If you can’t tell by now, I love infographics. I particularly love this infographic, provided by Behance Network, which demonstrates what hackers are after and how they get into a system. By looking at this information, we can use three simple steps to reduce our potential liability.
First, 55% of hackers enter through exiting remote access applications. Think the cloud, remote desktop, LogMeIn Ignition, or some other program you use to log into your system via the Internet. I’m guessing that a large percentage of these break-ins occur due to weak passwords, or access of the site over an unencrypted network, which may reveal the password. So, use strong passwords and only use secure networks. I recommend a program such as LastPass to generate and store password. I use 18 character alpha numeric passwords, and I use a different one for each website I use. Also, avoid using unencrypted wireless networks, such as those at coffee shops. Try to only access information via secure connections, such as from your home to your office.
Second, you probably shouldn’t be keeping any of your customer’s credit card information. Credit card information accounts for 85% of hacking targets, so use a credit card processor to handle your card transactions. Don’t store the information, and leave the security up to someone else. It’s probably also a good idea to avoid saving your business credit card with online merchants. I understand the need for convenience, but don’t give your credit card information out to anyone. An easy way to avoid this is to use Paypal, and use Paypal to pay whenever possible.
Finally, most data is extracted via malware and “existing protocols.” Honestly, I’m not sure what exactly they mean by “exiting protocols,” but I’m guessing that it means using a protocol such as email to send files out. A firewall may help limit the amount of existing protocols that are available on your computer. As for malware, avoid visiting shady websites and make sure you have malware detection and removal software installed on your computer. Update it regularly, and use that “full scan” feature liberally.
By following these three simple rules, you should significantly reduce any liability you may suffer due to a successful hacking attempt.