Last week we spotlighted the Dark Web. We focused on what it is and why it is dangerous. The Dark Web is where credentials end up if your data is compromised. If your data was compromised - even one account, your credentials need to be attended to immediately. The first thing you should do is change your passwords for all accounts you may have used that same password. Passwords should be complex and a combination of at least 8-10 letters and characters. It would be best to consider making your strong password a passphrase, a sequence of words meshed together. In addition to the primary step of changing your password, let’s take a look at what you should be doing continuously to keep your data as safe as possible.
The Dark Web is only accessible via unique browsers or software that allow the users to remain anonymous. Imagine the Dark Web as an unlit, hidden alley. You can’t see the face of anyone when you peek inside; transactions are happening between people that aren’t being seen, and individuals are moving freely, anonymously, and without a trace. Search engines like Google or Bing track nothing. Encryption hides identities, and to get into these secret areas, you need to have special software. Like that "dark alley," this is where dishonest behavior can thrive. If your information and identity are being exchanged on the Dark Web, you need to know so you can remedy things quickly.
There is a common misconception out there. Many small to midsized businesses think that they are “too small” to be a target for cybercrimes. We wish that were the case, but unfortunately, cybercriminals do not care who you are or the size of your business. If there is data to be stolen, you are a target. When you take a closer look at the data, a small or midsize business is more likely—not less—to face a cyber-attack compared with large enterprises.
A story was recently shared with us about a college student and her experience in finding a job. The student is in graphic design and has a portfolio. When she came across a well-known company that creates sports-branded gear that was hiring, it was something she decided to pursue. She sent the company her portfolio electronically, and they set up an interview using a chat forum. They asked a few questions and then asked her to fill out forms that were going to put her in the queue to begin receiving work from them. She completed each one and recommended this to friends, who were all excited about this opportunity. Everything seemed normal until one of her friends paused when he was asked to give his social security number, address, date of birth, and banking information for payments rendered.
It is October, and we have something other than a pumpkin spice latte to get excited about. October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Since there are thirty-one days in October, let’s take a look at thirty-one cybersecurity tips.
This past week, Howard University had to cancel classes due to “unusual activity on the University’s network.” As a result, their Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) team shut down the school’s classes for the day to investigate the situation, which they identified as a ransomware attack. This ransomware attack brought to light the consideration of how deep and wide the net can be cast on any one entity. An incident like this forces us to pause and consider the range of data that could be compromised. A university or college is like a mini-city.
Recently, President Biden met with leaders in the private sector as well as those in education to discuss the need to address cybersecurity threats to the nation and efforts needed across the board. The increase in incidents and the ongoing threat of attack transcends all invisible borders that we put on humans or businesses. In other words, cybercriminals don’t care about your race, religion, income, or the industry that you work within. Data is valuable to them, and they will obtain it however is necessary. This meeting was held to unify efforts so that collectively we are fighting the battle against hackers with the hope of having a more significant impact. The outcome of the meeting was as follows…