Technology is always changing and adapting. So, regrettably, are cyber-criminals. MIT’s Technology Review website not long ago presented its list of the biggest technology security hazards of 2012. If you spend much of your life surfing the Internet or communicating with your friends through social media sites, you should be interested in this list. Learning what’s on it can protect you and your computer in 2012.
Stolen, Spoofed Certificates
One difficulty that the article discussed is stolen or faked certificates. When you log into a website, your bank for example, the traffic is encrypted with a “certificate”. This establishes that the site can be trusted. The faking and stealing of these certificates was a common strategy employed by cyber-criminals in 2011. This can allow them to have access to confidential information.
A Common Security Mechanism in Trouble?
Sites use certificates as a security measure more than any other means. If they are no longer considered trustworthy it might affect everyone, from the consumer, to the large company that is responsible for protecting your data.
Remote working is becoming more prevalent in the business world today. This is possible because of advancements in technology; i.e. smartphones, tablets, and the growing number of public places that have WiFi. There can be many benefits for the employer and the employee. Remote workers are often more productive, and they’re less of a drain on the company resources. For example, you don’t need to have office space and furniture for remote works. And the advantage of adjusting their schedule to fit their life is a major plus for the employee.
Remote Worker Challenges
A major concern for many managers when choosing to have remote workers is, how does one monitor their work? How do you know that they are actually working and not just watching movies all day?
One easy way to keep track of the amount of work being completed by remote workers is to set realistic goals that they must hit. This puts the emphasis on the results and prevents the manager from worrying about it, so long as the goals are being met. This also gives the employee freedom to work inside the hours they are most productive.
Antivirus software has gotten lots of bad press lately. This is largely due to the fact that antivirus software has recently failed to identify and contain huge malware attacks. But is antivirus software necessary for smartphones?
Antivirus Not Necessary on Smartphones?
In fact, it may not be essential. Many people do a great deal of their computing via smartphone now-a-days. People check their email, social media, and surf the web all on their smartphones. On a regular PC they must rely on antivirus software to safeguard them against malware when doing these tasks. However, antivirus software is developed for PCs not smartphones. If antivirus developers don’t build something truly compatible with smartphones they are losing out on a profitable market.
Smartphones vs. PCs
First, modern smartphones operate differently than traditional PCs and laptops. On a smartphone, each app receives its own work environment and is not able to access the data contained in other apps. This is actually a nice security upgrade from the world of PCs and laptops. Malware that is just installed onto a smartphone will be able to do little harm. So there’s the first strike against standard antivirus software: there’s not as much need for it on a smartphone.
Many industries have changed on account of the cloud. Massive quantities of information can be stored and shared easily in the cloud. And with the popularity of tablets people can access it quickly. This has improved the way creative people do business, below are a few examples if this.
You once had to carry heavy portfolios when meeting with clients. Those portfolios were limited to the amount of work you could carry within. Portfolios, when stored in the cloud, are not limited to physical size. You can organize your past work into categories that fit the needs of different clients. By accessing your portfolio quickly on a tablet, you can share your work more easily and this can lead to more opportunities.
Phishing scams are at the top of cyber criminals’ moneymaking lists. It’s disconcerting that the important data of organizations such as Sony are under threat from phishing scams. But unlike the widespread notion, these scams affect small enterprise owners as much as they affect the big corporations.
Over 300,000 complaints were filed in 2010 to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the National White Collar Crime Center and the FBI. These complaints were from small businesses and individuals wronged by online phishing scams and a variety of other Internet related crimes.
Understanding what phishing is will help you identify what makes your small business so appealing to cyber criminals.