The anatomy of a hack

Sophos’ James Lyne demonstrates just how quickly major breaches can happen

We’ll be safeguarding our personal information for the rest of our lives. It’s our job to make sure we know what we’re doing to keep that information safe.

That’s the takeaway from an important story aired on NBC this week, featuring Sophos Security Advisor James Lyne. The piece, focusing on “the anatomy of a hack,” takes a realistic view on the state of everyone’s personal information right now, but also discusses smart ways to make sure you stay aware and ahead of the bad guys.

It’s a safe bet that your information is already for sale on the dark web, for which much of the blame can be attributed to the series of mega-hacks we’ve learned about over the past five years. Financial institutions, healthcare organizations, and more have all fallen victim, releasing personal data into the wild.

It takes only seconds to trick users into giving up their password for financial or personal information to be stolen. Banks and financial institutions are under attack every day and they know it, says Lyne.

[Banks and Financial institutions] know the information they hold is incredibly valuable to cybercriminals

The weakest link in any organization’s cybersecurity, as we often say, is people. Clicking a malicious link, losing an unsecured device, or letting a bad guy into the building – human error is always a danger, both for employees and for regular folks just trying to protect their banking or other personal information.

What can we all do to be safer?

For a start, simple steps like using complex passwords, multi-step authentication, password managers and just maintaining a smart level of awareness can all go a long way, Lyne explains in the story.

We know that even with all the recent attacks that have made the headlines, the industry is still struggling to be ready for the next big breach.

Luckily, we offer powerful tools for keeping users and organizations safe.

XG Firewall provides next-gen network security, and with Synchronized Security, Sophos firewalls and endpoints talk to each other, ganging up against possible intrusions by sharing threat intelligence.

The latest Intercept X blocks ransomware that can make its way onto devices through malicious emails, identifies the nasty tricks hackers like to exploit in almost every attack, and uses deep learning to better predict never-before-seen attacks.

And with Sophos Phish Threat, organizations can help fight the human error factor by educating users on what phishing looks like. An aware user is a safer user.