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5 Ways Hackers Steal Company Secrets | Homegrown | Cultivating Success | Entrepreneur Stories | Business Tips
5 Ways Hackers Steal Company Secrets | Homegrown | Cultivating Success | Entrepreneur Stories | Business Tips
Jul 2015

5 Ways Hackers Steal Company Secrets

5 Ways Hackers Steal Company Secrets

With cyber criminals getting more innovative at hacking confidential business and customer data, it has become a necessity for companies to possess up-to-date security protocols and software, and implement various IT security services to prevent sensitive information from landing in the wrong hands. Enterprises would be wise to be constantly on the lookout for the ever-advancing approaches that digital thieves use to infiltrate businesses.

If you are unfamiliar, here are the five ways that hackers can steal data:

1. Social Media
Nowadays, almost everyone can easily be located on the digital geography through channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube, among others. Research has revealed that it is now possible to exfiltrate commercially sensitive data such as intellectual property, future acquisitions, and development plans through these websites.

Modern organizations possess networks that are complex but have insufficient security controls. This gives attackers fewer barriers to break down. It is necessary for organizations then to block access to such websites in order to prevent a breach of the exfiltration of data. However, the increase of use in mobile data will definitely hand new opportunities for hackers to use covert means to obtain data.

2. Downloading Free Software
Did you know that downloading free software can make businesses vulnerable to being the target of an information breach? By looking for a freeware or a shareware version of Microsoft Office or other software, one can introduce malware, viruses, or “buggy” software into the system.

Keep in mind that programmers are not liable for putting enterprises at risk. This is why it is recommended to put your money on a tested commercial version of the much-needed software.

3. Phishing
Phishing scams via e-mail are perhaps the oldest, yet still effective, hacking technique used by cybercriminals. Attackers can send out mass emails that appear to be information from banks or online payment sites. These emails ask recipients to verify their account information by clicking on a particular link, which, with one click, can immediately enable hackers to steal money from accounts.

Companies should educate their employees about this to refrain from compromising their business network.

4. Using Simple Passwords
Ever wondered why some websites demand complicated passwords with all types of combinations? It’s actually for your sake. The use of overly simple passwords, or worse, overlooking changing your password can make it easy for hackers to infiltrate your company’s system. It’s always just a case of trial and error for persistent hackers.

Default passwords that come with your newly acquired equipment or software must be changed at once. It’s best for teams to be trained to change log-in passwords regularly (at least every 30 to 60 days) and have secure passwords that contain letters in upper and lower case letters, special characters, and numbers. While it may require diligence, it certainly pays off in the long haul.

5. Buffer Overflow
A buffer overflow happens when a program attempts to store more data than it was intended to hold. This then allows hackers to gain access to customer information via buffer flaw or other overrun techniques. When the attacker navigates an online form and proceeds to provide excessive data in a particular field, he may be filling out a web form requesting a security code. While the form is programmed to anticipate four to 6 characters, a good hacker can breach through the system with complicated lines of code designed to steal data, provide an alternate entry point, or worst—inflict system damage.

With these five sample methods used by hackers, businesses should be cautious with all related aspects of their operation. Aside from taking these into consideration, business owners, especially those that are Internet-reliant, should continue developing techniques on how they can protect their system to avoid hacking.