Computer Threats

Every industry in the world has become reliant on personal computers, a large variety of hand-held electronic devices, the internet, electronic networks and multiple worldwide websites to conduct everyday business. Even our personal lives are very much controlled and influenced by a multitude of hand-held electronic devices and the websites to which they connect us at any time and from any place.   

This all-inclusive access to a plethora of confidential personal and business data has made the internet today’s most lucrative means for making money by stealing information, demanding ransoms and generally disrupting business and personal lives to achieve profits.  It provides a reliable means of making money through hackers’ nefarious invasions into private information held within computers and their connected networks, which can result in financial fraud, identity theft, intellectual property theft, sabotage and damages to an organization’s infrastructure.  

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According to Forrester’s Global Business Techno-graphics Security Survey of 2015, the biggest threat to organizations today is not technological, but involves the people employed by companies and individuals who are granted access to their most confidential and valuable information.  Insider breaches were the most common way in which breaches occurred during the period defined by Forrest’s Survey and most breaches occurred either by accident or inadvertent misuse, abusive malicious intent or a combination of the two.  

External breaches were the second most common according to the Survey and were usually achieved through software exploitation with a lesser percentage involving human interaction in the form of phishing, water hole attacks and malicious links and e-mail attachments.  External and internal targeting of an organization’s business partners and third-party suppliers can also result in hacking of valuable information, as can the loss or theft of electronic devices (Smartphones, laptops, tablets, external hard drives, flash drives, etc.). 

Internet Technology (IT) security experts have historically focused their efforts on detecting and eliminating outside threats, but many are now realizing the importance of identifying insider threats in the form of present or former employees, contractors, vendors or partners who have access to vital confidential data, as well as their multiple connections.  

Sometimes the hackers compromise the credentials of legitimate users in order to access information and it’s very difficult for IT security personnel to distinguish between the real users and hackers. 

About 56% of data breaches occur because of honest mistakes made by insiders like employees of the health care industry’s practice of taking information home to use on an unsecured personal computer or an insider accidentally sending unencrypted documents through e-mail.  

Approximately 26% of data breaches were traced to insiders who maliciously and intentionally commit fraud, steal confidential data or attempt to sabotage the company or its assets.   

Internet Technology (IT) experts have defined a process for detecting and eliminating insider threats by focusing less on technology and more on human behaviors and the motivations, intentions and capabilities behind them. IT security pros have determined a number of reasons for trusted colleagues or other insiders to make the choice to go rogue and maliciously act to cause a data breach or other nefarious invasion into confidential information. 

Reasons insiders choose to turn against a company include disgruntled present or former employees, disagreements with and revenge for a perceived wrong by a manager or fellow employee, employees who feel “entitled,” outside influences in the form of blackmail and monetary rewards paid to employees and political and/or religious beliefs. 

The importance of maintaining a good working relationship with an IT firm has never been more important to individuals and businesses who rely on computers and the internet to conduct day to day business. 
Professional IT security experts with EyesEverywhere.ca can discuss the particular IT issues presently faced by your company.