The lucrative market for stolen identities and related personal information is a prime trade for hackers. They are out on the watch always, looking for relevant sources and repositories to vital information.
Businesses from small, midsize to large corporates, rely almost entirely on computers. Storage of a client’s personal information, online transactions, electronic banking are some of the vital services provided through interactions between computers, networks, and servers that make up a computer system. Use of Point of sale (PoS) terminals, credit cards, and debit cards are applications through which your customers interact with these systems, which involves keying in usernames, personal identification numbers, passwords to facilitate the transaction, and this is the information that can be stolen on transit or on storage. Depending on the service or product a customer is looking for, the data captured includes collecting Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s license numbers, and birthdates of your clients. Personal information turns out to be a gold mine for a hacker when all these are collected from different sources. All of this introduces data security concerns.
Listed are IT infrastructure that can act as channels for hackers to break into your system.
- Your website: Hackers preying on websites have become very sophisticated in cyber-attacks. They can access specific information by exploiting the faults in targeted websites with the information they are looking for. For example, if they are only interested in financial information about their victims, these tools will target the websites that carry that kind of information. Implementation of Web-based applications poses loopholes with high chances for cyber criminals to connect to your website database, exposing the system to hacking.
- Your computers and servers: Computers and servers are repositories to information. Your admin passwords, logins to your servers and other network devices can be stolen through malware attack in your system. These hardware devices hold important information regarding your business; clients personal information, business information including vendors, partners, and associates, everything about your business thus the ultimate prize for a successful cyber-attack.
- Employees’ mobile devices: personal gadgets have brought convenience, mobility and reputable reliability on response and communication, but if your employees use their mobile devices to conduct your business, you have another security threat. Little do you know how insecure they are. A successful breach of security into those devices which by now are nodes in your network will lead hackers right into your networks.
- Unsecured Wi-Fi network: With most Wi-Fi networks well protected, businesses with unsecured Wi-Fi open an invitation to cyber-attack. Hackers are one step closer if your Wi-Fi network is not secure, to break into your systems.
- Your Point of Sale (PoS) systems: PoS systems is one of the prime targets for black hat hackers, whose intentions are financial fraud. Cyber security experts know that the PoS systems with preloaded software can be hacked using an unsecured Wi-Fi network. This fraud has a direct financial impact since hackers can make unauthorized credit card charges.
- Your email: Email is a platform that hackers use to embed malicious software to infect computers. Viruses with various tasks such as denial of service, email spamming and unauthorized data access are sent to replicate themselves in the host computers.
One needs a comprehensive data security approach to address all of these possible entry points. This can’t be done only half-way. Business and brand stand potential damage if you don’t address each possibility. In conclusion, the best solution is to seek a managed services provider that can complete a security blueprint addressing all the areas.
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