You would have to be living under a bridge with the local trolls to not be aware of the amount of fear many businesses have these days regarding hacking. It seems that every week brings us a new story of a big company, sometimes even a government institution, being hit by hackers and sometimes even demanding a ransom.
So how does the average business website make sure it is secure from these threats? We all know that it starts with finding and using one of the better payment gateway providers to secure your site. But beyond this it is also important to learn how to recognize an attack before it gets out of hand. Here are a few tactics these online criminals use and how to recognize and defuse them quickly.
Phishing and Related Attacks
This remains the most common form of attack, probably because it is so widespread and easy to launch. Most of the time it will come into your email inbox, looking like an email from someone you know. The difference is that it will be asking for private information from you, the kind that person or business would never ask.
It can also have a link in it that directs you to a site that when you follow it will open up your business to a malicious attack. That is because the act of clicking on the link will let in a dangerous virus to attack your system. The bottom line is, everyone in your business needs to know to never open this type of email. Let your IT department defuse the problem but never open anything at all out of the ordinary.
This is the new and unfortunately very successful hacking that we are seeing in the news more than ever these days. In this attack, malware will have been implanted in your system that will then encrypt your system and leave you unable to access it until you have paid a ransom.
The good news is that smart security specialists have so far been able to undo the damage. If you do not currently have a working relationship with a specialist in this area, the best defense is to have one in your virtual rolodex. When trouble hits, they are your best defense. Just don’t panic and pay the ransom, there are always solutions.
Stealing Your Identity
While identity theft has been a problem for a long time, well before the internet, it has grown with the proliferation of credit cards and the internet. Today most of the identity theft we see is from misuse of credit card information and can be traced almost always to an interaction with a credit card.
Obviously, the best defense against this would be to never use a credit card, but that would be pretty much impossible for any business. The next best defense would be to pay close attention to any charges you don’t identify immediately. Keep close tabs on all credit card accounts and the physical location of all cards. Only open cards you know you will use and watch for unusual traffic on your statements.