We all think that malware, hacks and ransomware happen to “the other guy” but that’s not true.  Here are some sobering thoughts from a presentation at the Wheaton/Bekins Awards Conference last week in Las Vegas by U.S. Secret Service Technical Special Agent Ian Benny, which prompted some suggestions of our own as well:

  1. YES, IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU:  Not all hacking happens just to big companies like Target, TJX and MGM.  It happens to sites of companies of all sizes.
  2. REVIEW SUSPICIOUS EMAIL STYLES WITH STAFF:  It’s not foolproof but you can enlighten your staff as to some common hacker tactics:
    1. Watch for emails asking for change of bank account information.
    2. Warn your staff of emails asking them to buy gift cards for you or the office.
    3. Don’t ever click on an attachment that they weren’t expecting.
  3. LOOK AT THE SENDER’S EMAIL ADDRESS:  If it purports to be from American Express but the sender’s email address doesn’t even say American Express, or does but has other letters in it, delete it.
  4. LOGOS AND FANCY ARTWORK ARE PART OF THE GAME:  Just because the hacker has done their graphic design work doesn’t make it real.
  5. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS FREQUENTLY:  This is a pain, but necessary.
  6. DON’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD EVERYWHERE:  If it gets compromised, then they can do real damage everywhere.
  7. MOST HACKING IS COMING FROM RUSSIA:  If your network provider can ban access, you should do so.  This is a big business in Russia and they even have magazines about it.  After the export of oil, this may be their biggest source of revenue, according to Agent Benney.
  8. COMPLAINTS ON CYBER CRIMES AND OTHER CYBER-ENABLED FRAUD FILED WITH FBI:  800,000 in 2022.  Source: FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

We’re all about more sales from your website, but if your site is down, so are your sales.

Onward & Upward!

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