2017 takes the trophy for the largest number of data breaches ever.
While 2016 held the record with 82,000 breaches, 2017 far surpassed it with 160,000 – that’s a rise of 78,000! However this number is likely to be much bigger, with a suspected 350,000 breaches going unreported.
Today is the start of National Fix a Leak Week: while we can’t really help you when it comes to your plumbing, we can definitely sort out your computer leaks!
Five million files go missing every single day. We might think we know everything about internet security, but these breaches could have been avoided by following three simple steps.
Paul Harris, Managing Director of the ethical hacking organisation Secarma, gives you his top advice for plugging all those nasty data leaks.
1. Passwords are power
One of the biggest culprits at the moment is weakened credentials. That means passwords, passkeys and passphrases are stolen through phishing scams, key logging and brute-force attacks.
Passphrases are the new passwords. Random, easy-to remember passphrases are much better than passwords, as they tend to be longer and more complex. “MyDonkeysEatCheese47” is a complicated passphrase and, unless you’re a donkey owner or a cheese-maker, unrelated to you. Remember to make use of upper and lowercase letters as well as the full range of punctuation.
80% of all password breaches could have been prevented by multifactor identification: by verifying your personal identity via a text through to your phone or an email to your account, you can now be alerted when someone is trying to access your details.
2. Backdoors & vulnerabilities
There was a 31% increase in software vulnerabilities in 2017. Cyber criminals use these as easy-access backdoors into your systems. Hackers are always on the look-out for sneaky ways in, and will walk straight through the gate if you leave it open for them.
3.1 billion records were leaked in 2016 with over 41% of external data software breaches down to vulnerabilities. But this can be avoided in your workplace.
Companies, like Secarma, can conduct penetration testing for businesses to find vulnerabilities in their systems. By poking and probing your system remotely, any flaws can be detected and fixed to keep your data soundly locked away.
Malware is malicious software used by hackers and other criminals to steal data. There was a 145% increase in attacks on British businesses in 2017. Remember last year’s Equifax hack? 145.5 million records were stolen, with a further 1.5 million suspected. Yep, it was some scary stuff and really made IT professionals step up their game when it comes to security leaks.
What can you do?
Eight out of ten malware attacks target unpatched systems. A patch is a fix for a detected vulnerability. People need to install these patches as soon as possible, otherwise they are left open to malware which can be developed super-quick to exploit these gaps in the system.
It’s a race against the criminals: react fast.
Plug those leaks and keep your IT watertight!
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