Security Breaches Aren’t Just About IT

our clientsFirst published on September 1, 2016 on Business Solutions

By Scott Youngs, CIO of Key Information Systems


When you hear about a security breach, you probably think something like, “The IT department must have missed something.” But increasingly, breaches are caused by factors outside of IT’s control. Today, a breach is just as likely to be the result of a devious email or an unwitting employee’s error as a breakdown in IT.
There are three types of vulnerabilities largely out of IT’s control, and they’re increasingly popular with hackers. There are also three actions you can take now to keep your company ahead of these threats.

Hacks That Catch Businesses Off Guard

  • Ransomware often comes in the form of Trojan horse programs disguised as legitimate files, which can take control of a laptop — or an entire network — when downloaded.
  • An employee turns on his laptop while hooked into the office network and downloads a seemingly legitimate file. All of a sudden systems are down and nobody can access key data. A message is displayed with instructions to send a ransom to return the system to normal.
  • Social hacking uses human interaction to obtain confidential information by pretending to be a client or other associate.
  • Someone in accounts payable gets an email that looks like it’s from the CEO of a client, requesting private account information. Since everything seems in order at first glance, and it’s from a person of authority, the employee sends the information along. However, on closer inspection, one letter is off in the email address, and the data has instead been sent to a hacker.
  • Human error can shut down a target by inconspicuous means. These aren’t social in nature, but they can be just as dangerous and also create a snowball effect.
  • An employee leaves his or her laptop in an unlocked car. The computer may just be “sleeping” and does not require a password to resume work. A thief makes off with it and the rest is history. An employee cleaning up emails is another example. With a few clicks, they can delete messages forever, eliminating important files or deals in progress.

An Action Plan For Prevention
Now that we’ve seen the challenges, here are three things you can do to prevent them….

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