Hackers Steal Business Identity Via Your Browser With Java Exploit

You should take five minutes to understand Java browser threat before it undermines your security. The internet has become much like the Wild Wild West, where individuals play by their own rules and do as they please. Think of hackers as being malicious like Mongo from “Blazing Saddles,” but as smart and cunning as the most nefarious of Bond villains. It all reads like a bad Hollywood script until you get hit.

These outlaws of the digital age have turned their attention to your browser, and specifically to Oracle Corp’s Java software, continuing their efforts to victimize unsuspecting individuals who think they’re surfing the net safely. According to a recent Reuters report, the company is hard at work on a software update meant to address a critical security flaw that would allow hackers to infect your computer, possibly even taking control of it and using it in an attack on another server.

Like most forms of digital intrusion, identity theft and fraud, the victim doesn’t realize what has happened until the damage has already been done. That can mean a massive loss of data, debilitating downtime and a significant monetary investment for even the smallest businesses. Let’s stop standing in the batter’s box watching pitch after pitch go by without taking the bat off our shoulders. Instead, it’s time to take a swing at identity theft prevention and data breach.

How often do you think your employees find themselves cruising the Web when a pop-up prompts them to install a program update or enable cookies to view a site? Do they stop to think about what it is asking them? Do they take a moment to consider the impact on your company? Do the understand how to tell if the update is real and necessary? Probably not.

Ignorance is bliss until it swings back around to bite you on the technological backside. In this day and age, that can be in the form of stolen bank account information, customer identity, Social Security numbers, intellectual property, account passwords and a plethora of other personal data that can be used to steal identity or further breach your company.

Other top keynote speakers I’ve spoken to on this subject understand why people opt for convenience over security: because we’ve gotten lazy; but that doesn’t mean we should just shut up and passively condone these bad habits. There are countless ways to avoid identity theft, like not installing plug-ins unless you know their source and their actual purpose. Even more effective is to disallow Java to run on everything but your trusted websites.  And there are many inexpensive controls businesses can put in place to make the job easier. But first, it’s time to start using better judgment.

John Sileo is an online security expert and keynote speaker on risk management and protecting sensitive information. His clients included the Department of Defense, Pfizer, and Homeland Security. See his recent work on 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper and Fox Business.