The recent emergence of the so-called Heartbleed Bug has led to several concerns about the safety of various websites. For instance, the Canada Revenue Agency was essentially shut down for several days, preventing those wanting to file their taxes from doing so electronically for fear that their files may also become compromised. It’s been recently discovered that the networking equipment that hooks many people into the internet may also have been compromised, but the question remains: how many websites are actually safe from Heartbleed?
The bug apparently went undetected for two years before the alarm was sounded. This is concerning, given the sheer volume of email that all users send back and forth to one another. Open SSL technology appears to be the most vulnerable to the bug, and many pieces of network software make use of the technology in order to offer security for its users. One software security expert has said that Facebook will be impacted as a result of the security headaches created by Heartbleed, though the social media giant has said that Facebook is safe from it.
The problem is that many businesses and homes make use of the Open SSL technology; this leaves hackers ready and poised to steal passwords and use keystrokes to break into a range of systems. In turn, this leaves businesses truly vulnerable. While Facebook continues to say it’s safe from Heartbleed, it’s important to realize that there are fixes that are only now being developed and that hackers are working on trying to get around these fixes so they can get the information they want from businesses.
This means that businesses really have to consider their approach to marketing very carefully for the foreseeable future until such a time as computer programmers have an effective approach to beating the Heartbleed bug. While the bug does not appear to have found a way to work its way through the Pages part of Facebook, given the risk of exposure through network equipment now, it seems that businesses need to consider the following approaches:
- If you haven’t already, change your password: A simple password change can go a long way to making it just a little more challenging for hackers to get into your system.
- Install software updates regularly: Software updates are there for a reason. As a result, you absolutely need to be diligent about installing software updates on your computer; some valuable security updates may come through as well.
- Talk to the manufacturer of your computer devices: It’s important for businesses to ensure that they are in regular conversations with the manufacturers of their network security devices in order to double-check whether or not they need to get their devices fixed.
There are a number of possibilities that can leave your business at risk for hackers in the wake of the Heartbleed bug, but staying vigilant can help protect your business in its aftermath.