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  • Writer's pictureJack Royle

How the hackers will get you

If you don't start taking security seriously, and taking action, they will find a way.

I have been banging on about this for years but it seems that some people just aren't listening. When I consider why this is, I imagine that business and dental practice owners think that the risks of hacks and cyber attacks are like a home burglary - unlucky but doesn't happen that often. But the Internet really isn't like that.

Imagine your average suburban street at 3am. It's probably very quiet, and empty. Night after night. Occasionally an opportunist thief will walk up your street and, if you're lucky, they'll take a look at your house and think that looks too hard, and walk on by.

Now imagine that same street but at any time of the day - let's say mid afternoon. The street is full of thieves, hundreds of them. And at least a handful of them are crawling over your house right now. They are trying the doors, testing your windows, peering through the letterbox and dropping fake mail through it. They are putting trackers on your car, going through your bins, calling your phone, pressing the doorbell and casing your garden and back door. And the real pros are watching you from across the street, learning your behaviour, and choosing when and how to strike.

THAT's what the threat on the Internet looks like. I know, because I see the logs on hundreds of customers' firewalls, that show attacks every minute of every day. I see the stats of the thousands of fake phishing emails sent to our customers' mailboxes. I see the virus alerts and the fake phone traffic. And sadly from time to time I see customers lose money, time and pride when their network is compromised.

10 years I ago I created the marketing slogan "none of our customers who have taken all our advice in matters of security have ever been hacked" - and that remains the case to this day.

The average household in the UK has a (approximately) 1 in 50 chance each year of being burgled. But small businesses have a one in two chance of suffering a cyber attack and data breach. And as your business gets bigger, the more that risk goes up.

At Dental IT, we can really help. Yes, it might cost you a bit of money, but actually - not that much. Lots of security measures are completely free, they just need doing - but we can't do them without your involvement and go ahead.

Here are just some of the things we can do:

  • Enable MFA (Multi-factor authentication) if you have Office 365 to protect your email

  • Enable DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) on your domain to prevent phishing

  • Roll out good quality commercial antivirus

  • Supply training materials for your staff

  • Install hardware firewalls at the perimeter of your network

  • Arrange CE (Cyber Essentials) certification for your business

.. And many more

We cannot eliminate the risks entirely, but we can massively mitigate them; so hopefully that hacker will walk on by, to an easier target.

If you don't take security seriously, sooner or later you're going to get hacked. And then don't say you weren't warned.

Need help with your IT practice support? Get in touch with us today.

© Liam McNaughton, Dental IT ltd June 2021

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