These days organised crime is beginning to mean something a bit different – rather than people physically turning up to hurt you and your business (though that does still happen), it now refers more and more to cybercrime.

People who engage in this type of crime are specifically looking for important information which they can use to their own ends, either by using it for other reasons, or because it can give them access to money. This information includes such things as:

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  • Social security numbers
  • Birthdays
  • Credit card numbers
  • Bank account information
  • Email addresses
  • Home addresses

Hackers and other criminals of this sort generally seek out weak links. These can be employees, who engage in unsafe practices with their information, or the systems themselves, which can have unsafe and unprotected areas. For information on how to protect a system, go to Prosyn.co.uk.

Cybercrime is essentially crime which takes place online and through computers. To truly work well, it requires the skills of various people at all levels of an organisation, as shown below:

  • Programmers
    • These are the people who write the viruses responsible for many attacks on systems and networks (find ways to secure your network here)
  • Carders
    • When credit card data is stolen, these are the people who change it into information which can be used, either by transferring it onto blank cards, or by creating duplicates of a physical card
  • Hackers
    • Hackers follow the viruses of a programmer, and use the vulnerabilities which have been created to find and steal information
  • Social Engineers
    • social engineers work with information stolen by hackers – they use this information to con people into giving them even more information.
  • Rogue Systems Providers
    • These people run legitimate businesses as fronts for the illegal activity done by hackers and programmers, and as a means for laundering any and all money which appears as a result of these schemes.
  • Mules
    • Mules are the people who physically go out and use the stolen credit card information, whether it is in the form of blank cards or duplicated cards.

 

While it might seems an impossible task to truly hide from every single cybercriminal on the web, fear not. There are a lot of people out there who are trying to get through your defences, but it isalso true that there are many ways in which you can defend yourself and your company.

  • Keep operating systems up to date – this will give you the latest security and virus knowledge
  • Make sure you have a separate firewall besides your anti-virus software, and that both of them are kept up to date
  • Keep your browsers up to date, as they have their own security patches
  • Make sure your network is encrypted (this goes double for a wireless network)
  • Set up an admin account which is the only one that can make changes or install material
  • Use filters
  • Block access to sites which have no relevance to your work, or which have no security on them
  • Remove any USB ports which are not needed
  • Use secure passwords and enforce their use
  • Encrypt all information.