Release Date: 09.21.22 | Author: P.J. Yates

“Know your opponent” (according to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War) is a famous (but diluted) remark by Sun Tzu. A hacker is your adversary in organizations with sensitive documents and data. And, without a doubt, you’re fighting a war with hackers. Hackers may attempt to breach your business through a variety of methods. Phishing and social engineering attacks may try to obtain the credentials required to access your network, so you must be cautious. You also need to be concerned about how cookies might affect your security, and whether or not they can be used to hide flaws. If you want to improve your ability to keep files safe, there are certain thought patterns that you’ll need to consider. Thinking like a hacker might help you achieve this goal.

Thinking about cybercriminals’ motivations and tactics can help put security controls and training in place to reduce or prevent cyber-attacks. What do you need to know? Below we’ll dig into the best practices.

Outsmart Hackers by Adopting Their Tactics

Some of the ways that you might want to think like a hacker in order to stay one step ahead of them include:

Read the News

If you want to think like a hacker, you must read the news. What are some of the most prevalent computer viruses today? You can build an effective security plan to defeat them if you know what types of viruses hackers will utilize.

Ransomware infections have recently made headlines in virtually every sector, and they’re a serious problem. This is an infection that encrypts all of your files and renders them useless. Then, the hacker will only give back your data if you pay a ransom. If you don’t pay the ransom, you run the risk of losing money since your company’s operations come to a halt. However, there is no assurance that they will return your data if you pay the ransom.

To avoid this virus,you should take a proactive approach by designing a security plan to keep ransomware viruses at bay. This involves inspecting your firewalls and teaching employees about best practices. Keep in mind, hackers need access to your server to plant the virus— typically through credential phishing attempts on unsuspecting staff members. By raising awareness and educate employees not fall for these schemes, you’ll greatly reduce the chances of being impacted by this scourge.

Educate Your Employees

It’s not unusual for hackers to collaborate together. Your staff must operate as part of a team, too. You must think like a hacker in order for your employees to do the same. This implies you must educate them on what a phishing assault looks like. You need to remind your workers that they should never supply their login credentials via email in order not to be victimized by one of these scams.

Casual data breaches can happen anytime, so it’s crucial to educate your employees on what to do if they think one has occurred. They should know who specifically to contact in those cases; that way, you can mitigate the damage by reacting immediately. Also, be sure to train your employees always to log out when they’re finished using a computer. That simple measure reduces the chance of someone stealing confidential files from your server while it’s unguarded.

Understand Their Motivation

A hacker’s number one priority is always making a profit. They’ll either search for data that they can use to STEAL money, like bank account numbers and financial info. Or they’ll find other kinds of information that are valuable to you and your organization, which they can sell or blackmail you with ransom until you pay their high fines.

Some hackers act purely out of curiosity, to see if they can successfully infiltrate a system. Oftentimes, these targets are large businesses or organizations with complex security measures already in place.

Perhaps the most frightening prospect for businesses and organizations is a former employee who feels they have been wronged in some manner. These individuals may not be true hackers, but consider the amount of information they have access to and what they might do with it. These are the folks who will bring their flash drive to work so that they can copy crucial documents before being let go, alter passwords so that staff are locked out of systems, destroy or delete data and backups, and cause general aggravation and conflict for everyone around them.

Take a look at the information you currently have and how it might be used by a cybercriminal. You can better defend your data if you know what they’re searching for. And, if you must let someone go, do it with professionalism.

Why You?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that hackers only target big businesses. While there are several instances of huge companies being hacked in the news today. Consider how a hacker would perceive your company to be. Chances are, a hacker will assume you don’t have the same security precautions as bigger corporations. You might simply be a target of convenience.

Small companies typically have less security than huge enterprises. It’s simpler for hackers to exploit small businesses with ransomware or steal consumer data than it is to crack into a bank’s network. So, be sure you’re doing everything possible.

Social Engineering

Hackers take advantage of weaknesses and vulnerabilities to gain access to systems, which can include the people in your organization. While you might imagine a hacker as someone who looks like they’re up to no good, hackers could also look like a Suspicious email attachment or sound angry over the phone.

A hacker’s objective is to steal intellectual property, credentials, or money, and they’ll do anything to achieve it, including social engineering. A social engineering assault is a planned campaign against workers that uses digital, in-person, and phone approaches.

Because it is considerably easier to hack a person than a business, hackers frequently employ social engineering tactics. Social engineering assaults allow the hacker to aggregate several efforts and even cover their tracks because they may utilize the human to swipe credit cards or install malware under their guise.

Leverage Your IT Department to Beta Test Hacks

Leverage your IT Department or hire a resource to check your data is one of the ways you can help ensure that it is secure. Yes, it’s true. While this does not imply you should seek out a shady individual on the internet, there are reputable third parties who can do penetration testing for you. They simulate a cyber-attack and attempt to break into things they shouldn’t be able to get into.

A network infrastructure penetration test examines the structure of your core network components and finds flaws that might be used to compromise your systems and data’s security. This may be a missing security update, a vulnerable account, or a default configuration setting that is there for operational reasons.

Because of their ethical hacking, you’ll get a report describing any security flaws discovered and you’ll be able to take the required action. Your organization will be able to react and become considerably more secure if you advertise your technological vulnerabilities. However, the sight of them is usually enough to make some company owners cringe.

Target Shadow IT

Although it may not seem like it, the vulnerabilities in your network and servers could have everything to do with the devices your employees are using. With more and more people working remotely or from home, chances are high that they’re not utilizing company-regulated hardware. Consequently, this lack of control over employee devices creates opportunities for data breaches.

They may be a portal of entry into your server, network, and confidential files if they are going through company data but do not have the correct security measures in place. You must educate your staff about the risks of shadow IT and ensure that they have the appropriate security precautions in place. To safeguard your data from harm, you should perhaps encourage your employees to install particular apps on their computers. Keep an eye on these gadgets because they might be a major threat to your company.

Remember it’s easy for hackers or other criminals to find a shocking amount of info about you and your company online. Some of this information is obtained through data breaches, but much of it is publicly available. All of this means that a clever thief can potentially gather all the data needed to steal someone else’s identity, money and more! These type of damages can take years to recover from, often at great expense.

End Game is to build a strategy & stay proactive!