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5 Cybersecurity Threats That May Surprise You

There’s so much out there on how you can spend money improving your cybersecurity, but we’ve rounded up some of the ways hackers breach your machines and networks. Do any of these methods surprise you?

Written by Adam Bovan

October 2019

Compromised passwords.

One of the main ways security is compromised online is through hackers getting hold of your passwords.

This issue is prevalent because so many people have weak, memorable passwords, don’t make use of extra security measures, such as multi-factor authentication, and avoid following best practices. 

There’s also the rise in data breaches, resulting in your personal data and passwords landing in the wrong hands or being publically available to hackers. 

We’d recommend reading our guide to password best practice and switching on two-factor authentication on any accounts that support it. 

Malicious software.

Your system can also be breached by downloading malware, which is often placed in software and on torrent websites. Once downloaded, it’ll infect your machine and system.

Ensure you only ever download files from a trusted location or company and avoid sites with adult content or video streaming sites that are notorious for malware.

If you are installing a new piece of software, it’s best to scan it with antivirus software first to make sure it’s not going to infect your machine. 

Modified operating system (OS) settings.

Did you know hackers are able to access your computer and pose as an admin? 

If they are successful, they’ll have full access to your files and data, plus the ability to download harmful viruses and software and eventually take over your whole network. 

You can reduce your risk by limiting the number of people in your organisation who have administrator permissions. This means, only certain people can install new applications or change settings on a computer. 

Of course, regular antivirus scanning is a given to detect any suspicious activity. 

Physically accessing your computer.

While obvious when you think about it, the fact that someone can physically access your computer during your break or a meeting is often overlooked.

It goes without saying to have a secure password and make sure you lock your computer when leaving it unattended.

However, you can also take extra measures like disabling any drives and ports you don’t use. 

Within the company.

It’s true that it’s more likely nowadays that cybersecurity threats are external, but we must not forget that sometimes attacks come from within a company. 

Sometimes it’s malicious, but frequently it’s down to a mistake or misjudgement. 

Again, limit the number of permissions your employees have in terms of downloading new software and accessing sensitive data.

When employees leave your company, remove them from the system immediately and change any passwords they may have had access to. This is best practice but also prevents any disgruntled employees from deleting or sharing important data after they leave. 

An underlying message here is: be vigilant. Be careful what you download, be wary of where you leave your device and be mindful of who you trust with passwords and permissions. 

If you’d like to talk more about cybersecurity, please get in touch with a member of our team today.

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