The internet has revolutionized nearly every aspect of modern
life. It is nearly impossible to imagine businesses operating without online
data. However, the convenience of email, web browsing and text messages also
brings serious potential weaknesses.
Hackers are always seeking ways to gain access to personal and
company data, and often succeeding. Here are some digital threats to be on the
Fake Wi-Fi Networks
Many public places such as libraries, coffee shops and even
airports offer free public Wi-Fi. While it’s not a good idea to transmit
sensitive data over a public Wi-Fi connection, these access points are
generally reasonably safe for browsing the web for news or streaming video.
However, in many cases, what appears to be legitimate public Wi-Fi hotspots are
actually fake portals designed to steal passwords and other sensitive
These fake Wi-Fi networks can
be difficult to differentiate from legitimate public hotspots, but there are a
few telltale signs. Most legitimate public Wi-Fi spots do not require passwords
for access, but they do require agreement with their terms and conditions. By
contrast, fake Wi-Fi networks will connect users immediately – but operate
sluggishly with lagging that reflects the fraudulent activity taking place
behind the scenes.
Trojans, Malware and Spyware
Hackers also gain access to vulnerable computers through Trojans, malware and
spyware. Keyloggers are an especially vicious form of infiltration. A
keylogger is a program that records every keystroke made on keyboards connected
to infected computers. That information is relayed back to the hacker, who then
uses it to harvest credit card data, banking records and other sensitive
financial and personal information. This type of unauthorized activity can go
on for a very long time before victims are even aware they’ve been infected.
through malicious links embedded in email messages that are designed to look
legitimate. Some phishing schemes are obvious fakes, such as claims from a
Nigerian prince that the victim has been selected to receive a large sum of
money. Others are more sophisticated, like scary messages warning victims that
their bank debit cards have been compromised. While most people won’t fall for
Nigerian scams, the latter type of email can often appear to be legitimate.
Sometimes hackers gain access to computers by embedding
malicious code into legitimate websites. Drive–by downloads gain
access to victims’ computers through vulnerabilities and weakness in an
operating system or security software that has not been properly updated.
Victims pick up malware from infected sites through ordinary surfing and are
often unaware that their computers have been infected. Website owners are
likewise unaware that their sites have been infected until victims begin
Protecting Company Data
The hazards from hackers gaining unauthorized access to
sensitive company data are indisputable. The only 100 percent guarantee for
companies against becoming targeted or infected is to take all of their
computers completely offline. That’s neither feasible nor desirable.
Invest in Protection
While commonsense measures can provide some safeguards, they do
not provide the level of protection needed to protect your data from
sophisticated hackers. It’s prudent to invest in professional protection such
as LifeLock with Norton
360 to get a firm defense that is designed to thwart a wide range of
online threats. With identity theft protection, device security and VPN, the
combination of LifeLock and Norton 360 can help keep your company data safe and
quickly identity and remedy any issues if they do occur.
Simple measures such as not clicking on links in suspicious
emails, using a VPN to access public Wi-Fi hotspots and software updated can
minimize the risk of infection from phishing, malware and spyware. Take the
time to educate your staff to prevent them from engaging in unsafe online
practices as well. However, for maximum protection of critical company
operational, financial or personnel data, it is well worth investing in