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Vulnerabilities / Threats

10/4/2019
09:00 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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8 Ways Businesses Unknowingly Help Hackers

From lengthy email signatures to employees' social media posts, we look at the many ways organizations make it easier for attackers to break in.
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(Image: Yakobchuk Olena  - stock.adobe.com)

(Image: Yakobchuk Olena stock.adobe.com)

Most of your employees likely know better than to send a password via email or open a strange attachment from someone they don't know. But do they know better than to post photos of their badges on social media or include details about internal software in job descriptions?

"I see this all the time, and this is what makes my job as a simulated attacker so much easier," says Stephanie Carruthers, global social engineering expert at IBM's X-Force Red, who goes by "Snow."

To be sure, there are many ways organizations and their employees unknowingly give cybercriminals a helping hand. Some of the errors are subtle, involving email signatures and out-of-office messages, points out Chris Hadnagy, founder and CEO of Social-Engineer. Others are bolder, involving social media. 

"You would think in 2019 we wouldn't see this," he says, explaining how even photos from office holiday parties can expose sensitive details. "There's so much I can tell from these pictures." Attackers looking to break in can learn plenty with simple Internet research, and oftentimes, the people sharing helpful information aren't aware they're doing anything wrong.

Here, security experts share the most common and consequential ways organizations unknowingly leave themselves vulnerable to cybercrime. Did they leave anything off the list? Feel free to weigh in and share your additions in the Comments section, below.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Why Clouds Keep Leaking Data."

 

Kelly Sheridan is the Staff Editor at Dark Reading, where she focuses on cybersecurity news and analysis. She is a business technology journalist who previously reported for InformationWeek, where she covered Microsoft, and Insurance & Technology, where she covered financial ... View Full Bio

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