Want to Know if You’ve Been Hacked? How to Protect Your Data
There is so much for business users to be aware of in today’s technology landscape. Ongoing threat of cyber attack means you need to be constantly vigilant against possible hacks.
Just this week my friend Marie nearly fell victim to a cyber attack. She received an email at lunchtime from her boss. He was asking her for help on a task that needed to be done ‘promptly’. As it was lunchtime she checked it on her phone and didn’t see what the actual sender email address was.
She replied, and was unknowingly speaking to a cyber criminal. If she had complied with his request she would have lost the company money and put them at risk. Luckily she checked with her boss in person before carrying out any actions and quickly realised it was a scam email.
Not everyone is always so lucky. I have written in the past about companies who have lost thousands of pounds due to cyber-attack. Read more about spam emails here.
Hacks aren’t always easy to spot. Sometimes they can occur without ever being noticed. In some cases you might need outside help to know something is wrong.
What is Ethical Hacking?
You might have heard of white-hat hacking or ethical hacking before. There have been some famous cases where hackers have alerted large organisations such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft to vulnerabilities.
Such as the well known case back in 2013, where a hacker alerted Facebook of a security weakness by hacking founder Mark Zuckerberg’s own account.
Organisations will offer large rewards to hackers for testing their defences. It allows companies to find out what their vulnerabilities are and take the steps neeed to protect themselves.
Some businesses now invest in hiring white-hat hackers to test their defences on a continuing basis.
But what if you’re a smaller organisation and you don’t have the option of hiring ethical hackers? There are other options which are suitable for companies of all sizes, which will help you see if your data has been hacked.
How Do You Know If You’ve Been Hacked?
Admist all this it would be great to know if you’ve ever suffered a security breach without knowing it. There are services available which can show you if your private data has been compromised.
Personal data, harvested by criminals, often finds its way to the seedier side of the internet, known as the Dark Web. Most internet users never venture here. And are wise not to. Amongst other criminal activity, cyber criminals sell sensitive data such as email passwords to the highest bidder. Information is a hot commodity these days.
Dark Web Monitoring
Dark Web Monitoring services can show you if you’ve been breached. Giving you awareness in real time, if your sensitive data is available on the Dark Web.
By finding out if any of your employee or customer emails and passwords have been compromised you can get ahead of the risks related to a potential breach.
You can do this by:
- Changing any compromised passwords across all systems
- Adding extra layers of security such as two-factor authentication to account logons
- Investing in security awareness training for your company to help avoid future data breaches
There are services available which users can try out themselves, however, they are often based on unverified sources so you won’t really know if the results are valid or comprehensive. For a more accurate picture of the safety of your company data, it is advisable to use a verified Dark Web Monitoring service. This would usually be something you can access through your IT Support Partner.
If you don’t currently have an IT partner it might be worth considering the benefits of outsourcing your IT. Access to expert advice on using Dark Web Monitoring services to protect your business, is only a small part of how an IT Support Partner can help you.
Your chosen IT partner will work with you, showing you a Dark Web report. They will also advise you on how to take any next steps to improve your IT security. Protecting your company and client data can save you a lot of headaches when dealing with a data breach. Costly and potentially damaging to your reputation, the risks of breaches can be mitigated by taking the right steps now.
To learn more about Dark Web Monitoring services and how you could benefit, fill out a contact form to get in touch with us today.
If you’re interested in hearing more around this topic you might like to register for our upcoming lunch & learn event. This free event will focus on how businesses can improve their IT Security. Click here to learn more.