Technology is great, and it has evolved to a point where the files we used to keep in the filing cabinet, is either up in cloud or on our hard-drives or servers. However, the online world is wild and full of potential risks, some of which we are not even aware of.
Recently we have seen breaches of online security at some of the biggest online brands we know. PayPal, eBay and Amazon have all suffered from attacks on their systems. One of the latest scenarios to be played out has been at Dominos, where the management of the company have been held to ransom by cyber criminals over their data. The data, which consisted of customer data and payment information, was stolen and is now being sold back into Dominos.
What do these organised cyber criminals want to achieve?
It is all about data.
You may have heard the phrase, ‘knowledge is power’ and that is still the case. In today’s world, this knowledge is data. The data that has been stolen from these famous online brands tell a story about us, and contain sensitive personal information such as; names, addresses, passwords, bank details… Now you can start to see the value of our data to these criminals.
Nearly all online operations and websites have security procedures and protocols in place to keep our data and their data safe. Technology is moving at such a rate that, on occasion, these procedures and protocols are broken and data extracted.
So, how do you keep your data and online information safe?
There are a number of ways you can keep your data more secure. Online security should be at the forefront of any business decision, as well as any consumer habits.
VPN: Virtual Private Networks (VPN) serve as an extra layer of security, ensuring that the information that you pass from one place to another is encrypted. This encryption means that the criminals who want your data have to do a lot more to get their hands on it. VPNs can really help protect online information such as; passwords, payment information and much more.
Cloud: Cloud technology is probably the latest ‘buzz’ in technology services. The technology works by allowing users to save and store their information on another server, which you can access from almost anywhere in the world, through any device. Online file-syncing services such as; Microsoft Skydrive, Dropbox and Google Drive are the most popular services currently online and available to businesses and consumers alike. However, not all is what it seems with Cloud technology.
As you are passing data to another service provider, in this case the Cloud service provider, you are giving them permission to store your information. This information is not secure, especially as most of the servers are either unencrypted or simply unprotected.
Two-Factor Authentication: You may not be able to do much when it comes to criminals going to the source for data and other information. You may have seen this with PayPal recently. The first, and one of the best, things you can do is to ensure that you protect your online information using unique and random passwords.
This technology requires you to enter a short passcode, in addition to your password, in order for you to access any account information or data that you may be protecting.
Document Protection: This is an essential tool in your security arsenal. If your business sends information, either internally or externally, you will need something like this in order to protect the data you are distributing.
This software can help stop copying of any documents, without your express permission, as well as disabling any modification to the document and even disabling printing capabilities. The software is so advanced now you can give the document an expiration date, so the file with the information cannot be opened after a certain time and date. Developers like LockLizard provide a suite of programs that can help you protect documents in this way.
These are just a few options that can help your business, as well as yourself as a consumer, in this evolving online landscape. The stories that break on the news channels are very real, the threat is real, but the solutions are also real.