It may be the month of pumpkins, ghosts and witches with Halloween around the corner, but it’s also a month to bring serious awareness to another spooky topic: cyber crime.
October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month in the United States, and it’s a month dedicated to shedding light on this ever-growing topic and ways in which we can protect ourselves.
As technology rapidly evolves with each day, it seems, the potential for cyber security threats is at an all time high and unfortunately, we are all at risk. The best way to combat this crime? Knowing exactly how to stay safe online and familiarizing ourselves with any processes required to help keep our data safe.
Document Shredding Services Can Help
Professional shredding companies are skilled and equipped to securely shred your documents, and in some cases any electronic media devices you have as well. These services guarantee that your information is deemed irrecoverable for good, so you don’t have to worry about the chances of your data getting stolen. For organizations that operate according to key legislations such as HIPAA, FERPA, or even FACTA, ensuring you have hired a reliable shredding provider can make all the difference in the world when it comes to compliance and legal obligations tied to these regulations.
Today we see both large organizations and small business owners incorporating higher levels of electronic data keeping, and for good reason. Electronic data keeping is convenient, immediate, and much more efficient, as communication is instant and access to information is literally at your fingertips, no matter where you are. While electronic data is easier to use, it is also more vulnerable to theft and corruption. A regular internet connection makes it easy for your electronic information to be retrieved, cloned, and stolen by someone without you ever realizing the theft has taken place. For this reason, cyber-security has become a massive concern for businesses and organizations across the United States.
What is Cybersecurity All About?
Cyber-security simply refers to the security of electronic devices, software, and the data being stored within them. Many organizations turn to tools like anti-virus software, anti-malware software and network monitoring utilities to detect and stop attacks.
Cyber Crime Doesn’t Discriminate Against Company Size
While large companies are typical victims of cyber-attacks, small businesses are definitely not exempt from the risk of this crime. Failing to have proper protection in place can be devastating for owners and managers of smaller organizations.
Cyber thieves and fraudsters are smart individuals and are very aware that many small business owners put security measures on the back burner, simply since they don’t think they’ll be a target. The reality is exactly the opposite. Assuming you are safe and not at risk of a cyber attack is precisely the type of thinking that will get you in trouble. Cyber criminals will go after any company, big or small, if they discover an easy way to do so.
Common Forms of Cyber Attacks
Cyber-attacks can take place in several ways, but here we’ll look at two of the most frequent forms of cyberattack that many businesses are faced with on a routine basis:
- Phishing – This kind of cyber-attack is totally concealed. Phishing occurs when a hacker generates an email, website, piece of software, or hyperlink that acts as a legitimate source or website. From the attacker’s viewpoint, the goal is to convince the victim to play along with the fake email/website/software so that inadvertently, malicious software gets installed onto the machine or device being used at the same time. This software is commonly known as malware. For an interesting activity, take a few minutes to complete this Cisco’s phishing quiz to see if you can determine the difference between a normal website and a phishing scam. How did you do?
- Malware – This is software that is intended to corrupt, steal or lock away data on a device. Malware comes in a variety of forms with the collective goal of stealing user information. Some malware variations widely used are:
Each of these malware types function uniquely from one another, but all exist to obtain and/or corrupt your data.
Protect Your Business with Proactive Measures
Cyber-attacks can occur with little to no warning and seemingly out of the blue. With this newfound knowledge, it is imperative your business has a back-up plan in place should your information be accessed, manipulated or stolen by a hacker. Ensuring you are properly prepared will greatly limit your chances of losing critical business data.
If you’re looking for reliable and secure destruction services for your old hard drives, we urge you to think twice before assuming that the “delete” button will be all that’s required in removing your files, as this is not the case! Document Destruction of Virginia provides industrial-grade hard drive destruction services that protect your electronic data, eliminating it permanently beyond any state of recovery.
Reach out to us today to learn more about our services and how they can assist in your document management and security practices.