In this article, I’ll give you a few tips on how you can stay safe from cyber attacks in 2020.

Follow A Clean Desk Policy

Photo by Owen Vachell on Unsplash

Following a clean desk policy will help reduce the risk of information theft, fraud, or a security breach caused by sensitive information being left in plain view. When leaving your desk, be sure to lock your computer and put away sensitive documents.

Be Aware When Creating Or Disposing Of Paper Documents

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

Why Do Criminals Use A Phishing Attack?

Astute criminals have uncovered the easiest way to hack into an organization.

Whenever they want to infect a computer or gain access to important information like account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers, all they have to do is ask.

Why Do Criminals Use A Phishing Attack?

Astute criminals have uncovered the easiest way to hack into an organization.

Whenever they want to infect a computer or gain access to important information like account numbers, passwords, or PIN numbers, all they have to do is ask.

How Does A Phishing Attack Start?

A phishing attack usually starts with the criminal coming right out and messaging you.

They may give you a phone call, an…

A Tragic History Of Data Breaches

We have suffered from high profile data breaches at many big-name retailers, hundreds of millions of consumers have had their credit and debit cards compromised, not to mention other personal information.

The consequences of suffering data breaches caused major brand damage and range from consumer mistrust, a drop in traffic, and a decrease in sales.

Cybercriminals are getting increasingly sophisticated, with no end in sight.

They are getting so sophisticated that retailers, retail standards organizations, audit committees, and retail organizational boards are testifying before Congress and implementing strategies that will protect them from the next costly data breach.

Since 2014…

Let’s talk about using Caution with Email Attachments.

While email attachments are a popular and convenient way to send documents, they are also one of the most common sources of viruses.

Use caution when opening attachments, even if they appear to have been sent by someone you know.

Why can email attachments be dangerous?

Some of the characteristics that make email attachments convenient and popular are also the ones that make them a common tool for attackers:

Email is easily circulated.

Forwarding email is so simple that viruses can quickly infect many machines.

Most viruses don’t even require users to…

USB drives are popular for storing and transporting data, but some of the characteristics that make them convenient also introduce security risks.

What security risks are associated with USB drives?

Because USB drives, sometimes known as thumb drives, are small, readily available, inexpensive, and extremely portable, they are popular for storing and transporting files from one computer to another.

However, these same characteristics make them appealing to attackers.

One option is for attackers to use your USB drive to infect other computers.

An attacker might infect a computer with malicious code, or malware, that can detect when a USB drive is plugged into a computer.

The malware then downloads malicious code onto the drive.

When the USB drive is plugged into another computer, the malware infects that computer.

Some attackers…

Let’s talk a little bit about company privacy in general first…

Companies store a ton of data.

You know this.

Everyone knows this.

But we’re not always happy about the kinds of data they store.

We rightfully get pretty touchy when we hear our address, credit card number, mental health inquiries, or private conversations are just hanging out on some internet server where they might wind up in the wrong hands.

Like…

Say…

An employee of the company that collected them.

The latest example: Motherboard is reporting that Snapchat employees have a special tool called SnapLion that can give them…

Buckle in.

Let’s talk about protecting your privacy online.

Before submitting your email address or other personal information online, you need to be sure that the privacy of that information will be protected.

To protect your identity and prevent an attacker from easily accessing additional information about you, be cautious about providing your birth date, Social Security number, or other personal information online.

How do you know if your privacy is being protected?

Read the Privacy policy

Before submitting your name, email address, or other personal information on a website, look for the site’s privacy policy.

This policy should state…

I’ve consulted on cybersecurity with companies as large as 70,000 employees here in MD and DC over the last decade.

And one of the worries I see in companies big and small is their fear of data breaches.

27.9% of businesses experience data breaches each year, and 9.6% of those who suffer a breach go out of business. The average financial cost is in the neighborhood of $8.19m, and 93.8% of the time, they’re caused by human error.

You may have heard about the ransom of Baltimore back in May.

Hackers infiltrated Baltimore’s government through an innocent-looking email with ransomware…

I regularly teach on this subject professionally for organizations as large as 70,000 employees, and it’s one of my favorite subjects to help people better understand.

Let’s go over a few Good Security Habits to help you stay safe.

There are some simple habits you can adopt that, if performed consistently, will dramatically reduce the chances that the information on your computer will be lost or corrupted.

How can you minimize the access others have to your information?

It may be easy to identify people who could gain physical access to your devices.

Family members, roommates, coworkers, people nearby, and…

Read on to learn how you can protect your business from the most common cyber attacks. The 5 topics covered are easy to understand, and cost-effective to implement.

1. Back up your data

Take regular backups of your important data, and test they can be restored.

This will reduce the inconvenience of any data loss from theft, fire, other physical damage, or ransomware.

Identify what needs to be backed up. Normally this will comprise documents, photos, emails, contacts, and calendars, kept in a few common folders. Make backing up part of your everyday business.

Ensure the device containing your backup is not permanently connected to…

David McHale — PsySec Instructor — Phisher Hunter

Principal @ HailBytes — Sec+/Net+ Author of “#Cybersecurity Survival Guide” Series + “Better #Security With The People You Have.” #infosec #securityawareness

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store