Ask a Cyber Security Professional

1) I think I’ve been hacked. How can I recognize a data breach?

1) Ransom Message
2) Fake antivirus messages
3) Frequent random popups
4) Your friends get social media messages you didn’t send
5) Your online password wasn’t working
6) Your antivirus software is disabled and can’t be turned on

2) What should I do if my business data has been compromised?

Inform customers immediately: It may be difficult to admit at the risk of losing business but you are required by law to inform customers if their personal information has been leaked.

Know your local laws: Depending on your local laws you may be required to take additional action and it’s important to know what is required of you to avoid further problems down the line.

Comply with industry regulatory entities: Depending on the industry you’re operating in you may be subject to regulating bodies that you need to notify in the case of a data breach. For example Healthcare you may be subject to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability (HIPAA).  

Consult a forensics team: The forensics experts will help you find out how the hack occurred, what was taken and potentially find the person/group responsible.

Notify all necessary authorities: Local police can also help in figuring out what happened and finding the people responsible.

Purchase Cyber Insurance: The money lost from a cyberattack can be devastating for a company and often drive you out of business. Check if your current insurance policy covers cyberattacks, if not purchase a separate Cyber Insurance to ensure you can recover any money lost via hackers.

Create a Contingency Plan: Cybersecurity breaches can halt your business for weeks or months, it’s important to have a contingency plan to minimize the business impact. This should include having regular data backups and a network backup so that business can be restored quickly. The goal should be returning to operating as soon as possible.  

3) I’m a small business; I don’t have much data worth hacking. Do I really need to spend money on security?

Small and medium sized businesses are hit by 62% of all cyberattacks and US National Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of small companies that suffer from a cyberattack will go out of business in 6 months. The reason being is the average small business will have much more resources than the regular person and less security than the big corporation, which makes you a very appealing target. So yes you absolutely should invest in Cyber security and one of the best things you can invest in is a Cyber security insurance plan, normal insurance may not cover your losses from a cyberattack so it’s important to look into getting a specific cybersecurity insurance plan to cover you in case of a successful attack. The majority of major insurance carriers charge $5,000-$10,000 per $1 million of coverage.

4) I’m looking for an entry level job in cyber security, what skills do I need to break into the field?

1) Knowledge of computers
2) Knowledge of security technologies like firewalls, Intrusion detection systems, concept of least privilege, the information security triad.
3) Relevant work experience
4) Relevant school courses
5) Knowledge of Programming languages

For a more detailed explanation check this out.

5) Is public Wi-Fi safe?

Short answer is no, public Wi-Fi is open to everyone and a tech savy person on the network can easily use it steal your personal information if you use it recklessly. If you are going to be using public Wi-Fi try to refrain from doing things like access bank/financial information, logging into social media accounts or personal email accounts. Additionally, using a VPN to connect to a public Wi-Fi will keep your information private and help avoid having your information stolen.   


6) Can hacker’s access my webcam?

Yes, it is possible for an attacker to take control of your webcam and take photos of you without any visible signs. This can be done when you’re device gets infected with malware that can then be used to activate and take control of your camera without the owner being aware. To minimize this risk, try to refrain from using public Wi-Fi spots, keep your laptop security software updated and turn off your wireless network when you’re not using it.

7) What is a good password?

For anything of importance to you such as your Bank Account, Personal Email, online business etc a strong password is necessary to make sure your assets are safe. In order to make sure your password is strong you want it to be at least 8 characters long and include numbers, letters and special characters such as *%$ in order to make a brute force attack on your account infeasible. Also, check if the service you’re using offer multi factor authentication because that makes it significantly harder for your accounts to be stolen.

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