What Sony Can Teach You About Privacy

Bookmark and Share
Recently 70 million accounts on Playstation's gaming network have been compromised, including credit card details. This is a big security hole, and now everyone that was signed up to the Playstation network has to change their credit card details and the whole system is offline, so no more Call of Duty multiplayer. While you can expect something like this from some overseas startup, inexperienced company but Sony?
Meanwhile at Microsoft a bottle of champagne has just been uncorked. That might be a bit cynical but there's no doubt this is good for Microsfot and the Xbox. From what I know not only is the Playstation network down, but no one can create new accounts or play online. Security is a problem, and this issue highlights that it can happen to anyone, even Sony who most likely had a security team on their network, I can just imagine the meeting now between Sony's IT security department and management. Wow.
Our Website Was Hacked Once..
This event brings to mind how our website was hacked about a year ago. The front page was fine, however clicking on the 'blog' link brought me to a picture of Scarface and some swear words and, suprisingly, the hacker's email address, setup in Hotmail of course; perhaps he wanted a ransom to 'unhack' the website or just enjoyed logging in and reading the abuse from website webmasters. Here's the thing, if you're a big company you will be targeted. Sony was big so they were targeted and you best believe the big brands (online and offline) that you associate with every day are getting targeted by hackers too. Most companies don't report security breaches as they don't want their stock price and custom confidence to drop.
It is a scary world.
Tips on Securing Your Data
If Playstation can't secure their data how can a small business operating in Australia. Here are a few simple precautions, if you're not doing these you're asking for trouble:
Same Password on Every Website
Don't do this! If a hacker or associate learns your password for one website he can have access to many others. At Head Studios we use various tools such as a cloud document management system, Facebook, Twitter, various logins for directory services etc. No way am I going to have every password the same.
Complicated Passwords
A good way to stop hackers is to have a complicated password that's not easy to guess. One word passwords like 'water' or 'password' are not going to do. Hackers have automated software that automatically cycles through these passwords. Make sure your password has letters AND numbers, and even mix in some uppercase and lowercase, for example pEArTr33 (pear tree). This may take some getting used to; when I started I didn't like to have to remember passwords like this. But if you have a secret file or paper somewhere with these passwords on you can remember. Next question is probably where do you store that piece of paper or file. The answer is in a place where no one will find it :).
Actually, if you want to really James Bond it, you can have all your passwords on the paper backwards compared to their originals, and, for example replace all vowels (a, e, o etc.) with a code such as '33' for a and '57' for e etc. Then have this coding schema hidden in your jet boat so you can make a quick getaway with the launch codes when the terrorists attack.
Security is not easy. It's up to you how far you want to take it.

{ 0 comments... Views All / Send Comment! }

Post a Comment