National Connections, Local Ownership
National Connections, Local Ownership

When It Comes to Reducing the Hacking Threat, We All Play a Part

Without meaning to, you can let the bad guys into your company’s data with a single click.

In a recent IdeaXchange blog, Jane Clark, Vice President of Member Services for NationaLease, cited a cybersecurity expert who spoke at this year’s Corcentric Symposium. As Eric O’Neill, spy catcher and former FBI counter-terrorism and counterintelligence operative noted, “Hacking is an evolution of espionage. We need to evaluate how we think about stopping a hacker who we still see as a kid in a hoodie working in their basement.”

You should no longer think of this as troublesome and inconvenient…you should think of this as war, with enemies constantly trying to infiltrate your company. These people are smart; they know how to become a wolf in sheep’s clothing. It’s not the “Mission Impossible” situation you need to be aware of. No one is going to rappel into some mainframe like Tom Cruise and Ving Rhames. Hackers no longer even need to try to find your password. All they have to do is send you an email…an email that seems so innocuous; perhaps even an email that “seems” to come from a reputable company. This “phishing” expedition may ask you to enter some sensitive information which could give hackers the entry they need to steal information.  Hackers may also try to trick you into opening a seemingly safe email attachment.  Do so and you could unleash a virus into your system.

At the Symposium, O’Neill discussed ransomware….that virus that freezes your computers until a ransom is paid to release it. (Although even if the ransom is paid, in many cases, the result is your system remains frozen). According to O’Neill, ransomware is now the number one cybercrime. As he says, “In 2014, it cost businesses and individuals $24 million. Today that number is $5 billion.

The part you play is very important. Do not open emails unless you’re sure where they come from. If you receive something unsolicited, check the URL. The email may say it’s from Pizza Hut, but it’s actually from some unknown individual in no way associated with Pizza Hut. Look for misspellings or odd phrasing. And never ever open an attachment that you haven’t specifically requested nor have absolute confidence that it comes from someone or some company you trust. Play your part to keep your company’s data secure.

Read more of Jane’s blogs.

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