Cybersecurity is big business, especially because it costs businesses big when things go wrong. Cybercriminals have more and more sophisticated ways to attack and steal from companies of all kinds. And the most overlooked cyberattack method of all? Physical hacking.
Hollywood loves to show hacking off as some glamorous crime. In reality, computer hacking is far less lively. It’s actually what makes cybercrime so dangerous.
Yet as businesses invest in cybersecurity, the risks of physical hacking should never be overlooked.
Understanding what physical hacking is
The cybersecurity protection that most businesses choose is all about protecting their digital property. Think encryption, VPNs for secure connections, firewalls, antivirus software, and other ways to prevent hacking.
This is a fantastic strategy. But what happens if someone walks into your company office and steals an employee’s laptop? What if crucial digital files are on an external hard drive, and a criminal just steals that hard drive and plugs it in at home?
This is physical hacking, and it all relies on such simple ‘real-world’ actions that it often gets overlooked. While everyone is busy updating software and firmware, actions in the real world go unseen. A cut cable here, a USB drive secretly plugged in there, and hackers can steal valuable data without ever typing a line of code.
Perhaps you can already see why having security professionals onsite can prevent a lot of these crimes.
Examples of physical hacking
In cybersecurity, physical hacking is any action a criminal takes in person to get unauthorised access to sensitive or financial data. In other words, it’s not about hacking your password from somewhere far away. It’s about physically using or tampering with your tech, and hacking into it that way.
Physical hacking is put into action by criminals in various ways.
Criminals gain access to restricted areas due to other employees’ politeness. Walking fast behind someone who works in an office, a criminal can rely on the worker in front of them to hold open a door that’d usually need a keycard to enter. Once inside, that criminal can help themselves to laptops, hard drives or tampering with company systems.
Criminals who physically access server rooms can tamper with a company’s connectivity, or even stop it. That criminal could also introduce a device to your servers that intercepts sensitive data and draws it away for their use.
Some cybercriminals leave a USB drive outside the building and rely on an employee’s curiosity to carry the device inside. When that worker decides to try the drive in their company computer to see what it contains, ransomware is released into the business network. Alternatively, the device silently scrapes the employee’s machine for passwords, sensitive data and other valuable information to steal.
A criminal or malicious employee can simply watch over the shoulder of another worker entering their password, and use that to later access confidential or financial data.
Remember, many of these crimes aren’t as elaborate as the movies make them appear. Keeping this physical side of cybercrime in mind is a vital part of any confident company’s cybersecurity strategy.
Stop physical hacking with the right security workforce
Businesses should definitely continue to invest in the best corporate cybersecurity tools they can find. However, this investment should never come at the expense of a well-trained team of security professionals.
The truth is that physical hacking is growing. The worse it gets, the more businesses will lose time, resources and money to cybercrime. Because so much hacking relies on the human element, such as social engineering, a team who keeps a company’s people safe is hugely important.
Holders of an SIA Licence, like a Door Supervisor Licence or Security Guard Licence, can work to help promote safety and surveillance in businesses. This adds an extra layer to your existing cybersecurity strategy, and you can enhance that even more with a CCTV operator team.
Get Licensed helps people find training and get into work. But we also actively work with companies to provide security staffing solutions, tailored to the needs of your business. Get in contact, and see how we can help you secure your people, your premises, and your private enterprise data.
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