Which Devices Are Most At-Risk For Cyber Attack?
In honor of Cybersecurity Awareness Month, the Georgia MBDA Business Center is partnering with cybersecurity technology company Cytellix to bring you resources on keeping your business safe. This week, find out which of your devices are most at-risk for cyber attack, and learn how to protect your data with Cytellix.
First on our list is a household and workplace staple – laptops or computers. Think about how frequently you use a laptop for personal things outside of work, and how vital computers are to your job. There are billions of laptops or computers in the world today, each posing an opportunity for attack. Hackers will go after personal laptops to find passwords, sensitive information, access to various accounts, credit card information, location, interests, and more. Work or company laptops will usually contain all of this information and sensitive data about the company including passwords, protocols, client information, finances, IP, future plans, etc. There’s a lot of valuable information on computers and cybercriminals are very aware of it. Laptops are particularly at risk if the owner uses an unsecure network/hotspots or stores data on an ill-protected cloud. Network situational awareness is key to spot weak points and catch a hacker in the act.
Smartphones are typically with their owners at all times. People have an arguably unhealthy attachment to their phones in some cases, and rely on it for all kinds of things. Your phone can be an alarm, a calendar, a GPS, a form of communication, a pocket-sized computer, and more. Many people store information in their phones or utilize apps like mobile wallets, mobile banking, password vaults, and more. Especially due to the prevalence of remote working, many companies provide employees with a “work phone.” or subsidize mobile phone use of a personal device. As with laptops, these mobile devices tend to have at least some sensitive information in them from contacts to documents to emails and more. Cybercriminals will happily steal data from either your personal or work phone, so be sure to have the proper precautions in place. Avoid using public wifi networks (especially on work phones), require 2-Factor Authentication whenever possible, and always check on app permissions about sharing data. It’s also wise to never store passwords or confidential information in your phone, and secure it with a passcode and/or facial recognition.
Point Of Sales Systems
The last device is not something you’ll have at home, but it is something that any retail worker comes across. A point of sales system is where payment processing occurs. Credit card readers, checkout registers, self-checkout, etc. all fall under this umbrella. Considering that the main purpose of POS systems is to carry out transactions, they are a big target for cyber attack. A successful breach of a POS system will give the hacker access to bank information, contact information, and other valuable details about the company and every customer. We’ve all heard about huge retailers becoming victims of a POS breach, and thousands or millions of customers are affected. These breaches are extremely costly and have been known to ruin a store’s reputation.
Learn more about Cytellix here