Thursday, February 25, 2016

Tip of the Week: Here’s Our Checklist to Know if You’ve Been Hacked

Businesses that have online dealings should always be aware of how much danger their operations are in, especially with the omnipresent threat of hackers. Depending on the severity of the hacking attack, some organizations might not even know they’ve been hacked until it’s far too late. It’s critical that your business is able to identify potential threats before they’ve caused irreparable damage to your infrastructure.
Contrary to popular belief, there are some fairly simple ways that you can use to determine if you’ve been hacked by an outside force. While several of these signs aren’t obvious, they do hint that if it’s not a hacking attack, there’s something severely wrong with your network.
Telltale Signs of Hacking
Believe it or not, any of the following signs can signal that there’s something wrong with your computer, including if you’ve been the target of a hacking attack:
  • Files moved or completely missing: If your files aren’t where you left them, it could be a case of user error, but it’s possible that a hacker or similar threat shifted them around or stole them from you.
  • Slow computer speed: When your system is infected by malware, worms, and other threats, they eat up your PC’s resources. This means that your computer will run slower than normal. You can check to see how much of your PC’s resources are allocated toward unaccounted for programs or applications by opening the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Delete).
  • Your browser’s homepage is changed: Unless you intentionally changed your homepage to a sketchy search engine that you’ve never heard of, you’ve more than likely been infected by malware.
  • New toolbars in your browser: Some applications that you download from the Internet might have questionable attachments included with them. These might install unwanted toolbars, adware, and other problems on your PC, some of which might be malicious.
  • Questionable access log activity: A clear indication that you’ve been hacked is if you have unauthorized administrators accessing your network from strange locations. Monitoring your access logs is the only way to catch these crooks in action, primarily due to legitimate access credentials being used to log into your network.
Keep in mind that some threats do have measures put into place to ensure that they aren’t detected. In this case, it’s best to run a centralized antivirus solution on your network that’s designed to detect and eliminate advanced threats.
If you’re ever unsure of whether or not you’ve been hacked, or if you’re afraid of being hacked in the future, Net It On can perform what’s called a penetration test. This is where we analyze your network for any weak points that can be used as a point of entry for threats. We can then suggest ways to plug up your defenses so that even the strongest, most dangerous threats have a minimal chance of infiltrating your infrastructure.
One especially important component of a comprehensive security solution is preventing threats from entering your network in the first place. With an enterprise-level firewall and antivirus combination, you can effectively limit your data’s exposure to outside threats, and eliminate those that have infiltrated your infrastructure. You can further augment your network security with proactive measures like spam blocking and content filtering solutions.
For more information about cybersecurity and IT management in general, give us a call at (732) 360-2999.

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