Hackers are not Unicorns

Hackers are real. And you don’t want to find that out the hard way.

In today’s world, we’ve become very familiar with the term “hacking.” It’s a subject of movies and TV, it’s a frequent news topic, and it’s why we get regular updates for our devices. However, even with these reminders we seem to think of hacking as something that affects others but not us, like leprosy or enjoying K-pop. We fail to grasp that the danger is real and prevalent. Even more importantly, we underestimate how easy it is for a hacker to destroy our lives. A skilled hacker can gain the info they need to fully impersonate someone digitally in a matter of minutes. And, if proper precautions aren’t taken, it can leave you penniless and homeless.

Want to see how easy it is? Follow a journalist at DefCon, the annual hackers conference, as he asks someone to see if they can hack him…

If that video doesn’t worry you, think about this: one hacker can do a world of damage to you personally. Imagine if a few of them turn their attention to your company.

A hacker with pretty good skills can breach your organization’s: 

  • Email accounts
  • Hardware and software programs
  • Operating systems
  • Social media accounts and website

Any one of those things could mean a combination of downtime, loss of revenue, loss of customers, embezzlement, fines and rebuilding your data from scratch. 

Now, this isn’t meant to convince you to revert your business back to analog, with paper files, cash only payments and communication via smoke signals. But it does mean you need to put some time and effort into a cybersecurity strategy that looks intently at the ways you could be breached. Here are a few questions to ask yourself: 

  • Are your devices patched and up to date? Is it done manually or automatically? 
  • Do you have a backup? When was the last time it was tested? 
  • How old is your password? What about your staff’s passwords? 
  • Do you have multi-factor authentication turned on?
  • Do you have 3rdparty email filtering?
  • When was the last cybersecurity awareness training you had with staff? 

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you’re not alone. It’s also why it’s highly recommended that you get an audit from a 3rdparty to identify what they see as your system’s vulnerabilities. Industry experts tell us there are only two types of companies: those that have been breached and know about it and those that have been breached and don’t know it yet.

Hacking is a real threat. But recognizing it could happen to you is the first step to protect against the attacks, detect when they happen, and respond quickly to keep your business running.

For the full video of getting hacked at DefCon, click here.