Hackers Love Easy Targets

We're going to let you in on a little secret. Cybersecurity is a lot like surviving on safari. The strongest and most agile animals (companies) have little to worry about when it comes to hungry, prowling lions (hackers). This confidence doesn't come from an ability or prowess to fight off the lions. Rather, it stems from the fact that these animals can outrun their weaker peers.

In other words, hackers are hungry lions on patrol. They don't care what they eat, so long as they get a meal. The key to survival is simply to be faster than the slowest prey.

Below, CyberPolicy discusses why hackers love easy targets and how to avoid becoming one. Of course, ''easy target'' is a relative term depending on the sophistication of the hacker. That's why it is so important to invest in cyber coverage before your organization is attacked. Keep reading for more information.

Are You a Sitting Duck?

''We pretend this is the most complicated thing in the world,'' says Raj Samani, chief scientist at McAfee, in an interview with ZDNet. ''Strong passwords, backing up your data, updating your security software – security isn't that difficult.''

And yet it seems difficult. Research shows that there were more than 3.1 billion records leaked due to data breaches and cyberattacks in 2016. If cyber defense management is so easy, then why all the casualties?

It may seem counterintuitive at first, but both assertions can be true: Cybersecurity is A) easy and B) not easy at the same time. What do we mean by this?

Well, it's easy enough to come up with a good password or ignore a spam email. No one is disputing that. But year after year, we see users employ simple passphrases and click on messages they shouldn't. What gives?

The difficulty arises in establishing good online habits. The late comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, ''People who smoke cigarettes say I don't know how hard it is to quit smoking. I say, 'Yes, I do. It is exactly as hard as it is to start flossing.'''

It's a silly joke to be sure, but it reveals an essential truth. Bad habits are hard to quit, and good habits are just as hard to start.

If you want to protect your small business from cyberattackers, you'll need to force better decisions within your company. This means hosting quarterly (or even monthly) training sessions to discuss important defense measures. Best practices include:

  • Using unique passwords
  • Eschewing suspicious emails and phone calls
  • Communicating mistakes and warnings to the IT team
  • Avoiding unapproved software downloads
  • Keeping programs and add-ons up to date with the latest security patches
  • Saving and sharing data only over an encrypted cloud service
  • Enabling two-factor authentication for online accounts

Each of these steps is simple to tackle on their own, but in the aggregate, they can seem intimidating. Encourage your co-workers and staff to ask questions and make improvements as they go. Setting benchmarks is a good way to accomplish this – for example, getting all users to adopt a password manager by the end of January.

Are you ready to change your security status from 'sitting duck' to 'wily prey'? Visit CyberPolicy for more tips on staying safe online. We also offer free cyber coverage insurance quotes to companies like yours!

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