Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often face challenges in protecting their IT networks from cyberattacks. But as a business owner you may not be able to keep up with all the common ways systems can be breached. Here are the top five ways that DK Systems has seen SMBs’ systems be breached.
Tricked into installing malware
This is probably the biggest issue we have come into with a new customer. Customers complain about how slow their computers are and how slow the internet is.
You can have the greatest security, but all it takes is one employee to install malware by installing “free software” from torrent websites. Software from these sites often comes with ride-along software (a.k.a malware). You think you are installing something, and it may be installed, but you also get some malware designed to make changes to your system or steal data.
Here are a few things you can do to protect your computer from malware infection:
- Do not download files from websites that you do not trust. If a website asks you to download something, make sure that it is a reputable and reliable source. Double-check the URL of the website before downloading anything. A common technique hackers like to do is spoof legitimate websites by using similar but slightly altered URLs. For example, they might use “www.g00gle.com” instead of “www.google.com.” If you are unsure about the source of a file, it is best to avoid downloading and installing it.
- Upload the file to Virus total: Before double-clicking upload the file to virus total: https://www.virustotal.com/gui/home/upload
- Always scan files before installing them. Good antivirus software will scan anything you download. Our current AV we provide has artificial intelligence (AI) built and can detect if something seems off.
- Avoid using torrents and visiting adult content sites or those that stream pirated videos. These sites and online portals are very common sources of malware.
- Hackers exploited a vulnerability and have administrator access
Hackers exploited a vulnerability and have administrator access
One of the most common ones we have come across has been an inexperienced IT company which enables Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and provides access from the Internet. There are vulnerabilities within RDP that make it exploitable.
Another problem is that often people use administrator accounts on their computers. You probably have set up each user as an administrator because you were tired of having to change settings and install programs. However, this also means that if a hacker gains access to their computer, they will have full control over it. This could allow the hacker to install malware, change settings, or even take over the computer entirely.
This is especially dangerous if the computer is used to manage an IT network. In this case, the hacker could gain control of the entire network and cause widespread damage.
To protect your computer from hackers, you should only use administrator accounts when necessary. For everyday tasks, you should use a standard user account. You should also install antivirus software and keep it up to date. Regularly scanning your computer for malware will also help to protect against infection.
An angry IT vendor will not share passwords
We have run across this more times than you can imagine. For some reason some IT companies feel they should be the only ones with the administrator password.
Always get the password, here is where this can be an issue. If they are using the same password for each customer, they do not want to provide the only password they use. If this one password was ever compromised someone would have access to all systems of all their customers.
Each customer has their own administrator password that we share with the customer. We also have Multifactor Authentication (MFA) enabled for any remote access we might have with your systems. So even if a password is compromised, they would need our MFA code to access the system.
Passwords are the most common way to verify a user’s identity when accessing accounts and systems. We have come across this, but not a common issue.
Users like to use the same passwords on every site they go to. So if they use the same password to access email that they access their Facebook or LinkedIn account a hacker can figure this out. The biggest issue we have come across is email password compromises.
We suggest to users to use a password vault. By using a password vault you have one master password. Each website can have a unique strong password. The other thing we enforce with customers is enabling multifactor authentication (MFA), which requires you to present more than one way to verify your identity. For example, you might need to enter your password and then also provide a fingerprint or a one-time code when logging into your email.
One other solution we offer is providing cybersecurity training. This helps your employees better understand the threats and what to do.
The best way to completely protect your system from online threats is to develop a comprehensive approach that includes adopting cybersecurity best practices and robust tools. Which we provide with our Managed Service plan.
Check out the following site to see if your email, password, and other information has been compromised: https://haveibeenpwned.com/
Someone gains unauthorized physical access to your computer
Not as common but we have seen it where a computer was infected with malware because someone had physically gained access to it.
To protect your computer from physical attacks, you should secure it with a password and lock it whenever you step away from it. You can also disable removable media drives, such as CD/DVD and USB, if you do not use them. This will limit the chances of someone using these removable media to infect your computer or steal data from it.
To learn more about boosting your cybersecurity security, contact us today. Phone: 414-764-4465 or email: info @ dk-systems.com