AZCOMP Technologies December 2019



Empowering Small Practices to Deliver the Best Care


Cybercriminals have reached a point of glorification as more people find something “cool” about their mischievous behavior. But there’s nothing admirable about the hurt they cause, both to individuals and businesses. Hackers will try any tactic to steal information, and it often doesn’t take much effort to get what they’re after. It’s important to be wary of how they may infiltrate your network. SOFT SECURITY Cybercriminals often go after small businesses because they expect them to have less security than larger businesses. Unfortunately, many small businesses don’t invest in the minimum security needed, and if they do, it’s still an easy system for hackers to break into. They work their way past the security system, decide if they want to steal or destroy data, install malware on multiple computers, and simply wait until the business has no option but to pay the ransom placed on their data. With so many small businesses to choose from, hackers continue to target them because they’re more likely to receive the ransom they’re after. WORK SMART, NOT HARD Some cybercriminals don’t need to be computer hacking experts to gain access to information. That’s because without the proper training or protocols in place, employees of the company they’re targeting will often do the legwork for them. All it takes is a phishing email with links or files attached that install malware on the user’s computer when clicked. Getting started is simple: All the hacker needs is a company email list and to send one phony mass email to the entire staff. When they cast a wide net, they’re that much more likely to trick someone. When that phishing link is clicked, the entire business is in jeopardy as the hacker gains access to networks and data. How Hackers Might Access Your Network

OUTDATED OPERATIONS You may have put the most effective security system in place when you first started your business, but if you haven’t updated it recently, you’re open to hacking. Cybercriminals count on businesses to be lazy about keeping up with malware protection, so they spend a lot of their time looking for vulnerabilities in your system, whether they’re in hardware or software. Updating your physical equipment is just as important as updating the software installed on that equipment because technology is always advancing and upgrading to fight against its own weak spots. Many developers and manufacturers will provide their updated software to your company, but it’s only useful if the equipment it’s installed into can actually support it. If not, hackers can easily exploit these flawed spots and take advantage of that access. PASSWORD PROS Many sites and types of software have strict minimum password guidelines to meet in order to give accounts the most protection. While these can be a pain to conjure, doing so is worth the time. That’s because many cybercriminals have password-cracking software specifically designed to decipher passwords. The weaker the password, the easier it is to figure out. Sometimes it can take as little as a few seconds to gain access to one password. Once hackers gain access to one account, it’s not long before they find avenues to access the entire business. Having complex passwords is a great start, but it’s still important to change them at least every three months so hackers don’t have a chance to catch up. If you keep these tactics in mind when setting up your security systems, you’ll be doing everything you can to protect yourself against cybercriminals. Once your systems are in place, continue to be aware of your daily operations, and never underestimate the creativity of a motivated hacker. –Byron Adams

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