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Most of the time cybersecurity focuses on online threats. While this is important as there are plenty of people fiddling to see if they can trick you or find a way to remotely break into your computer or online accounts, sometimes we let our guard down in our physical business.

While you are spring cleaning, look around your business. Here are some of the things I look for at a business for cybersecurity:

  • Could anyone walk into your business and be able to access any of your computers? A popular toy hackers use are little USB devices, like small thumb drives. If plugged in they may work as a keystroke logger, capturing every key you press into a large text file where the hacker can see exposed passwords, credit card numbers and more. Or the drive might be what they call a “rubber ducky”, which can run code to install malware or, my favorite, add a Rick Astley album to your Amazon shopping cart. I see this vulnerability commonly at desks where a large PC is underneath. You can see the computer’s ports exposed in the back and most users never looks to see if something new is plugged in.
  • Are there internet ports around your work that can be plugged into, maybe in the wall or even in wireless access points? If so, a cheap microcomputer, usually a Raspberry Pi, can be plugged in and left for an attacker to sidestep that terrific firewall you purchased. Make sure ports that aren’t being used are inactive.
  • Does your business have a Wi-Fi network? Most do and some are very vulnerable. With a cell phone app a hacker can connect to your Wi-Fi and scan the network to look for vulnerable computers/devices. Your important business systems should never be on the same network that guests and unknown employee devices can join. Better yet is to have those important systems on a separate network that has no Wi-Fi access. All guests and devices you cannot guarantee are safe need to be on a separate guest network.

Much of what your business does to protect itself from theft fortunately ties in with cybersecurity. Remember that not all thieves are looking for your cash register but might be looking for a computer or network port they can compromise.

About the Author: Jim Drever was born in Laramie, WY. Although he considers Wyoming home, Jim spent several years abroad studying and working in places like Japan, Switzerland, Scotland and Germany. He has also worked as Marketing Director for a local software company.

 

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All Wyoming SBDC Network programs and services are provided to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Language assistance services for clients with limited English proficiency will be provided. Contact: Jill Kline at (307) 766-3405 or [email protected]
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