A common cybersecurity threat may have been foretold in Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, as supercomputer HAL is up to no good with what amounts to an artificially intelligent space-age webcam.

As he plots a takeover of the spaceship he’s built into and eliminate his human companions, HAL briefly gains the upper hand in a battle of man vs. machine by listening in on a crucial conversation by way of his all-seeing digital eye. Despite the onboard astronauts’ efforts to conceal their clandestine conversation on disconnecting HAL before the mission goes further awry, HAL sees their lips move and pieces together that his survival is at stake.


The Cybersecurity Threat is Human

Today, artificially intelligent machines like HAL aren’t yet hijacking our webcams. For now, the more significant cybersecurity threat lies with nefarious humans and how they can break into webcam software as a means to extract information or gain control of potentially sensitive or embarrassing information.

Although less common than more traditional hacks, illicit webcam access is on the rise — even as 79 percent of users have become aware of the threat. COVID-19 and work-from-home policies have only exacerbated the risk.


Ways to Keep Your Small Business Safe

So, with that in mind, here are some high-tech and low-tech ways to keep your small business safe.

  • Check for webcam software updates and install them
  • Use a firewall to protect your data network
  • Protect your WiFi network with a password to prevent unwanted access
  • Avoid open networks when working in public spaces
  • Ignore suspicious links embedded in emails and alert managers

And, if all else fails, cover your webcam with a post-it, cloth, or some other paper barrier to prevent potential onlookers from seeing you.


The Ultimate Cybersecurity Safeguard

These tips might seem straightforward and easy to implement. But you’d be surprised how often small businesses fail to enact these simple solutions. Don’t let HAL (or any other life form) discover what’s happening in front of the camera. Contact Sentribit at 908-232-2060 for a review of your business and its vulnerabilities. A cybersecurity threat may only be a click away