Busting The Top Four Myths About Hacking

By Torben Andersen, CCO, SMS PASSCODE

Are you protecting your data with just a password? If your answer is no, and you have strong multi-factor authentication in place, then good job: you are free to go out and enjoy the sunshine. If you answered yes, then stick around for a few more minutes to learn why a password alone is not enough to secure access to your corporate networks and applications.

Still here? Okay then, allow me to start by busting some of the typical myths about hacking today.

1# Myth – Hackers only target the big brands
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When big brands like Target, eBay, Adobe, and Sony are hacked, it’s big news for business and mainstream publications. Don’t be fooled: big companies aren’t the only ones being targeted. In fact, research shows that 31 percent of all hacking attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 250 employees.

2# Myth – You have nothing valuable for hackers to steal

blog image 2.jpgFair enough. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be storing breakthrough research with the potential to revolutionize your industrythe world if only you can keep it secret long enough to secure a patent. But what about your business email? Email often contains highly sensitive data, such as competitive bids, investment plans or pipeline information. Imagine the damage if these details were to fall into the wrong hands.

There’s even more low-hanging fruit to steal if hackers breach your network. Customer records, credit card information and even employee user credentials are worth as much as $50 USD per record when sold on the Internet. An entire shadow economy has emerged online with brokers selling stolen user records; according to the FBI, cybercrime has become even more profitable than drug-related crimes. This makes everyone a target.

3# Myth – Your anti-virus and network vulnerability tests will keep you safe

blog-image-3Patch management, updated anti-virus applications and frequent network vulnerability tests are all good weapons in a defense against hackers. However if you are not securely authenticating your users when they access your corporate networks or applications, then you’re leaving the front door open for the hackers. Research shows that weak or stolen passwords are exploited in 76 percent of all network breaches. So, yes, this really is the hackers’ preferred way in.

4# Myth – Hackers are teenagers lurking in a basement somewhere

For most of us, the word “hacker” prompts images of pale teenage boys with long hair, black t-shirts and a serious grudge against Microsoft. While many hackers probably still fit this description, the reality is that the hacker has evolved. Today’s hacker is highly-educated, well-connected, and well-equipped, enjoying a high-income profession as a professional cybercriminal. The hackers have some powerful tools at their disposal, and many poorly-protected victims has made hacking easier than ever before, resulting in cybercrime becoming the fastest growing crime type in the world.

Hackers’ motive is most often financial gain, but “hacktivism” is also becoming a growing threat to nations and organizations that don’t sympathize with the hacker’s cause.

Knowing what’s myth and what’s fact is essential to avoid running unnecessary risks to your business. SMS Passcode have created an infographic and short video that capture the key facts from the latest research about the threat companies face from hacks.

Additional Resources:

Are you planning to replace your existing firewall this year?

We were delighted to be joined recently by a number of organisations at our SRX Boot camp at Juniper Networks HQ in Addlestone, Surrey for one of our SRX Boot Camps.

These hands on training sessions are perfect for organisations with Firewall projects in the pipeline in the next few months, allowing attendees to get hands on with the SRX series firewalls and really get under the skin of the Juniper Networks Unified Threat Management Firewall series.

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IT and Network Managers joined us from a diverse range of organisations, all with firewall projects coming up. The session allows organisations to learn more about both the branch and the high end SRX series, as well as gets hands on with the devices in the lab configuring the units.

A big thank you to @juniper_uk for looking after us all so well at their HQ in Addlestone. We were very pleased that Area Partner Director, Darryl Brick joined the session and addressed our attendees giving them some essential background on and introduction to Juniper Networks, giving us all a really good feel for Juniper Network’s commitment to us here @networkutils as a valued Juniper Networks Elite partners and that safe pair of hands for our customer’s IT projects.

SRX1We are planning another SRX Boot Camp session in November 2014, so if you are interested in signing up then please visit our website for further information and to register your interest. Please note you need to be new to Juniper Networks and have an active firewall project in the next 12 – 18 months. You’ll also need a working knowledge of CLI and the good news is that all organisations that fit these parameters can take an SRX unit away with them post event. So, come along, get hands on and learn as much as you can about the Juniper SRX Series firewalls!

Please visit www.juniper.net for further information on their SRX series firewalls. You can also take a look at the event video here.