Is your business vulnerable to cyber attack? Short answer: yes. We all are vulnerable.
Technological evil naturally follows technological advances and breakthroughs, because there will always be humans who will use something for bad purposes. Here's a perfect example: deepfakes.
Deepfakes are phony videos or audios that look and sound just like the real thing. Once merely an amusement for losers putting celebrities' faces on porn stars' bodies, the technology for creating videos that are almost impossible to detect as fakery are almost here. One expert believes "perfectly real" deepfakes are going to be here in as little as six months.
We have an election coming up in 2020. Can you imagine what's going to to be flying around social media? Trouble is coming. We can only pray journalism will be able to save us from the shenanigans ahead.
What could a competitor do to wreck your reputation on Yelp?
Sadly, evil follows innovation. How to slow it, or stop it?
We can't stop hackers and thieves and troublemakers from doing their thing, but we can make our businesses easier to be "avoidable" by them. Some simple security measures can make a world of difference.
You need to stop using Windows XP and Windows 7 as soon as possible. These are obsolete operating systems with massive security risks. Windows is ending support for 7 on January 14.
Even Windows 10 has occasional issues. Microsoft is pushing an emergency patch for Internet Explorer this week. Apple this week said an attacker might be able to access your iPad with a bug associated with third-party keyboards.
You might shrug and say to yourself, "It's all a mess. Nothing is safe. I'm just going to live my life and see what happens."
And many people do. They figure it's all so complicated and scary, better to just ignore all of it.
Those words are music to the ears of cyber criminals.
Here's the takeaway: yes, there are a small group of bad people out there. No, we as one person don't have the ability to stop a global cyber attack. But YES, we can toughen up and protect our own data - and prevent our "little" systems being used as a proxy to harm many other people.
We can and we must do better.
It's a little technical (if you're not a technical person), but here's a list of measures that will go a long way in protecting your business.
I'll leave you with one superhuman powerful method to ward off attacks that will cost you absolutely nothing, and save you from a security nightmare.
Educate your staff and employees. Tell them to never, ever click on a link that looks suspicious. Never, ever.