Even if you aren’t at all interested in the tech world, it’s hard not to have heard about the latest Ashley Madison hack. A hacker group calling themselves Impact Team infiltrated the “cheating” web site and posted the names of tens of millions of its users over the web. Along with some of the names on that list causing some controversy, the bigger question is that of network security and protecting sensitive information of online users.
What’s important to know is that proper networking support is not relegated to larger companies like Ashley Madison. In fact, small businesses are targets for hackers just the same. And these businesses need to align themselves with professional IT organizations who can give them the peace of mind they need knowing their data is protected.
More than Just Ashley Madison
The entire Ashley Madison hacking scandal has dominated the headlines for the past few weeks. The nature of the company being hacked has added to the intrigue of the story, and as the weeks pass and more and more names are made public, the flame will continue to be fanned by the media. Searching for a positive from all of this hoopla, perhaps the popularity of the Ashley Madison situation will force more people to pay attention to a problem that impacts businesses and organizations, small or large.
Late last month, the Pentagon reported a hacking of its e-mail network. Though they pointed the finger at the Russians, U.S. officials admit that, “Attribution in this business is near impossible.” The Pentagon was forced to shut down its e-mail system for at least two weeks to mitigate any damages caused by the hack.
Small businesses have felt the wrath of hackers, also. The hacker tactic involves the hijacking of sensitive business files and data that they use to blackmail these small businesses into paying them a sum of money to return the information. Even financial institutions have been targeted through their mobile applications. Hackers are again hijacking online accounts and demanding ransom.
Slightly less critical, but equally as intrusive, hackers are targeting everyday people by compromising their personal pictures stored online and ransoming them for upwards of $800.00 in most cases. We’ve seen these examples happen in the cases of celebrities where the pictures are simply leaked, but others are forced to pay if they want their personal pictures returned.
Be Vigilant About Online Security
We mentioned that perhaps there is some good to the Ashley Madison hack turning into such a mainstream story. It really does go a long way to making people more aware and forcing everyone to pay much more attention to their online habits. On an individual level, caution is the key. Don’t be giving out passwords over e-mail and make sure your passwords are complicated.
For small businesses, the process is a bit more complex but can be addressed with one vigilant step; hiring an IT company able to function competently at a time when network demands are greater than ever. You must know the history of the company, know other clients they have worked for and currently work with, and feel confident that they can provide a level of service. This level should not only push your company forward as it relates to incorporating technology, but give you the peace of mind of knowing your data is safe. If there are any breaches, it helps to know there is a system for storage and backup that allows that information to be retrieved.
Priority Networks Inc. understands the importance of not only protecting data, but finding ways to help small businesses thrive in their field by utilizing technology. Our mission is to fully satisfy the toughest network demands set out by our customers, and that’s what we strive to do every day. Give us a call or visit our website to learn more about what we can do for your business.
“Ruthless hackers ransom banks with mobile malware,” Computer Business Review July 31, 2015 http://www.cbronline.com/news/cybersecurity/business/ruthless-hackers-ransom-banks-with-mobile-malware-4636626
Whitock, C., and Missy, R., “US suspects Russia in hack of Pentagon computer network,” Washington Post, August 6, 2015 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-suspects-russia-in-hack-of-pentagon-computer-network/2015/08/06/b80e1644-3c7a-11e5-9c2d-ed991d848c48_story.html
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