You may have heard about the hacking scams that have been prevalent in the news. These attacks can be extremely damaging and costly to your business. In some cases they have the potential to sink everything you've worked so hard for. How are these "bad actors" able to do this with what seems like such ease?

Phishing has been at the top of the list of tools for hackers, and they keep getting better at it. No matter how protected you think you may be, every individual and business is at risk for phishing.

Phishing can take on many forms. It could be a link or picture in an email or text message that looks legitimate. It could be someone providing a USB drive that the end user thinks is safe. It could be a fake phone call from someone posing as a trusted official or co-worker asking for information. It could even be as blunt as someone "tailgating" employees into an office and taking up residence at an unmanned work station. These are just a few ways systems get hacked and valuable information is stolen.

No matter how much protection a system has, it is only as strong as the least knowledgeable end user. The best defense against hackers is to educate yourself and any users on your system to recognize the signs of phishing scams. One educational site we recommend that specializes in this area is

If you discover you have been a victim of a phishing attack, there are things that you need to do immediately. If your IT Team has an Incident Response Plan, you will need to implement that plan.

  • Do not power off the infected machine, but disconnect it from the network.
  • Scan for known malware
  • Change your login credentials
  • Change any credentials if stored in your browser
  • Update your password vault if you have one
  • Alert your IT team so they can monitor the network for any additional damage and determine if a forensic investigation is needed.

Once everything has been completed, the machine will need to be wiped, meaning it will need to be reset to factory default.