Cybersecurity Realities Every Business Owner Should Know
While organizations and employees have certainly benefitted from the advancement of technology in recent decades, it has also introduced an unprecedented number of cybersecurity risks and challenges for business and managed IT service providers.
Ransomware attacks, for example, are predicted to hit businesses every 11 seconds in 2021, almost 4 times more frequently than in 2016.1 Therefore, if you want your business to grow and succeed, it is imperative that you understand and effectively contend with the realities of cybersecurity.
The Reality of the Current Threat Landscape
Did you know that the cost of cybercrime downtime is typically more costly to a business than an actual ransom demand?
Almost every organization will encounter cybercrime at some point. It’s not a question of IF, but rather WHEN it will happen. While that reality can be alarming, there’s no need to panic. There are proactive steps you and your managed IT services provider can take to protect your business and achieve peace of mind. But first, let’s discuss what you need to be aware of.
Here are some of the most serious and prevalent cyberthreats facing business owners right now:
Ransomware is malicious software that threatens to reveal sensitive data or prevent access to your files/systems until you pay a ransom payment within a set timeframe. Failure to pay on time can result in data leaks or irreversible data loss.
As mentioned above, the greater cost to a business can come from other factors such as loss of reputation or the downtime caused by the loss of access to your data and network.
Phishing/Business Email Compromise (BEC)
Phishing is a cybercrime that involves a hacker impersonating a legitimate person or organization mostly through emails or through other methods such as SMS. Malicious actors employ phishing to send links or attachments that can be used to extract login credentials or install malware.
Some of these attacks can be very convincing.
Similarly, business email compromise (BEC) is a scam in which cybercriminals use compromised email accounts to trick victims into sending money or revealing sensitive information.
An example would be a criminal using an executive’s email to which they have gained fraudulent access to request funds be transferred to a “client’s” account, or an emergency travel fund, etc.
An insider threat arises from within a company. It could happen because of a current or former employee, vendor, or other business partner who have access to important corporate data and computer systems.
They arise from a range of motivations such as greed, revenge, or ignorance. Insider threats are hard to detect because they emerge from within and are not always malicious or even intentional.
Denial-of-Service/Distributed Denial-of-Service (DoS and DDoS)
These attacks are widespread and easy to carry out.
When a DoS or DDoS attack occurs, hackers flood the targeted system with repeated data requests, forcing it to slow down, crash or shut down.
If you are still unsure whether you should be concerned about these sophisticated threats or not, the following statistics may help you make up your mind:
- It takes an average of 280 days to identify and contain a breach.2
- Malicious attacks with financial motivations were responsible for 53% of breaches in 2020.2
- Personal Identifiable Information (PII) is compromised in 80% of data breaches (PII).2
Implement These Measures to Secure Your Business
As with most things in life, it tends to be far easier and less expensive to prevent these threats in the first place with strong managed IT services than it is to have to recover from them.
Now that you know what types of cyberthreats to look out for, let’s look at some measures you or your IT MSP can put in place to protect your business against cybercrimes.
Strict Password Policies/Management Tools
Strict complex password policies and the use of proper password management solutions can help improve your organization’s overall password hygiene. It is, in a way, the first line of protection against cybercriminals. Combined with login attempt limits, this is the best defense against “brute force” hacks that run through innumerable passwords to force access by simply “guessing” enough times to find the right one.
Strong Identity Controls – Multifactor Authentication (MFA)
To combat the current threat landscape, strong identity controls that go beyond traditional username-password authentication are required. Consider using Multifactor authentication, which includes features such as one-time passwords (OTPs) and security questions. This ensures that even gaining a user’s login credentials is not enough to access the network.
Regular Risk Assessment
This process aids in the detection, estimation, and prioritization of risks to an organization’s people, assets, and operations.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
To avoid a security breach, you should set up a corporate VPN that encrypts all your connections. Make sure your employees test it in their respective locations to avoid any hassles.
Business Continuity Strategy
When disaster hits, a solid business continuity strategy ensures that mission-critical operations continue uninterrupted and that IT systems, software, and applications remain accessible and recoverable.
Continual Security Awareness Training
Ongoing security training is one of the most critical components as it empowers your employees to recognize today’s complex cyber threats and take appropriate action, resulting in a transformative security culture within your organization.
Help with your Hybrid IT Workspace
One of the great advantages of a managed IT service provider, especially for business IT, is the ability to economically bring all these safeguards and technical skillsets under one roof. Something that for many businesses is just not a feasible option.
If you are ready to strengthen your cybersecurity posture but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry. With professional business IT support, we can help your company build a digital fortress of protection solutions tailored to your business IT needs.
If you want to learn more about the realities of the current threat landscape, what you can do about it, or how MSP IT Support can help your business thrive we are always more than happy to answer your questions.
Contact Sequentur today to schedule a discovery call. Or just give us a call. Tampa Bay Office: (813) 489-4122, Washington D.C. Office: (703) 260-1119