Beware of Hackers

Written by: Evelyn Suvajdzic

Do you think your computer system is secure?  The international Monetary Fund’s system was breached last June; theirs is one of the most secure systems on the globe.  Lockheed Martin, the defense and security company has also come under cyber-attack.  Spyware, malware and hacking are the most common threats to our corporate structures says Adriana Gliga-Belavic, director of information security at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.  “They’ll put an email together that installs spyware in your system.  Then custom-built applications can look through it, identify sensitive information, package it and send it out of an environment” she says.

Many Canadian companies are choosing to believe that their company is not at risk or that cyber-crime does not happen in Canada.  The reality is however that if someone wants to gain access to your system to “steal” information, or just to cause you grief, they will find a way, even through firewalls and strict access controls.

Everyone in your company needs to be educated not to open emails from unknown sources.  There should also be a plan in place so that, in the event you are hacked, everyone knows what actions to take in order to minimize the damage.

Don’t think this is important?  Just stop and think about what would happen if your client’s sensitive information was used to steal their identity?  With the new anti-spamming laws and PIPEDA, the fall out to your company could be very expensive.

Another potential threat exists when employees leave your company.  If you limit their access to information that they do not need to perform their job, you may avoid potential problems when they leave.  With increased use of cell phones and tablets there is a risk of information ending up in a vulnerable spot.  Your company should have policies and procedures in place to combat the loss or misuse of sensitive information.

If you do experience a security breach, you need to contact a lawyer.