An increasingly digital world makes it all the more important to ensure that your data is secure in the event of a breach. A security breach can occur from any number of factors. Hackers may break into your network from anywhere in the world. It is also possible for someone within a company’s own building to steal unsecured data. There are a few common types of malware that that you should be aware of, and some simple precautionary measures you can take to avoid any loss or corruption of data.
Malware is any software that is designed to compromise or damage your computer and its systems. One type of malware that has received attention in recent years is called ransomware. As the name suggests, ransomware is software that encrypts, or “kidnaps,” your files and prevents you from accessing them. Ransomware primarily originates from phishing scams which tempt people to click on links that have been infected with the ransomware code. The cybercriminals who take over your data are the only ones who can unlock it. Of course, you must pay them a ransom before they return your data to you. Read more about ransomware in our July 13, 2016 blog article.
Another common type of malware is known as a backdoor Trojan. Trojans allow someone to take control of another person’s computer. They can infect your system by posing as legitimate software which fools you into running it. Trojans may also enter your computer through links in spam e-mail or malicious webpages. The person who sent the Trojan will be able to run programs and access files on your computer even when it is off. Well known Trojans include Netbus, OpticPro, Subseven, BackOrifice, Zbot, and ZeuS.
NEdocs has already covered malware in previous posts. However, it doesn’t hurt to reiterate several important preventative measures to reduce the chances of you or your company being affected by malware. These suggestions come from Heimdal Security, a global data protection firm.
- Never access links in e-mails from people you don’t know and do not click links in e-mails from unknown e-mail addresses.
- Back up your important data and keep the backup in a different location from your actual operating system.
- Adjust your browser security settings for higher malware protection levels online. Feel free to ask your security specialist what you are protected from and how.
- Keep your operating system and your vulnerable software up-to-date with the latest security patches and anti-virus programs.
To protect your computer and network from potential hackers it is recommended that you only use secure connections encrypted using SSL or TLS. A website beginning with https:// is secured using SSL and the site is encrypted. People won’t be able to hack into your device while you are browsing that site. It is especially important to use secure connections in public places like WiFi hotspots.
Another way to protect your devices and systems is to implement passwords. Setting up a password on any of your online accounts is the simplest way to deter thieves. To that effect there are several points to consider when setting up passwords. When devising a password, it is best to use a mixture of numbers, letters, and symbols. Avoid using personal information as well as commonly used phrases. It is recommended that you use a unique password for each of your accounts. That way, not all of your accounts will be at risk if one of them is compromised.
A large number of passwords can be hard to remember. Choose passwords that are memorable to you. You can keep a list of your passwords as long as it is in a secure space. A post-it note on your desk is not the best idea. A file on your computer’s hard drive would seem a logical solution. However, this too can be easily compromised. If you do place your passwords on your computer, make sure that the file is out of sight and does not have an obvious name that betrays its nature. Online password management services exist where you can secure several passwords. Dashlane and LastPass are free to use, while other examples include KeePassX and Sticky Password.
Security questions are an additional level of protection you can provide to your data. When forming answers to security questions, there is a simple guide to measure their effectiveness. A good answer to a security question is
- Safe: cannot be guessed or researched
- Stable: does not change over time
- Memorable: you will have no problem remembering it
If you are able to create your own questions, the best thing to do is to craft a question that has many possible answers. It is also wise to not choose a question where the answer can easily be looked up by a stranger or even your friends.
New England Document Systems can provide you and your organization with a solid backup solution for all of your important data and documents, even in the event of a security breach. We provide a compliant and secure storage facility and our employees are trained to keep your files safe. Our ImageSilo cloud-based ECM system (Enterprise Content Management) backs up your data in triple redundancy. We also enforce your company’s policies, track access, and provide monthly reporting so you can know who is using your data and when.
Don’t let yourself or your company fall victim to a data security breach. Take any one of these simple preventative measures to secure your devices and networks from potential attackers. Do you have any questions or concerns about data security? We’re always here to help and welcome your inquiries.