John Iannarelli has built a commendable resume in law and law enforcement, serving as a San Diego Police Officer, an attorney, and eventually an FBI Special Agent. Iannarelli’s experiences provide him with an impressive arsenal of content, which he frequently pulls from as an author, renowned keynote speaker, an on-air contributor for Fox News. Now, Iannarelli has shifted focus to the cyber crime and hacking phenomenon that is destroying the lives of hardworking men and women across the United States and continues to get worse.
Just because you are a small to mid-sized company does not mean you’re in the clear. This range is the most target-rich environment for hackers because fortune fives and world two thousands have unbelievably strong firewalls, IT resources, and other security measures that are a lot less likely to be breached. If you are a small or midsized company, online security protocols and policies should be put in place in order to mitigate the risk. However, that will not guarantee the prevention of attacks in the future, but you increase the chances of a hacker continuing his or her search for an easier target.
Phishing is one of the oldest and most commonly used techniques for acquiring personal information, but it is being employed on a much larger scale than what it is typically associated with. We are not talking about poorly written emails looking to swipe your Facebook password. Businesses are being targeted with a variety of intricate methods designed to bait users into unknowingly downloading spyware/malware on their work computers. Just like the major attack on Sony, it only takes one person out of their thousands of employees to click a link for a massive infection to take place. This is a very difficult and expensive problem to mend after it happens.
Depending on your industry, there are other risks to consider such as ransomware. Ransomware is a common process in the medical field where the hacker gets your information then locks it up so that you are not able to do business. They are able to freeze your servers and even hold your patient information hostage while demanding payment, but most of the time there is no guarantee that payment will bring resolution. In this case, server backups are your best bet, but staff education and awareness remain the key factor.
Defense is the Best Offense
Preventative measures are the best way to avoid these situations and that can even include vetting the IT people who are responsible for protecting your technological infrastructure. Take the time to make sure your employees are trained because education is the number one factor in avoiding cybercrime.
Some of the more common places where we see cybercrime taking place are in financial transactions like wire transfers. If a hacker can get into your system, it is likely they will be able to track all of the email exchanges, see who handles the financial transactions, and manipulate the email threads or pose as someone else with false wiring instructions. That type of scam resulted in over five billion dollars being sent overseas last year alone.
If there are any unfamiliar links from people you don’t know, you should never click them—If you are wiring money, you should never complete the transfer process without a verbal confirmation over the phone. If you follow these steps, you will be a lot less likely to experience cybercrime as a small or midsize business. Technology is an integral part of businesses in the twenty-first century, and just as you would depend on deadbolts to secure your assets at home, you need to have measures in place to protect your cyber assets.