October may be a time for crisp weather, changing leaves and pumpkin spice, but it’s also a time for spooky stories, and cybersecurity is no exception. At LaunchTech, we have the opportunity to work with the people who confront these virtual ghouls and goblins on a daily basis. So in honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month (and Halloween, of course), our team reflected on a few of the biggest cyber spooks we’ve learned from our clients:
It’s scary to think that your information is always vulnerable online, even when you aren’t necessarily targeted by an attack. In this digital age, we heavily rely on the internet, and we assume that all of the websites we use on a daily basis are secure. With every online account we open, our passwords, emails, usernames and more are stored, waiting for an attacker to scoop them up.
Almost everything that utilizes technology in some aspect is hackable—road lights, satellites, cameras. Working in this industry, I’ve noticed that there are not nearly enough conversations or catalysts taking place to ensure the safety of these critical structures that keeps society afloat, and that’s a pretty spooky thought.
As individuals, we are incredibly vulnerable to cyber threats. In my opinion, social engineering attacks are the spookiest. Even something as simple as a malicious link sent to your phone via text can give hackers full access to your personal information.
Coming from someone who could certainly upgrade her password security game, it’s pretty spooky how easy it can be for hackers to get their hands on your information when your passwords aren’t up to par. We’ve learned a lot from our clients about the importance of password security and tips for making it as strong as possible. For example, use password phrases where you would typically use passwords. Once you get a phrase up to 28-30 characters, it becomes much more difficult to crack!
While your cybersecurity posture might be robust, the third-party vendors that you work with may be spooky enough to still affect your company. This means that even if an organization has all of their ducks in a row when it comes to their cybersecurity, a third-party may ultimately be the reason for a breach.
Have you ever thought about how much your phone can actually track you? There are numerous ways your smartphone can pick up on your location, whether through the apps you install and use or cell towers and wireless networks. Our clients have taught me that turning off, or restricting, location access for apps is critical to ensure you can maintain some semblance of privacy in this digital world.
Nothing screams ‘spooky’ more than 0-click malware. Yes, there is literally malware that can be deployed onto your device or network without requiring you to perform any action. That means you don’t have to click on a link or file, have a compromised password or any of the other typical attack methodologies to fall victim.
The spookiest thing I have learned working with cybersecurity professionals is that, despite having the best security controls in place, no tools can account for human nature and the endless motivation of cyber criminals. Hackers play off of human fear and emotion to stir up self doubt that gets us to second guess our security instincts in the name of convenience, maintaining status quo or avoiding conflict. A lot of the time, hackers don’t even have to “hack” to breach a company. They just need one human to slip up.
Cybersecurity is spooky. The deeper you get, the more fringe and bizarro it becomes. However, it’s also an industry that proves the adage ‘there’s more than one way to skin a cat.’ Our clients reflect this with varied backgrounds, opinions and technologies. In recent years the industry has turned over. Leadership is younger, and lines of communication are opening up between corporate and analysts, developers and engineers. There’s a keen attention and respect being paid to the humans working in the trenches. It is this change that makes cyber less spooky and more accessible.
While our clients may be able to help you navigate the scary world of cybersecurity, LaunchTech’s team of PR professionals can take the spook out of your company’s media relations, social media strategies and more! Contact the LaunchTech team today to learn more.