With the increasing move towards all things digital, businesses need to give serious thought about how to protect themselves from hackers. If recent history has taught us anything, it’s that no business is too large or too small to be attacked. On October 21st, Dyn experienced two distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS). Dyn is a company that manages website domains and routes internet traffic. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. They target a wide variety of important resources, from banks to news websites, and present a major challenge to making sure people can publish and access important information.  The attack affected social media sites such as Twitter and online shopping sites, including Etsy. The impact on both businesses and individuals reached far and wide.
Why is this important to you?
According to the Ponemon Institute, 50% of small to medium sized businesses had a data breach in the past year. By patching up vulnerabilities in your business’ cyber security, you can fortify your defense against hackers. Here are a few ways to make your security more robust:
- Install Anti-Virus Software. Antivirus software provides protection from malware, which is any type of program that attempts to either harm or gain access to a system. Viruses are a type of malware. Malware can get your passwords, potentially accessing your personal information and that of your customers. Installing antivirus software can defend against malware to provide more security to your server and your logins.
- Use Firewalls. Firewalls can be either hardware or software and provide an additional line of defense against hackers attempting to access your system. Firewalls prevent you from visiting sites that could be potentially harmful. Some operating systems, such as Microsoft Windows, already come with firewalls so you may have this protection without even realizing it.
- Build in Encryption Software. Encryption software ensures that sensitive data like employee and customer information doesn’t get into the wrong hands. It does this by making the sensitive data unreadable to unauthorized users.
- Remember to “Back It Up”. In the event of a cyber security breach, you want to make sure that important information isn’t lost or damaged so that your business can get back on track as soon as possible. A way to prevent this is by “backing up” your data, on either an external hard drive or a cloud service on the Internet, or both.
- Inform Employees About What to Watch Out For. If you have employees, they are on the front line everyday, meaning that they likely spend a lot of time on your server. It is important to teach your employees what to watch out for so that they can detect suspicious activity as soon as possible. Employees should watch out for phishing, a process of obtaining information by sending an authentic looking email from a seemingly legitimate source. Often phishing emails will be alarming and threatening. The emails might say that they are from your operating system provider and that if you don’t click on the link in the email, your system could crash and your information could be lost. People often fall victim to phishing out of fear of the outcome if they don’t take action, or because they trust the source of the email. Make sure that your employees are well informed of these methods used by hackers.
These five tips for fortifying your business’ cyber security may help you be more protected. However, breaches can still happen even after taking action to prevent them. If you want to learn more about DDoS attacks, click here.
- Hacker Lexicon: What are DOS and DDOS Attacks?
- How Hackers Make Money from DDoS Attacks
- DDoS Attack – Distributed Denial of Service
- Widespread Cyberattack Takes Down Sites Worldwide
- How to Recognize Phishing Email Messages, Links, or Phone calls
- SMBs are Vulnerable to Cyber Attacks
- Cybersecurity: A Small Business Guide
- Viruses, Spyware, and Malware
DISCLAIMER: This post provides general information related to cyber security. Lindbergh is not a law firm. This information is not intended as a substitute for, and should not be relied upon as, legal advice. It is provided for general educational and informational purposes only. Although Lindbergh strives to ensure that its content is accurate, it makes no guarantees. All legal inquiries should be directed to intellectual property counsel in your State or jurisdiction. Lindbergh is not responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of this post or damages arising from the use of this information under any circumstances.