Not exactly something you want to see or experience for yourself. Even just hearing those 2 words brings a bad vibe with it.
But the unfortunate reality is that it does happen every day. To way too many people. And far too many companies, regardless of whether you’re big or small.
The point is, no one is immune. And in most cases, it’s not personal.
Unless you’re Scott Schober, the author of “Hacked Again”. Scott’s company was hacked. Not once, but multiple times.
Scott is the president of Berkeley Varitronics Systems. He is also a Cybersecurity expert that helps companies learn how to remain safe in this online digital world by keeping their networks protected and confidential company data secure.
He believes he was targeted as a result of his profession. So for him it was apparently personal.
In his new best-selling book, Scott outlines and describes the ‘dark side’ of technology.
I found it to be informative, thought-provoking, and very concerning all at the same time.
He does an excellent job explaining and presenting his material in an easy-to-understand way. There is a wealth of information here that should raise your awareness for keeping yourself and your company safe from this invisible enemy.
But it’s not only about getting hacked. You will also find details about keeping yourself safe from viruses, malware, spam, the new ransomeware virus, identity theft, banking and credit card fraud, social media account breaches, and a host of other cyberattacks and threats du jour.
There are 2 common elements that allow these disturbing and disruptive incidents to occur.
- Weak passwords. I think we’re all guilty of this one.
- Not using common sense. Like opening a file attachment from an unknown or suspicious sender. Or providing personal information to an email solicitation that looks legit, or to an anonymous caller posing as your bank, credit card provider…
There is no guarantee that you will never be hacked, but it’s up to each of us to make it as difficult as possible for the bad guys to access our information. And one of the best ways to do this is by maintaining very strong passwords. You will find this resonating throughout the book.
In this book you may also learn some new things about the Internet. Including the surface web that we all use publicly. And the deep web (aka the dark web) that’s hidden from search engines. Although there are legitimate reasons for this hidden network, it’s typically what the cybercriminals use so they can fly below the radar and remain anonymous.
This is a quick read. So make it a point to go to Amazon or your favorite supplier and get this book. You can also get it at https://scottschober.com/product/hacked-again-hardcover-book-free-tshirt-scott-schober/.
At IDeACOM, we have seen a significant increase in the number of phone systems that are compromised by unauthorized outside access (aka hackers). And these breaches can result in excessive toll charges that puts you on the hook with your carrier. Yes, unfortunately you are responsible for those unauthorized charges. Here’s a link back to the May post.
If you have no need to call internationally, then it would be wise to block international access at the carrier level. If on the other hand, international calling is necessary, then adding a layer of forced, verified account codes would make it more difficult for a hacker to place calls even if they did gain access your system.
Newer VoIP systems offer more sophisticated security and tools for limiting or restricting access.
Last year we implemented two-factor authentication on our cloud-based data network with Intermedia. This feature provides an added level of security which you have to “allow” from your smartphone.
It’s very appealing because it requires you to authorize that it’s you requesting access to your data. And you authorize it from a separate device. For now it’s peace of mind. At least until we hear about someone figuring out how to compromise that layer of security.