With the recent cyber-attacks on large retail stores like Target and Neiman Marcus, businesses of all sizes must take proper precaution to ensure the security of both their own private data and the personal data of their customers. Aside from an innovative business continuity plan and secure IT support, an efficient business network relies on strong passwords from owners and employees.

According to The Washington Post, the Target hacker used software known as BlackPOS to infect sales systems and steal credit card information along with other financial records. The 17-year old Russian teenager then gained remote access by trying several easy and commonly used passwords, eventually logging in. Using “weak passwords” for your business’s cloud storage can leave your IT network exposed to personal data leaks. As the leading IT specialists, Brash Concepts warns businesses of the potential risk of using vulnerable passwords.

Here are a few IT consulting tips for strengthening your weak passwords to ensure your data remains private:

Strong Passwords: A strong password contains upwards of 14 characters. This includes a combination of upper and lowercase letters as well as at least one number and one symbol.

Use Mnemonic Devices: Do not use the same password for multiple devices and data libraries. Use the first letters of an easy sentence for a strong and unique password for each level of security. Example: a5Ceg: all 5 Cows eat grass.

Passwords Require Consistent Updates: When going through a system update or a network change, it is best to change your password to something new and equally complex.

In addition to privately monitored IT consulting from Brash Concepts, business owners and employees must take individual steps to protect their personal data. Weak passwords can easily leave your business’s confidential files susceptible to cyber-attacks and hacks. Secure your IT data center and develop a reliable business continuity plan with the help of Brash Concepts today!

Faceless hooded anonymous computer hacker with programming code from monitor, dark web concept

The “Dark Web” or “Deep Web” is a part of the World Wide Web we know and love that is ONLY accessible via a special software. This software allows users and website operators to remain completely anonymous and untraceable. That’s why it’s the playground for hackers and cybercriminals.

Because hacking IS a for-profit business, there are criminal entities who steal, combine and sell personal information on the Dark Web. Passwords, social security numbers, bank account information and credit cards are all at risk. There is a VERY HIGH probability YOUR information is being sold on the Dark Web – so how do you know?

Call us or email for a free Dark Web scan for your organization. You can also have us monitor the Dark Web for you. When the login credentials for someone on your team are “for sale,” we can notify you so you can immediately change your password and avoid a breach. Also, be careful going to various sites OFFERING a free Dark Web scan. Many are scams designed to get your e-mail and potentially verify that your password is correct, where it’s active, etc.

Cybercrime is at an all-time high, and hackers are setting their sights on small and medium businesses who are “low hanging fruit.” Don’t be their next victim! Click here to download this free report that reveals the most common ways that hackers get in and how to protect yourself today.