Their methods are becoming more and more sophisticated, no security gap remains unused.

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Over and over again, hackers make headlines in the media with their attacks. More and more often, they are also targeting small and medium-sized private companies. And they are not limiting themselves to urban centres.

Hackers are not only targeting government data. Their attacks also cause work stoppages in private companies because IT systems have to be shut down for security reasons. In the worst case, data is stolen. Both the German State Data Protection Commissioner and the State Office of Criminal Investigation are called in to find security gaps.

We encounter hacker attacks every day.

Phishing is widespread. In this case, the user is requested by e-mail to enter passwords or account data to confirm their identity on a deceptively imitated website. Cyber criminals use the access data obtained in this way to withdraw money, for example.

At the beginning of the year, we often read that computer data was encrypted by malware. They were only supposed to be released again after paying a ransom. These are attacks with ransomware (ransom = ransom). In companies, the damage can be immense if data disappears irretrievably.

Identities and passwords are also cracked in so-called brute force attacks. For this purpose, hackers use programmes that try out password or key combinations with brute force.

Unfortunately, the list could be extended.

How do you protect yourself from data theft?

Important: Do not offer hackers any security gaps. Always keep programmes and components up to date and install security updates promptly.

Names, dates of birth, etc. are easy passwords to decode. The more cryptic and random the combination, the more secure it is. Upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters, preferably mixed up! Difficult to remember? But harder to crack! The longer malware takes to decrypt a password, the higher the chance that the attack will be noticed.

Do not open any e-mail attachments that you were not expecting. Especially not if they are executable files. By opening them, hidden viruses are smuggled into the system. Instead of opening a supposed invoice, ask the purchasing department first!

Before entering usernames, passwords, credit card or account information on a website, take a close look at the URL. Does it look suspicious, is there an inconspicuous spelling mistake? Then it’s better not to disclose any data.

Genuine company websites can be recognised, for example, by the lock symbol at the top left of the browser bar. If you click on it, additional information about the digital certificate that secures the exchange of data is displayed. The transmission is encrypted so that unauthorised third parties cannot read it. This is important for login areas, for example.

IT security in companies

A wide variety of digital certificates are used in companies. Here, a certificate manager like our essendi xc is an important security component. It monitors the entire life cycle of all certificates used in the company and warns of their expiry. Depending on the settings, it automatically renews them. In this way, it contributes to a high level of operational security.