HR Jetpack

Attack Vectors

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Attack Vectors

Lesson Content

Hacking is a general term that often does more harm than good. Hacking sounds scary and intimidating, but that term alone doesn’t help the public understand what actually happens. What data or systems were accessed, and how did the bad guys get into it?

There are many vulnerabilities within highly complex systems that you as an HR Professional, and really any member of the public couldn’t be expected to monitor or manage because they’re best left to programmers and IT specialists. Having said that, many of the most common vulnerabilities lie in the things we use every day.

If an attacker wants to access your account, their first stop is to try to figure out your username, password, and any credentials required to log in as you. There are cases, such as the Yahoo breach I mentioned earlier, when a company’s database exposes all of their users at once, but it’s not a regular occurrence. In most cases where a user’s account is illicitly accessed, that user’s login details were compromised in some way in order to gain access.

Attackers may also try to reach your data by sending you emails. It is common for malicious emails to contain infected attachments or links which can send victims who click on them to sites under the control of the attackers. Over and over again we will come back to the idea that your email account security is at the heart of staying safe online.

Malware, which is a type of malicious software meant to harm or infect computers, can be delivered through mechanisms other than email as well. Malware and viruses can wreak havoc on your devices by giving remote access to attackers, destroying data, spying on your activity, or locking you out of your own machine.

And when thinking about devices, it is especially important these days to think about all of the computers that exist within your life. Computers, phones, and tablets are all things that people commonly try to lock down and protect, however most people have many other devices which could also represent a liability. Routers, cable boxes, DVRs, and just about any “Smart” device connected to your network represent a potential avenue for attackers to snoop on your activity. As the world becomes increasingly connected, nearly every appliance in your home and workplace are likely going to be internet-enabled, and so protecting those devices is becoming a huge concern.

All of the elements of internet activity I just mentioned: login details, email, malware, and connected devices are all aspects which fall under personal responsibility. As the course progresses, you will learn how to think about securing these channels and walk away with the ability to control your online security in a way that most people are not able to.

Michael Wilson


Michael Wilson

Michael Wilson works with small businesses to build and protect their brands online. He is an IT Generalist whose primary services include: Web Design & Development, Cybersecurity Consulting & Training,...

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