Year after year, the threat of cyber crime has been growing and growing fast. So fast, in fact, that even before Russia invaded Ukraine and set off new fears of increased network security risks around the world, experts predicted the damages inflicted by cyber crime to grow by 15% every year for the next few years, reaching an expected $10.5 trillion by 2025.

That’s a truly astounding number and a cause for alarm. If you’re an integrator or smart home specialist, you’re in a unique position to educate your clients on the risks they’re facing and some high-level security measures they can take to protect their data.

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, many countries around the world responded by levying significant economic sanctions against Russia and individual Russian leaders. This has prompted many to worry that Russia will respond by unleashing unprecedented cyber attacks against Western businesses.

As a result, U.S. President Joe Biden has urged businesses to prepare and strengthen their cyber defenses immediately, warning “the magnitude of Russia’s cyber capacity is fairly consequential and it’s coming.”

It’s not only clients directly involved in defense and vital infrastructure that need be concerned, but anyone that our society is dependent on. Security risks could also include infiltration of wireless and cellular networks.

Cabling vs. Wireless: Which is More Secure?

Using Wi-Fi is convenient and, in today’s world, quite unavoidable. However, it does come with the risk of data and communication being intercepted by someone with malicious intent.

Leveraging Ethernet connections to increase digital security may not be possible in every situation, but for those with highly sensitive data and communications, an extensive, structured wiring network including dedicated Ethernet wall ports is a great way to increase digital security.

Essential Security Measures to Take Now

There’s a misconception that when it comes to cloud computing and cloud storage, security is the job of the cloud provider. And while that’s to true to some extent, there are also basic security measures cloud and network users should be taking as well.

Password Management

Using the same password on multiple websites can significantly expose a person’s accounts or entire cloud infrastructure to cyber-crime. For integrators and smart home specialists, this is an opportunity to educate your clients on the importance of using strong and unique passwords, as well as enabling multi-factor authentication.

Phishing Training

Phishing attacks are still the number one method for global cyber-crime. Using unique passwords on each site and enabling multi-factor authentication can help protect against phishing, but businesses of all sizes should also be doing regular phishing training for all network users.

Credentials and Access Keys

Another potential weak leak in a cloud network is the credentials, or access keys. In many reported breaches, credentials have been leaked through source code or other documents. Best practices advise that access keys should be treated as sensitively as passwords—they should never be hard coded, shared via email, or recorded in documents.