We assume by now you have heard about The Panama Papers being published on Sunday 3rd April.
Here’s a brief summary:
The Panama Papers is the biggest data leak in history, amassing to 2.6 Terabytes, 11.5 million documents, including email correspondence and legal contracts. It is bigger than Wikileaks Cablegate, Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, and Swiss Leaks combined. The information leaked was from the law firm Mossack Fonseca, in Panama.
The documents and emails analysed, allegedly reveal shady dealings with some of the world’s richest and most powerful people. From politicians (including presidents and prime ministers) to well-known business people, the papers expose how these people can hide their business dealing using offshore tax havens and shell companies.
But what can you do to protect your business?
We previously posted about how the NASA almost lost a 154 million drone to hackers. The hackers got in apparently with ease, they purchased hacked credentials and then used a sniffer program to find more. I suppose it’s a once there is a chink in the armour the cracks start to appear scenario. Read more about this here
Not a good start.
But you can put a pretty good defence without having to spend vast sums of money.
Here are the essentials:
- Make passwords secure! They should be at least 8 characters in length (ideally longer) and contain a mix of upper/lower case and non-alphabet characters.
- You should have a different password for every account and change them every so often. Even the security questions should be something creative. Your mother’s maiden name could be found on sites like ancestry.com and where you graduated from high school is probably on your LinkedIn or facebook profile.
- Make sure you use the latest versions of operating systems, applications and devices where possible. These updates are in place to fix bugs and plug security holes that may be open.
- Use antivirus and malware software and make sure it is updated date. Likewise, with your firewall. Viruses are constantly adapting, much like the common cold, and the only way to stay safe is to keep up-to-date with your protection.
- Finally, make sure you have offline and off-site backup of your data. This may not protect you from getting hacked but it does protect you from losing your valuable data. Some viruses like the cryptovirus we have spoken about previously, lock access to your data. Once you’re in that situation the only way to get out is to pay the ransom or use a backup from an off-site source that hasn’t been compromised. Data Backups can be the defibrillator for your business getting you out of a crisis!