Mythbusters: Cyber Security Edition Part 1

Posted on: 6th September 2017

“I’d know if I had a virus”

In the past, we’d often be able to tell if we had a virus or malware on our PC, things seemed to freeze or slow down, pop ups would appear and you may have even get locked out of your accounts.

Of course, there are still kinds of malware that you probably would notice if you were ever to come across them, but viruses have increased in both number and sophistication over the years. Leading researchers register upwards of 390,000 new malicious programs every day.

Therefore, it is quite possible that you could have a virus on your PC and not even know about it, as the latest malware is not always picked up by Anti-Virus software and often there are no ‘symptoms’.

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“No one will hack me because there’s nothing important on my PC”

It’s common to think that there’s nothing of interest to a hacker on your PC, but you’ll be surprised. Just because you don’t consider it as valuable, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable to someone else.

If you’re one of the many people that allows their browser to store passwords for your email, eBay, Facebook and bank accounts then there’s already lots for a hacker to work with.

If they get access to your email account, which is most likely filled with personal conversations, photos and confidential information related to work such as invoices and tax forms, then they’re off to a good start. Even just the tiniest bit of personal information is enough for cyber criminals to assemble and use later on to either steal your identity, or sell your details on the dark web for a profit.

Even when there is no important data for a potential criminal on your system, they still can use your device for other malicious attacks or hold your computer or your data to ransom, demanding money before you can use it again

“Cyber Security is too expensive to maintain”

Cyber Security is definitely not the cheapest thing to implement, but it is so worth it.

Different kinds of businesses will require different levels of cyber security implementation, huge companies such as Boots will understandably need more advanced cyber security measures than a restaurant for example, but all businesses require adequate measures to be put in place.

Many businesses can’t always see why cyber security is so vital to have in place, especially if they have not experienced a breach before- but the cost of damage can be enormous. In some cases, so enormous that the company can go out of business.

We always encourage the cyber-cynical that the cost of cyber security measures is a fraction of the cost of downtime and damage. In fact, 60% of small companies go out of business within 6 months of a cyber-attack.

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If I install this anti-virus I’ll be fine

Anti-Virus is an essential ‘layer’ to your cyber security plan, and of course the paid subscription Anti-Virus software is usually better than a free version – but remember it is just one of many layers that should be in place if you really want to strengthen your defences, not a complete solution. Anti-Virus is not the ‘ultimate protector’ so if you’re unsure as to the legitimacy of a website, email or anything else – don’t just go ahead and click on something you’re not sure about just because you think the Anti-Virus will ‘catch’ the virus and you’ll be fine!

With access to free tools and the right knowledge it can take less than 5 minutes to take an old, well-known piece of malware and alter it so it sails straight past the latest anti-virus software.

Part 2 coming soon.