‘Tis the season not to get hacked – How to prevent the hack attack this holiday


Going away? Have loads of customer and proprietary data on your network and servers? Have an e-Commerce site hosted with a service provider? There is nothing worse than watching the ice melt and dilute your hard-earned pina colada whilst you have your hands full on your mobile phone and laptop, and the sun beats down upon your sunburnt face.


Here are 5 useful steps to safeguard your data IP, and prevent that #Hackattack from interrupting the tanning session this holiday:

1. Update all versions/patches/firmware
Make sure that all anti-virus and anti-malware programmes are on their latest versions across your LANscape. You can either “push” the updates through network management admin, or get commitment from everyone to run “auto-update” on all defined tools on a particular day – just get this done. It’s a quick and easy win that requires no investment besides a bit of effort. Don’t forget to also ask your service provider for firmware versions running on key assets such as firewalls, server platforms and the like – these all need to be on the latest patch.

Ensure proper change control is followed to update all out-of-date stuff, and that back-ups are all working as intended. Double-check existing data integrity before backing-up already corrupted data by mistake.
“The risk of cyber breach is very real.”


2. Educate employees about secure email etiquette
The number 1 rule of email practice is: If you find yourself thinking twice before you click, don’t click. If you receive an attachment you are unsure of, or a strange looking link that is sent from an unknown (Even known) source, immediately delete the email or send it to your network admin for investigation. People and their bad behaviour both represent the weakest links in any network security strategy. Communicate to your staff about the reality of email scams, phishing, dodgy links, malware, phoney websites etc. Go here for a list of all known malware sites:


3. Check and change all admin logins
3 years ago, a password cracker was developed. It can crack a 55-character password combo in under 5minutes:
“..access control is of paramount importance..”


Audit all admin logins to key servers, applications, or networks. These passwords should all be changed from the vendor default settings to custom fields, and then set to “unreadable”. Passwords should be multi-faceted (special characters, alpha-numeric, upper and lower case). If you can set stuff up with SSH keys, or auto-alert and lockout triggers for multiple access attempts, even better.
Check out Google password tips here:


4. Lock down your public and private cloud environments
Robust access control is of paramount importance. Any server or network that has an Internet connection, even if only remotely connected on the periphery, is at risk. There is no longer any excuse to accept mediocre and unsecured virtual hosting. Don’t become another victim. Be responsible and invest in watertight cloud security with 10dot.


5. Audit your firewall policies
This can be a daunting task! Firewalls are expensive items in your cybersecurity arsenal, and as such, have probably been left to “Sweat”, as all good assets do. This means that they likely have tons of legacy config, unused policies, and dodgy rules. Navigating and enhancing the config, and thus ensuring its effectiveness, can be very complex. Check out our products here.


A firewall is only as effective as you configure it to be. The policy framework that is configured has to be pruned to remain effective. Think of it as a road with potholes. More traffic means more potholes, means more repairs, means a really uneven surface filled with patchwork. Eventually it is necessary to resurface the road entirely, and upgrade parts of it to ensure greater effectiveness and longevity. Your firewall is the most effective prevention tech on your network perimeter. Look after it and you will reap dividends.


Don’t be fooled because you are lazy or ignorant. The risk of cyber breach is very real. Educate yourself and your staff before the holiday haze sets in. We could all benefit from being more habitually suspicious.

Lock-up and grow with 10dot Cloud Security.