What’s YOUR Cyber Security Threat Level?
According to Pablo Passeri at Hackmageddon.com, a site that compiles monthly stats on cyber activity, the chances of your website or network being attacked are growing exponentially. And the goal of over 80% of those attacks? Criminal activity.
Most of the attacks – somewhere around 25-30% — are against industry. Anywhere from 7-22% of the attacks are against government. Attacks against individuals represent about 12% of the total. (These Hackmageddon figures are from the second half of 2016.)
Is it possible to protect 100% against hacking?
No. Even the experts say that their programs or systems are never 100% secure.
After all, with 30,817 attacks happening every minute (according to Wordfence.com), how could anyone possibly keep up!? Did you just skim over that last figure? It is so amazing, let me repeat it: 30,817 attacks per minute! Makes you want to DO something, right?!
There are simple steps you can take, but . . .
As a home business owner, and builder of several WordPress sites, here’s some of what I have learned about so-called simple steps to protect your financial and intellectual property.
1-Cyber protection isn’t free.
The first layers of security don’t cost much except time. They involve simple things like using good passwords and adjusting the built-in security levels on your software.
Amazing but true, some 40% of consumers use the same password for multiple devices, and nearly half the home users use the default passwords that come with their routers!
2-Cyber security is added in layers to your network – and each layer has its own cost.
After the initial adjustments, you can add a layer of “free” antivirus or malware protection for your system, like Avast or AVG. These programs are easy enough to install on your desktop; the free programs to protect your WordPress websites take a bit more time to customize.
Soon you’ll recognize the limitations of free, though, and will want to purchase and install security programs appropriate for the value of the work you do online.
A home computer network, for example, can be strengthened by software like Kaspersky and McAfee. Your websites can use the protection offered by an upgrade to the professional versions of iThemes and Wordfence.
Nearly all these security programs come as “security suites,” with ever more levels of protection. Naturally, the more layers or levels, the greater the cost, if only in time to manage them.
3-Cyber protection goes out of date the minute you install it.
As mentioned above, new hacking attacks occur daily, with new “weapons” being developed regularly. For example, Symantec reports that a new zero–day exploit emerges on a weekly basis. (A zero-day attack takes advantage of a security vulnerability on the same day it becomes known – often, on the day the program is introduced – and before the developer has time to create a patch for it.)
Security software does its best to track and protect against the deluge of worms, viruses and vulnerabilities. I have found that the free versions do work, but are often not automatically kept up to date.
In any case, updating operating systems, programs and security software takes time and diligence.
Lower your threat level with cyber security resources
All the products mentioned above in this Advisory are ones that I am familiar with, and I recommend you consider them as you examine your security situation. (I have no affiliation with any of them.)
If you’re starting at the home network “set-up” level . . .
then you may want more details. Here’s a resource that comes from Amazon (where we DO have an affiliate relationship) that offers step by step guidance. Click on the image or the link to go directly to Amazon for full details.
What’s attractive about this book is that it is SIMPLE. Only 125 or so pages, no dissertation about global trends, just down to earth recommendations for how to harden your set-up – layer by layer. You can get a kindle version, or the hard copy. (I always prefer hard-copy because I like to add flags and underlining.)
If you own or work in a small business . . .
your IT expertise may be limited or sporadic. Even if you think your network is working well, take a look at this new quiz, published by Emergency Plan Guide.
It’s only 10 questions, but they will quickly give you a sense of how well your business is set up to protect against cyber threats, and make it easy to plug gaps you may find.
Remember, internal threats (i.e., employee action or inaction) account for 80% of security problems in business!
Disclaimer: At Emergency Plan Guide, we are not security experts, and the material here and in our Cyber Quiz is meant for information only. It may not be complete, and does not constitute professional security advice.
But if you’re tempted to ignore it, you are raising your own threat level!
Your Emergency Plan Guide Team
P.S. What security stories do you have to share? Let us know in the comments. EVERYbody will benefit.
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