software & security updates.
- Make sure that you have a reliable and updated Anti-Virus on your system, preferably not a free one.
- Always keep your JAVA client updated.
- Make sure your Windows firewall is active and on.
- It is best practice and in most cases a necessity to have a network firewall, while these devices are expensive, they are a great investment for the security of your network.
- Make sure you are aware of all the applications installed on your computer and avoid applications that you are not familiar with.
- Be careful when using 3rd party services like Dropbox, Skydrive, Google Drive etc.
- Avoid using Peer to Peer clients or Torrents to download music, videos and software. Not only is this in most instances illegal, but it often leaves back doors open on your system that hackers can exploit.
- When receiving a random link via email, Skype, MSN or any other trusted source, DO NOT just open it. First ask the sender what it is, 99% of the time it is a virus and the sender will not be aware that they sent you anything. The moment you click on it, your system will be compromised and could become infected.
While most of the above implementations appear to be relatively easy to deploy, we strongly recommended that you speak to your preferred IT partner before taking action yourself as some of the changes, if done incorrectly, could cause damage to your system.