7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for

April 30, 2024

A hacked device for your business can lead to data breaches, sensitive information being leaked and even financial implications. Smart devices are becoming more popular and convenient, especially for businesses looking to streamline their workflows and processes. But they also pose some serious security risks.

How can you tell if a hacker has compromised your device? Here are 7 signs of a hacked device your business must look out for to ensure your organisation’s safety.

Hacked Device Sign #1: Unexpected Behaviours

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Unexpected behaviours shown by devices within your business network can be early warning signs of a potential hacked device. These behaviours encompass a wide range of anomalies, deviations from normal operation, or actions that are simply out of character for the device itself or its users.

Keep an eye on login activities for your network accounts and systems. Unexpected behaviours may include login attempts from unusual locations, at odd hours, or using credentials that have not been previously associated with the account.

Be sure to monitor file access logs for any irregularities in file access patterns. Unexpected behaviours may include unauthorised users accessing sensitive files or directories, unusual file modification or deletion activities, or a sudden increase in access requests to critical files. These anomalies could be indicative of unauthorised data exfiltration or tampering by hackers.

Hacked Device Sign #2: Unusual Network Traffic

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Keeping an eye on your network traffic for any unusual network traffic is a great step in ensuring you are not working on a hacked device. Unusual network traffic is a subtle, yet rather significant indicator of a hacked device within a business network.

Monitoring your network is a crucial safety step, ensuring your business aims to observe if there are any unfamiliar IP addresses or domains within the network. Hackers will often establish covert communication channels with command and control servers to remotely control hacked devices and retrieve data.

By thoroughly monitoring your network traffic, connections, and behaviour patterns, you can detect and protect your network from security threats before they escalate into full-scale incidents.

Hacked Device Sign #3: Strange Sounds or Voices

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Whilst the headline of this point may seem strange or even a little humorous, it is a genuine sign of a potentially hacked device. Smart speakers and voice-activated assistant devices are becoming increasingly standard across many industries. If you start to hear your device making strange noises, or even voices coming through, this may be a sign of a hacked device.

This poses extreme security risks for a business. This is due to the fact that they may have access to your devices microphone, and therefore have the ability to eavesdrop during meetings where sensitive information may be discussed.

It’s essential to investigate any audio abnormalities promptly and thoroughly, as they may signify unauthorised audio surveillance, playback of recorded audio, feedback loops, signal interference, voice synthesis, or remote control by hackers.

Hacked Device Sign #4: Device Settings Modifications

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Device settings modifications, when unexpected or unauthorised, can be a clear indication of a hacked device and security breach within your business network. These modifications encompass alterations to various settings and configurations on devices such as computers, servers, routers, and IoT devices.

Unauthorised modifications to network settings, such as IP addresses, subnet masks, DNS servers, or default gateways, can disrupt network connectivity and compromise security. Hackers may manipulate these settings to redirect traffic, intercept communications, or facilitate man-in-the-middle attacks.

Unauthorised modifications to user account permissions, privileges, or group memberships can grant hackers elevated access rights within your network. Hackers may exploit vulnerabilities in user account management systems to escalate privileges, create rogue accounts, or gain unauthorised access to sensitive resources.

Regularly auditing user account settings and permissions to identify and rectify unauthorised modifications is critical for maintaining proper access control and enforcing the principle of least privilege.

Hacked Device Sign #5: Unexplained Data Transfers

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Unexplained data transfers represent a critical cybersecurity concern for businesses, indicating potential unauthorised access or a hacked device within your network. These transfers involve the movement of data, files, or information between devices or across network boundaries without a clear, legitimate purpose.

One of the most serious implications of unexplained data transfers is data exfiltration, where sensitive or confidential information is illicitly transferred from your network to external locations controlled by hackers. This could include customer data, financial records, intellectual property, or proprietary business information.

Unexplained data transfers can also indicate the distribution of malware within your network. Hackers may use compromised devices to propagate malicious software to other systems, spreading infections and compromising the security of your entire network.

Hacked Device Sign #6: New or Unknown Devices on Network

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

The appearance of new or unknown devices on your business network can be a cause for concern, signalling potential hacked devices and unauthorised access. These devices may include computers, smartphones, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, or network appliances that have connected to your network without proper authorisation or oversight.

The appearance of new or unknown devices on your network may indicate the presence of malware infections or compromised devices. Hackers may use malware to infect computers or IoT devices and enlist them into botnets for carrying out malicious activities such as distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, spam distribution, or data exfiltration.

Maintaining an up-to-date inventory of authorised devices and conducting regular asset management audits are essential for identifying and addressing new or unknown devices on your network. Implementing network discovery tools, endpoint monitoring solutions, and intrusion detection systems can help identify potential hacked devices.

Hacked Device Sign #7: Emails or Messages Confirming Changes you didn’t make

7 Signs of a Hacked Device your Business must look out for - Adept IT Solutions | IT Service and Support Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast

Receiving emails or messages confirming changes that you didn’t make can be a glaring indicator of a security breach or unauthorised access to your accounts or systems. These notifications may come from various sources, such as online accounts, financial institutions, or internal business systems, and typically alert you to modifications or actions taken without your knowledge or consent.

Emails or messages confirming changes to your business accounts, employee profiles, or internal systems that you didn’t initiate may suggest a data breach or unauthorised access to your business network. Hackers may exploit vulnerabilities in your IT infrastructure, social engineering tactics, or insider threats to gain access to sensitive business data, intellectual property, or customer information.

Some emails or messages confirming changes you didn’t make may be part of phishing scams designed to trick you into revealing sensitive information or clicking on malicious links. Hackers may impersonate legitimate companies or service providers and send fraudulent notifications to deceive you into providing login credentials, financial details, or other confidential information.

Verifying the authenticity of such emails, avoiding clicking on suspicious links or attachments, and reporting phishing attempts to the relevant authorities can help protect you from falling victim to phishing scams and identity theft.

Contact Adept IT Solutions today!

If you believe you may have a hacked device in your business network, or simply want to ensure your cybersecurity systems are in place correctly, contact Adept IT Solutions today.

Take a look at our extensive list of services, or feel free to contact us at 1300 423 378 (ADEPT) or email us at info@adept-it.com.au.

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