Digital Transformation

Online criminal activity ‘constantly evolves’

Protect data against cyber hackers by choosing offsite backup services.

Companies that use offsite backup to ensure their important documents and data remains secure could be in a better position should their network be hacked by cyber criminals.

According to Graeme Batsman, director of Data Defender, office and home workers are at constant risk of being attacked by malware, which could have devastating consequences for the finances and reputation of a business.

"Today the newest and possibly largest method of infection is drive-by download. Day-to-day, we visit tens of websites and it is estimated one in ten websites is infected or more. Drive-by downloads are simply when a website, genuine or not, is used to spread malware. A website is hijacked and any user who visits the website is a target," he explained.

The malware sparks a "chain reaction" since it spreads through websites and possibly from computer to computer, which could put unsecured data in danger of being lost or stolen.

"Audaciousness is increasing with cyber gangs even hiring call centres in India and the Philippines to target households and sell phoney software or support packages," Mr Batsman commented.

Cyber crime has come a long way in recent years, as it used to be passed around via infected USB before moving into email attachments and external links.

What’s more, this type of online criminal activity is set to get worse as more users arrive, while hackers will start pursuing new angles, such as Mac products and portable devices.

"Individuals and businesses need to think beyond the days of installing a firewall and antivirus system. A multi-step approach is needed and this should include training," Mr Batsman added.

"Steps should include keeping the operating system up to date, as well as software such as PDF (Portable Document Format), Flash and Java."

Companies could also opt for secure online backup services to keep their data – and business reputation – intact.