Cybercrime has become every bit as clever as the rise in sophisticated software development. And while we think we’re creating better and more superior pieces of software, we find that cybercriminals are finding new and inventive ways of taking not only your computer, but also your identity and financial information. Your IT department should be aware of the dangers, and can help to raise awareness throughout your organisation by providing training and helping to create promotional campaigns.
But what can we do to combat the rise in cybercrime in the UK, or at least prepare ourselves and our computers against an attack?
Let’s take a look at the worst and most potent types of cybercrime out there. Malware can take many forms and is becoming more sophisticated in its ability to infiltrate your organisation.
- Not opening emails if you’re unsure who they are from, and don’t click on attachments or links until you’re absolutely sure it’s safe.
- CAPTCHA codes could be linked to ransomware. Check the authenticity of the site first.
- Back up all of your files regularly.
- Keep your software, programmes and applications updated, but also be very careful about where you download updates from. Vigilance where software development is concerned is absolutely essential.
There are other types of malware to be aware of that directly relate to the dangerous rise in UK cybercrime, and these include:
- Viruses – self-replicating viruses that can spread throughout your computer network and reach other files.
- Trojans – don’t replicate, but opens a door into your computer and steals information from it.
- Worms – self-replicating, and spreads to other people via messages which are infected with the virus.
- Spyware – sits in your computer once it enters and spies on you. It can take your financial details and work its way into software which means you could be installing it without even knowing.
- Adware – Displays adverts, slowing your computer down, and often displaying explicit content for over 18s.
Ultimately, your first line of defence should be a good quality antivirus suite. Your antivirus package should be seen as an important investment, not an expensive insurance policy that will never be used. As a business, you are a target.
It is just as important to actively encourage good practice within your organisation, making sure that your antivirus solutions are up to date and carrying out regular backups, whether that’s you, a dedicated IT team or an external IT company who do it for you.
Use the skills of your IT professionals by asking them to assist with the creation of policies and procedures that can be audited against. Raising awareness throughout the organisation is crucial in terms of avoiding ransomware. Your developers, software engineers, programmers can all help with creating a comprehensive training programme that can be adapted for both new and existing staff. This training should start from the point of recruitment and continue throughout your employee’s time with you.
Education gives both you and your staff another weapon with which to fight against cybercrime, helping everyone avoid the traps that cybercriminals put there to catch you out, and the resulting harm they can cause. Tactics are always changing, so training should be delivered on a regular basis for all staff throughout your organisation, helping to remind them of best practice guidelines, and update them on the newest tricks cybercriminals are employing to try and take your company down.