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Top 5 Employee Cybersecurity Mistakes

If you’re concerned about keeping your employees and company data safe, then there are a few mistakes that you should avoid. These five mistakes can be easily avoided with a little preparation and knowledge, but they do come up more often than they should.

Bad Computer Habits

There are many dangers associated with employees leaving their computer unattended, leaving their computer logged in to a social media or shopping site, and giving out too much information on a public profile. Many employees also fail to properly secure their mobile devices, allowing hackers to take control of the device and steal any valuable data.

Employees may neglect certain precautions because they do not consider themselves a threat or they believe that cybercriminals will target someone else. When it comes to cyber security, all employees must be aware of their actions and how they may compromise data. When you’re an employee of a company, your cyber security is just as important as the cyber security of the company. Your personal laptop should be protected by all the same anti-virus, anti-malware programs as your company laptop.

Carelessly Handling Sensitive Data

Carelessly handling sensitive data by removing files without understanding their importance or what risks they may contain can put your company in jeopardy. Whether it’s data theft or a compliance violation, you could be the reason for an investigation.

To avoid being at fault for compromising sensitive data, it’s crucial to have a plan in place when deleting files that are no longer in use. Employees must understand why they’re deleting specific files and what risks they may contain.

Data leaving the premises, theft of laptops, and mobile devices pose a real risk to organizations. When bringing devices home for use, make sure you have the right safeguards in place—like disk encryption or VPN access—to keep data safe when it’s away from your company network.

Employees must be aware of policies and the repercussions for breaking them. If the company has a mobile device policy, remind employees that this also applies when they bring company-issued mobile devices home for personal use.

Sharing Passwords

An employee’s password, encrypted or not, gives their colleagues the permission to access the account (possibly with restrictions). If this account belongs to a sensitive system such as an internal document management tool or a local file storage, then it is vital that passwords are kept safe and secure.

This sensitive information can also be sent over insecure messengers, such as Yahoo Messenger or Skype. If the device is hacked, then the hacker will have access to all of your accounts. A popular method of hacking involves Trojans which are hidden in downloads or attachments. Once on the device, they start sending passwords to a predefined email address.

Using a social media site such as Facebook or Twitter can give strangers access to plenty of personal information about you and your family, including photos and videos that have been tagged with information about the location where they were taken, making it easier for hackers to know your whereabouts at all times. People who are careless with their passwords or security on social media are also at a higher risk of having their accounts hacked.

Lacking Awareness Of Cybersecurity

An employee can cause a data breach or fall victim to one if they do not take the necessary precautions to protect their devices and themselves from hackers. For example, an employee could access mobile malware by clicking on ads displayed in mobile apps. Or an employee could acquire ransomware through unsecured Wi-Fi, open phishing emails, or fall victim to a social engineering attack.

In fact, 90 percent of data breaches are due to human error — and negligence has been the leading cause over the past two years. In addition, employees have made it easy for hackers by using weak passwords, reusing passwords across multiple sites, leaving computers unlocked while at work or on vacation, downloading/opening unverified files, and failing to update software patches and anti-virus definitions.

According to a report by Verizon, 75 percent of hacking-related breaches involved exploiting weak or stolen passwords within the first hour of an attack. It only took hackers 12 minutes on average for employees to click on phishing emails, and one minute before malware was downloaded.

Social media sites are also one of the biggest threats to an organization’s cyber security; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are all very popular ways to share information with others. However, these social media channels can also be used to share malicious links that employees often click on without paying any attention. If an organization sets up a social media policy, then employees will be aware of what they should and should not share with other individuals on these sites. An alternative to this would be to simply block all access to social media channels within the office; this way, employees will not even have the option to click on dangerous links that could lead them to downloading malicious software to their device.

Using Outdated Software

Using outdated software Ignoring software updates on your device  could be the quickest way to getting hacked. Hackers look for known vulnerabilities and bugs in software, such as system updates that haven’t been applied to a device (called outdated), and then use those flaws to hack into your device. As an IT person, it is important that you know about all of the devices within your company and make sure their software is maintained and up to date. There are multiple types of software updates, but in general, most have critical security patches or bug fixes. Turn on all automatic update features on your device to make sure you’re notified when the next update is available.

When you’re under pressure to meet work deadlines, it’s easy to underestimate the importance of cyber security. While it can be difficult to juggle your standard workload with adding new security measures, the consequences of not taking the necessary precautions could cause a lot more trouble in the future. Stay tuned in to Bayshore’s Blog for more.

Detrimental Business Impacts of Cyber Security Breaches

Having a cyber security breach can be nothing short of horrific for any business. The bad publicity alone costs banks $200 million per year in customer acquisition and retention, according to CNN Money . They go on to state that after an attack, 52% of customers stop doing business with the victim company. Even scarier? 75% of companies do not recover after six months.

In many cases, businesses lack the resources to recover from a cyberattack without going out of business. Many companies have to let good employees go as a result.

Monetary Loss

One of the biggest effects on businesses due to cyber security breaches is monetary loss. It’s difficult to quantify because it depends on a number of factors: how much information was taken, whether or not this information was encrypted (and if it wasn’t, what type of data that was), and what industry the business is in. This can lead to a number of other negative effects, such as loss of customer trust, data manipulation, and damage to the business’s reputation.

Some businesses are forced to shut down their operation when they are targeted by hackers because the hacks cause major damage that requires expensive repairs and complete system replacements.  Some large companies have spent millions of dollars on recovering from a cyber security breach.

In one example, Target Corporation was forced to shut down their entire operation for several days in order to fix healthcare information that had been breached by hackers.  Target had to spend over $200 million dollars on repairing the damage caused by the hackers and affected customer credit card accounts were replaced by a company at no cost.  Target was also hit with a $39 million dollar class action lawsuit and announced that they were beginning to use more secure chip-and-PIN credit card technology instead of the traditional magnetic strip.

Data Loss

Data has become an essential part of not only business operations but also the daily lives of people. When this data is taken, it puts organizations at risk because they can’t protect themselves from competitors or other malicious groups who want access to that information for many reasons.

Over the past several years, there has been a noted increase in cyber security breaches. With every new breach comes a myriad of lasting impacts on both individual businesses and society as a whole. In an effort to maintain consumer trust, businesses must pay very close attention to their data protection policies and procedures. Data theft is estimated to cost the United States economy as much as $100 billion a year, and those costs are only continuing to rise.

Detrimental side effects of cyber security breaches are the ability for attackers to make very specific negative findings from within stolen information. These could be anything from finding out the types of technologies that a company uses to what their strategies and goals are . This is because data breaches oftentimes aren’t life-threatening, like a physical attack, but rather one that compromises information.

One of the primary challenges that businesses face today is cyber security. The nature of business puts organizations in constant contact with customer data and other sensitive information–which makes them an ideal target for hackers and cybercriminals. As criminals become more sophisticated, the average time it takes for companies to detect a cyber security breach is continuing to rise. Recent data suggests that it can take many organizations over 200 days to discover a breach—which leaves them exposed during all of those intervening days.

Government Fines

The business impacts of cyber security breaches also include potential increase in insurance premiums for businesses. If a data breach, or similar type of incident occurs that results in loss to the organization, insurers might respond by increasing premiums due to higher risk. It is possible that an insurer may deny coverage if the company has suffered repeated incidents leading to multiple claims.

Business owners face both the financial and reputational damage of a cyber security breach. If governmental agencies can prove that you ignored previous warnings to improve your security practices, they may fine your company or even shut it down until you meet specific requirements.

If data is compromised, the customers who have been affected by the identity theft may file a class action suit. Even a small company can face a lawsuit of this nature that they cannot win, resulting in costly legal fees and the loss of business. When your customer base is severely reduced, it affects sales revenue as well as payroll for your employees. In many cases, smaller companies are forced into bankruptcy following a cyber security breach.

On the other side of the fine coin, governmental agencies take cyber security breaches very seriously and your business can suffer these negative impacts without any kind of warning. For example, if the FBI finds that your company has not done enough to protect consumer information, you can be fined $250000 every time a user’s information is compromised. It is also possible that the FBI orders you to remediate critical vulnerabilities in your system, which can not only be costly but time consuming as well.

While $250000 may not seem like much for a large company with billions of dollars in revenue, smaller companies can be forced out of business by such fines if they are unable to come up with the necessary corrective action plan.

Loss Of Trust

Negative business impacts of cyber security breaches also include loss of customers. Security breaches resulting in the exposure of customer data can lead to significant losses if customers lose trust and stop buying products or services from the company that was breached. Additionally, businesses may need to pay higher prices to attract new customers.

Another business impact of a cyber security breach is damage to the company’s brand image. Negative publicity due to a data loss or exposure can result in a significant loss of revenue as clients and partners begin pulling out of relationships with the organization. Customers, moreover, might lose trust and stop buying products or services from the company that was breached.

Loss of customer trust after a cyber security breach is a critical impact on businesses. After an attack, customers are less likely to want to engage with the compromised business. This means that people will be less likely to use their products and services in the future, reduce customer engagement with marketing campaigns or even go elsewhere for service. This can have a devastating impact on business revenue.

Another detrimental business impact of cyber security breaches is the bad public relations that will result. A company needs to be trusted by its consumers in order to maintain healthy financials, and when they are breached it can erode trust quickly. Customers are likely to pay attention to the news stories about the cyber attack, and when they do companies are no longer trusted.

Rise In Insurance Premiums 

In the past, cyber security breaches were treated as a cost of doing business because there was no real way to calculate how much they would affect a company. In those cases, one might have been able to say that the company lost a certain number of customers, or had a lower stock price for a few months after the event. But now it is possible to put a number on the costs of cyber security breaches, and it is becoming more and more dangerous for companies that have been breached.

Many people are talking about how they will start charging companies more money when they buy insurance, because cyber security breaches cost them far too much. In fact, some people estimate that premiums could go up by as much as 500% after a cyber security breach. This would be especially bad for the small to medium sized companies that are at the heart of today’s economy. If insurance premiums go up, it could make starting a business very hard because all businesses are vulnerable to cyber security breaches at some point in their life.

The other reason why this rise in insurance premiums is concerning is because these costs are often passed on to the consumer. If your car is totaled in an accident, you can pay more for car insurance even if it’s not your fault. When cyber security breaches happen, the same thing happens to the company that was breached – they have to pay more for cyber security which can be passed on to the customers.

The worst part about this is how it can affect a company’s reputation. If they pay more for cyber security, it becomes clear that they do not have good cyber security. In some cases, people will start avoiding doing business with companies that have been breached because of their lack of commitment to cyber security. It’s important to take cyber security seriously and understand that there may be a price to pay if you don’t.

Conclusion

The detrimental business impacts of cyber security breaches are often overlooked as companies prioritize protecting their technology and information systems. This is not the right approach to take, as a cyber attack can cause severe damage that goes far beyond losing money and time.

One of the most significant effects that a breach may have on a company is loss of customer data. In today’s world, where cybersecurity is at the forefront of customers’ minds, their trust isn’t easily won back after a breach. Customers that have been affected by a data breach can suffer from both financial and non-financial losses. Contact Bayshore Interactive today to find out how your business can stay safe from hackers.

The 5 Most Common Security Threats To Mobile Devices In 2021

A new study by the Network IPS has predicted that by 2021, mobile devices will be greatly targeted for cyber-attacks. The study also said that demand for mobile applications and services is increasing exponentially across all sectors of business, thus exposing organizations to an increased risk of attack.

The research suggested the most common security threats to mobile devices in 2021 are as follows:

Social Engineering

Social engineering is a wide term that can include phishing, pretexting, and shoulder surfing. People will use the personal information they learn from social engineering to gain access to places or accounts an individual might have.  For example, a criminal might pretend to be someone’s relative or friend and call a service provider in order to get the individual’s log-in information. In 2021, social engineering is expected to be one of the most common security threats on mobile devices.

Social engineering tactics on mobile devices are on the rise. Malware and apps on your phone can be used to harvest information such as passwords, account PINs and location data. Apps such as this are usually available through third-party app stores.

People are starting to understand that mobile devices are not only vulnerable to insecure operating systems, but also hardware vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities can be caused by buggy third party software or even something as innocent as a user dropping the device.

Data Leakage Via Malicious Apps

In the year 2021, malicious apps were a significant security threat to users. The danger was that even though users knew a specific app might be untrustworthy, they didn’t always know which one it would be . If a person downloads an unknown app from a source they don’t usually trust, then their data is at risk of being stolen.

The standard of mobile device security will likely be even lower than it is today. This is because for most consumers cyber security does not seem like a priority unless something terrible happens. People are much more likely to care about cyber safety when they feel personally attacked, but in all other cases, people tend to ignore their devices’ safety until something happens. As a result of this, the threats listed below will remain threats for years to come.

Most mobile applications will have significant security risks due to their inability to adapt with the ever-changing world of cyber security. This is because more and more apps are being made every day without concern for security vulnerabilities, and they are never updated or fixed if someone does find a vulnerability.

Unsecured Public Wifi

Mobile devices can be accessed by hackers anywhere, not just in the home or workplace. This is especially concerning for security-savvy individuals who are aware of data breaches at companies like Yahoo! and Dropbox. Hackers are able to exploit unprotected public wifi connections to steal passwords, photos, bank account information, health records, etc., from unsuspecting individuals.

Mobile devices are not the only targets of cyber criminals, however. Computers and laptops can also be hacked to access personal data. Cyber criminals often use phishing scams to trick people into opening emails that contain malicious attachments or links. Once opened, these files can give hackers backdoor access for months or years before the victim becomes aware of the breach, or even that a breach has occurred at all.

As technology makes more of our personal information accessible from multiple devices connected to the internet, cyber criminals have more ways than ever of acquiring this sensitive data. The threat of data breaches is not going away any time soon. It’s critical to educate yourself on the common security threats and the precautions you should take to prevent data loss.

Poor Password Habits

Mobile devices are vulnerable to cyber attacks that can cost you your privacy or even your life (don’t believe me? read the next paragraph). Cyber criminals are becoming more sophisticated. Their goal is to find the perfect balance between time commitment and pay-out, so they won’t waste their time cracking easy passwords or wasting resources on complicated passwords.

Many people do not take security on their mobile devices seriously, which allows malicious users to exploit these leaks for financial gain. This can be performed in a variety of ways; an example would be using malware (a type of virus that infects your computer) to obtain personal information like credit card numbers or private messages sent via social media applications.

Another example would be to remotely access your mobile device when you’re not looking, disabling the lock screen function then starting a mobile banking application in which you have saved your bank details. The cybercriminal could then transfer money from your account into theirs!

The number of people affected globally by cybercrime is estimated to reach 2.8 billion in 2021. The majority of these crimes occur on mobile devices; it’s predicted that 23% of all security incidents will target mobiles by 2021.This shows the need for awareness about threats and repercussions, and why you should consider changing your bad password habits.

Out Of Date Operating Systems

As more and more people use phones for essential tasks (such as checking their work email) it is becoming increasingly important that the devices these users hold in their hands remain safe from attack. This is especially true given that many of us carry our smartphones with us pretty much everywhere we go.

In order to ensure that the device remains safe from attack it is important to keep all software updated. Unfortunately, many users no longer update their phone’s operating system for a number of reasons – including not reading the notification when it pops up and simply forgetting. Software updates often contain vital security patches that, when left unattended, leave the phone open to external attack through malicious software. This is especially true about apps downloaded from third-party stores where users may not know whether or not they are receiving a real update.

Even though it is important for all mobile devices – including tablets and phones – to update their software, such updates are often associated with reduced performance (or what is known as ‘lag’). This has led to users finding ways around updating their phone’s operating system. To ensure that the device remains safe from attack, it is important for users to realize that this lag is a small price to pay when compared to the risks of not updating the device.

Also, users should be aware that hackers are constantly on the hunt for unpatched devices. This means that it is vital for users to update their mobile device’s software in order to prevent attacks against their phones while they are away from home or work, where it can be difficult to download updates via a desktop computer.

Mobile devices are becoming the dominant way people work, shop, and play. They’re quickly replacing desktop computers as the go to tool for everyday tasks like managing finances or processing payroll. However, it is these very features that make mobile devices an alluring prospect for cybercriminals who can find countless ways to wreak havoc on unsuspecting device owners.

It is extremely important that users remain vigilant about ensuring their mobile devices are properly protected from harm, as these vulnerabilities make your data incredibly easy to access for those with malicious intent. Stay tuned into Bayshore Interactive’s blog to learn more about cyber security and how to stay safe online.

What’s New Wednesdays: Dangers Of Gaming Due To Malware

There is a growing concern for gamers about security. In previous years, the majority of malware distributed was through phishing sites and/or malicious links sent from an email account. Now, many users have been reporting that their information has been stolen after playing a game online. Hackers are specifically targeting multiplayer games.

In addition to having their data stolen from gamers who play online, hackers are able to extract the password from the game itself, which is saved onto your computer in text form. When you log into a game, login information is being sent over an unencrypted connection, making it easy for potential attackers to see your username and password.

Phishing Links Sent Through A Game

People who play video games online often trade cash and in-game items for real money, but sometimes they get scammed.

Some players might also use a game or service’s private messaging system to trade cash and in-game items for real money. Messages are commonly sent through a website where you can buy items, services, and digital downloads using fake emails. When the message is opened, malware infects their computer and sends the scammer real bank information or credit card information. Many players now ignore these messages because they often look suspicious.

Malware In An Illegal Download

There are many dangers to gamers, but the main one that has been on the rise is gaming malware. Games and online communities have become more accessible and popular due to easier internet access and free sites like Steam. This means hackers can take advantage of gamer’s enthusiasm and love for games

It’s a strategic move on the hacker’s part to make games popular and accessible because it is a way into people’s computers. Some hacks may not look harmful when you’re playing but in reality they are stealing from you gaming account. As long as you are aware of the dangers and what malware looks like, it is less likely to affect gamers in an unsafe way.

Security Holes In Legitimate Games

Gaming malware is becoming more and more common as time goes on, and has been shown to be particularly dangerous because it uses legitimate gaming software as its point of entry into a system. This can result in spyware or adware being installed on the user’s computer without their knowledge which can result in them being profiled or tracked by outside sources. This can be particularly dangerous for the military, which often likes to play games to relax and blow off steam during a long day at work. With this information in mind, it is important that users take necessary precautions when playing online games such as only downloading from reputable sites and scanning any software for viruses before installing them.

Exploits are often distributed as the payload of a Trojan horse, or bundled with legitimate software that is repackaged without the knowledge of the software company. In 2007, a variant of FlaxBane was bundled with the Half-Life server dedicated software and used automated program analysis techniques to discover and automatically exploit the security hole (McAfee).

In 2008, a variant of flaxbane was found bundled with various free online games. The malware would mail itself to all contacts in the user’s address book once installed. Recently, a version of FlaxBane was discovered that does not need administrator privileges to install on a target system. This allowed the malware to quietly install on a user’s machine and use an in-game chat program, which was available as part of the package, to communicate with a command and control server operated by hackers.

Threats Hidden In Modifications To Games

The mobile gaming industry is growing rapidly. However, like any technology, there are risks associated with mobile gaming. There is malware available to infect Android phones that allows hackers to take control of the phone and steal personal information stored on the device. It is also possible for fraudsters to commit in-app fraud by stealing game currency or creating game currency out of thin air using illegitimate methods. This could result in an unfair advantage for the fraudsters or even financial loss for the legitimate players.

Some modifications to existing games, such as new maps and skins, may also contain malware. It is not uncommon for hackers to sneak malicious code into code meant for modifying the game so that the player unknowingly installs malware on their computer when they download and install a seemingly innocent modification.

Keyloggers Used To Steal A User’s Profile

This is the most common form of malware for this specific industry. Keyloggers will record keystrokes made by an operator when using any system that requires entering passwords or other sensitive information. Once recorded, these can be used to access any account tied to that password, including online gaming accounts.

When most people think about malware on their computers, they worry about someone stealing the credit card information they use to make purchases on the internet. This is not one of those cases. These attackers do not care about your bank account or anything like that. They only want your game login information.

In order to make money, scammers will sell your login information on the black market. With this new found information, they can steal all of your virtual currency and in-game items, or use it as a gateway into someone else’s account. Unfortunately for you, you are often the one who is punished when your account gets hacked.

One of the largest targets for this type of malware is gaming forums. The attackers will wait until you make a post, and then they will use the keylogger to steal your credentials to login and reply to threads on your own account. As soon as someone who knows you sees that you have replied to your own post, they will know that your account has been compromised.

The dangers of gaming due to malware are not to be understated. This is a problem across all online communities, but it is especially prevalent in the gaming industry due to the fact that these games have both real world and virtual currency value attached to them. Stay tuned for more information about technology related content on Bayshore Interactive’s Blog.