As long as there have been computers, there have been hackers.  And whilst you are using computers to store and process information, your business is at risk from hackers!

Have you seen War Games? If not, here’s how the story goes:

Matthew Broderick in War Games

Matthew Broderick in War Games

A young computer whizz kid accidentally connects into a top secret super-computer which has complete control over the U.S. nuclear arsenal. It challenges him to a game between America and Russia, and he innocently starts the countdown to World War 3.

Can he convince the computer he wanted to play a game and not the real thing ?

That was 1983 – 30 years ago!

Hacking into computers is a criminal enterprise of global proportions. The Internet is an unregulated medium and that makes it equally as dangerous as texting while driving, swimming in the River Severn or trying to walk across the M6.

Lacking the same budget and expertise as large corporations yet exposed to the same ever-changing threat landscape, small and medium-sized businesses presents a big opportunity for worldwide cyber criminals.  In fact, as many as 75 per cent of recent data breaches targeted small and medium-sized businesses.

It’s nothing new

The War Games plot is 30 years old and could suggest that the nature of hacking itself has changed. Matthew Broderick’s David was only having fun, after all.

But it hasn’t.

Hackers haven’t evolved because they wanted to – they have evolved because they have had to but their techniques have changed very little since the 1980s.  They have the same motivations – moral or immoral, for fun or profit – and the only thing that has really changed are their opportunities.

Quite simply, with millions of us now on the world wide web, there are more opportunities than ever before for them to get your personal or private details.

Your business is at risk from hackers no more!

To ensure that your business is at risk from hackers no more there are plenty of things you can do such as policing the use of personal devices, control who and what can use the office wireless, and limit who is allowed to install software on their computers.

Yet with half of all hacking attacks taking place using stolen information such as usernames and passwords, policy and paperwork alone is not going to help.  So what can you do to keep these criminals out of your business world and off your computer systems?

Better password management is a must and we’ve already talked about using pass-phrases instead of passwords, another is using two-factor authentication similar to what most of us have for our Internet banking.

Two-factor authentication enhances your regular username and password with a second one-time password that is generated in real time using a mobile phone or hardware token.  Because the second password is “one-time” is can be used only once and cannot be put to use if stolen.

Our preferred anti-virus vendor ESET has recently launched their Secure Authentication product, a two-factor authentication solution that can protect remote access to your computer systems and any sensitive data you may hold.

And the good news – until the end of September 2013 we are offering you a 10 per cent discount on licenses for ESET Secure Authentication.  To take advantage of this offer contact us on 01952 303404.