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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery


Updated: Apr 15, 2020

Technology isn't my strong suit by a long shot, but I know a guy... You can't read the news today without a story of who's been hacked and the prodigious amount of money it cost them. The city of Atlanta was hacked and it cost $17,000,000 plus valuable lost data that can never be retrieved.

Cyber criminals used to steal your data to sell it to other folks, but now they've figured out that it's easier and more profitable just to sell it back to you. Imagine that you lose all access to your stored data/records and someone is demanding that you pay a ransom to get it back.

You're between a rock and a hard place, and there is absolutely no way for you to generate any leverage in that negotiation. Once you're in that situation you have no choice but to pay up, so your best bet is to avoid getting there in the first place.

Here are 5 basic steps you can take toward avoiding cyber blackmail, and we owe a big tip of the hat to the guy I know, Patrick Kelley of Critical Path Security (and yes, he actually did take over a locomotive!). High-Performance Habits

1. Perform a risk assessment by a qualified cyber security expert--you can't fix it if you don't know about it (and BTW, you're going to be shocked about what's out there on the web about you and your company).

2. Set up a continuous monitoring plan--cyber attacks happen 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

3. Don't send sensitive information by email, and never click on any link you're not 100% certain of.

4. Use a password program like Last Pass--your password patterns are much more predictable than you realize.

5. Use a two-factor authentication program like Duo--that extra authentication step makes a big difference.

Copyright Terry Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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