Top Ten Tips™: Computer Security

By SDPD

Computer crimes involve the illegal use of or the unauthorized entry into a computer system to tamper, interfere, damage, or manipulate the system or information stored in it. Computers can be the subject of the crime, the tool of the crime, or the target of the crime.

As the subject of a crime, a criminal would use your computer or another computer to willfully alter the information stored in your computer, add fraudulent or inaccurate information, delete information, etc. Motives for this include revenge, protest, competitive advantage, and ransom.

As the tool of a crime, a criminal would use a computer to gain access to or alter information stored on another computer. In one common mode of attack a hacker would send a “spear phishing” e-mail to employees who have access to the business bank account. The e-mail would contain an infected file or a link to a malicious website. If an employee opens the attachment or goes to the website, malware that gives the hacker access bank account log-ins and passwords would be installed on the computer. The hacker would then have electronic payments made to accounts from which the money would be withdrawn. Criminals also use computers to commit various frauds and steal identities and other information.

As the target of a crime, computers and information stored in them can be stolen, sabotaged, or destroyed. Sabotage includes viruses, malware, and denial-of-service attacks. Trade secrets and sensitive business information stored in computers can be lost in these kinds of attacks.

Your computers and the information in them should be protected as any valuable business asset. The following tips deal with physical and operational protective measures, Wi-Fi hacking and hotspot dangers, personnel policies and employee training, anti-virus and spyware protection, protecting your bank accounts, use of social media, preventing and dealing with data breaches, and safer use of the Internet. For more details see National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Interagency Report NISTIR 7621 entitled Small Business Information Security: The Fundamentals, dated October 2009. It’s available online under NIST IR Publications on http://csrc.nist.gov.
Also, consider joining the FBI’s InfraGard, a partnership with the private sector with the goal of promoting an ongoing dialogue and timely communications between its members and the FBI. Its members gain access to information that enables them to protect their assets from cyber crimes and other threats by sharing information and intelligence. Go to www.infragard.net to apply for membership.

To read more on this article: Crime News: Computer security and crime prevention tips for businesses

Top Ten Tips: Computer Security