It’s no secret that data breaches are on the rise, but would you be able to identify one before it was too late? Part of the problem with a data breach is that your business usually doesn’t know about it until it’s already happened – sometimes well after. Knowing the signs of a data breach can help you mitigate the damaging fallout, including everything from unexpected downtime, to loss of data, disruption of customer privacy or even financial disaster.
Of course, hopefully your company has installed firewalls and secured all remote entry points. Hopefully you’re updating your antivirus tools and software regularly. Plus, ideally you’re also keeping strong passwords and educating employees about social engineering. If not; we need to talk.
Even still, bad actors can attack. It’s time to get vigilant and learn how to identify the common signs of potential breaches.
Computer slows down
If your computer appears to be taking longer than usual to do what you ask, pay attention. You may not be imagining it. This, or frequent crashes or screen freezes, could be a sign of malware. Unwanted viruses may be monitoring your activities, corrupting files, and consuming device resources.
A slow network is another indicator of compromise, as is losing control of your computer’s mouse or keyboard. Malware takes substantial network bandwidth and can slow computers and connected devices.
Passwords don’t work
You have set passwords or you’re working with passphrases. You know what you set as your access credential, but it’s no longer working. This could mean cybercriminals have taken control of your accounts and changed the passwords.
Emails back from contacts
If you’re getting emails from your vendors or customers responding to messages you didn’t send, that’s a bad sign. Either you’re overworked and forgetting what you sent, or hackers have taken over your inbox and are using your address to send messages. They might masquerade as you to send fake invoices or request access credentials.
Unknown files appear
It is not a good sign when files that you don’t recognize appear on your screen or in Task Manager. Installing malware often downloads extra files onto the target machine. So, new files you didn’t add could mean an attack has occurred.
Also, be wary if file names change or the desktop icons look different. Monitoring for changes can help you react before a large amount of data is compromised.
This one’s obvious, but we can’t fail to mention it. If your accounts are locked or you face a screen you can’t get past, you may be a ransomware victim. When someone offers you an encryption key to access your accounts or files, it’s definite.
Help prevent a ransomware infection by keeping your operating system up to date. Also, avoid installing any software without knowing exactly what it is or what it does. Additionally, you’ll want to regularly back up your files. That way, if attacked, the damage may be less significant.
Confident about your company’s cybersecurity?
With 90% of small businesses impacted by cyberattacks, you can’t afford to ignore any of these symptoms. The best protection is to prevent any infiltration in the first place. Ensure you have the necessary protection in place by allowing a Managed Service Provider to look after your IT environment. Our team of experienced professionals in Naas Co Kildare offer disaster recovery, data security and business IT support and much more.
Contact ITM Tech today at 045 409984 or email us at info@itmtech to learn more about what we can do to help your business meet its goals in 2023 and beyond.