Beware the password thief

Threats to the information security of your company are more likely to come from mundane sources than a sophisticated campaign of cyber penetration and sabotage, say business security experts.

In the electronic age, many businesses assume that hacking and data theft will occur as part of a Mission Impossible–style technological incursion. But, as Forbes reports, most breaches of information security still occur the old-fashioned way. Corporate espionage is still essentially about old-fashioned observation and resourcefulness.

To obtain a corporate password, for instance, hackers can pose as an employee and call a company’s help desk. Data thieves tailgate employees through security doors, or pose as tradespeople or contractors, then look over employees’ shoulders to access passwords or steal sensitive documents from their desks.

This low-tech hacking needs to be defended. The tendency in the security industry is to focus on the latest and most remarkable attacks. But the simple security breaches that occurred before the IT revolution are still happening. The bad guys will use whatever’s available.

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