President Obama’s decision was supported by investigations conducted by several U.S. intelligence agencies. The target of the cyber attack was the email server used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and the breach was considered to have been a political hit during a presidential election.

Recent Major Breaches in Cyber Security

The mechanics of the DNC email server breach were determined to have been a mixture of social engineering and phishing attacks. One of the attacks specifically targeted the personal Gmail account of a DNC official; the phishing message was crafted to look as if it was a report by Google urging Podesta to change his password because it had been compromised. A member of Podesta’s staff followed the link on that fake email and unwittingly gave attackers access to his account, which ended up being disclosed by WikiLeaks.

It is important to note that the attack on the DNC was just one of many high-profile cybercrime events that took place in 2016. Information security analysts are forecasting even more risks in 2017, particularly for small business owners and self-employed professionals.

Cyber Security Dangers to Local Businesses

When major cybercrime occurrences are reported by news media outlets, malicious hackers around become emboldened by the prospect of attacking small companies and average computer users whose systems are less likely to be protected by sophisticated measures.

If you want to keep your personal computing devices and networks safe in 2017, you should start by checking your systems and making sure that operating systems and internal files are not infected with malware. You should also update your firewall and antivirus software and consider upgrading to applications that feature a resident shield. Don’t forget to extend protection to your mobile devices as well, and consider a subscription to a VPN service.

Improving your data security should be one of your New Year’s resolution for 2017. At PC Performance Pros in Victorville, we can diagnose the security of your devices and your network and determine if there is malware that should be removed. We can also tune up your system so that it starts off the New Year in optimal condition.