IT Security & hacking

This week, the BBC reported the increase in the number of cases of indecent images and child pornography being hosted on legal sites – hacked through the use of malware to unsuspecting parties. Despite seeing a decrease in reported cases over the past few years, it seems that this unfortunate trend is on the rise.

Hacking spans across many platforms and for a variety of reasons – from causing general annoyance, shutting down vital frameworks and even stealing valuable data. Just last month, games developer, Konami, detected over 35,000 unauthorized login attempts by hackers across their ID portal. Often these are through the internet and remote servers, but increasingly the expansion of mobile technology and working from multiple devices have left businesses exposed.

It wasn’t long ago that companies kept all their data on servers based within their offices. That isn’t to say that hackers weren’t able to access the information stored on servers, but this could only be done through email or the Internet and therefore the process of protecting this was relatively simple.

Portable devices have changed fundamentally the way businesses operate. First laptops, and now tablets and smartphones too, allow us to work remotely and across time zones with very little disruption to our daily lives. Despite giving greater flexibility to staff and companies, as well as breaking down the barriers of international business, these portable devices have unfortunately opened up a new world of risk.

In many of the reported cases, servers were hacked and indecent images were uploaded into separate parts of the sites or used to re-direct users to the wrong page. Often the sites belonged to unsuspecting companies who were blissfully unaware of the hackings.

Hackers are becoming increasingly savvy to changes in technology – almost as quickly as something is created, there is someone out there attempting to break through it. For this reason, it is paramount that as a company you prioritize IT security to avoid hacking of this nature, but also access to your most vital client files and sensitive data.

John’s Five Top Tips for Simple and Effective Mobile Security:

– Ensure a coherent mobile security system is in place and rolled out to all employees who wish to access their work emails

– Educate on the importance of changing passwords regularly and not using unsecured Wi-Fi for additional security

– Keep up-to-date with developments in technology to ensure all your bases are covered

– Encourage regular communication between the IT manager and the board

– Employ independent third parties to regularly test your security measures

John Dryden, Chief Technology Officer of ITLab