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Business owners are being warned to tighten their security to ward off computer hackers.
With global corporations now spending millions on protecting data and computer systems, hackers intent on fraudulently gathering information are targeting small and medium sized businesses.
The warning came at a special seminar held by leading Peterborough accountants Rawlinsons, and presented by security experts from Advanced Security Consulting Limited (justASC). Delegates were shown live demonstrations proving just how easy it is to clone a wireless network and steal passwords and data.
“This is something not just every business, but every individual, needs to be aware of,” said Rawlinsons partner Mark Jackson. “There are some very simple steps that can be taken without which a lot of your confidential information is far from being that.”
Sophisticated hacking software can crack a password such as ‘Pa55w0rd!’ in as little as eight days. A passphrase – such as ‘ireallylovemondays’ would take several trillion years and, say the experts, is vital.
“A secure website is a must for companies, particularly those using e-commerce,” said Mark. “Without it the information you hold is open to hackers. Training is also key. Staff need to be aware how secure websites they are dealing with are, and just whom they are providing information to.”
Secure sites have addresses which begin https and show a padlock on the grey bar of the web browser.
“Something very few of us at the seminar were aware of, and that justASC highlighted, is the fact that the padlock can be mimicked by hackers while the S in https can’t,” said Mark.
“There was a lot of information in the presentation which came as a real shock to those attending. But there were also a lot of very simple tips that could be put to use which we hope will help delegates, and their businesses, become more secure in the future.”
The seminar was one of a calendar organised by Rawlinsons for both clients and non-clients.