Today’s businesses are facing a constant battle to protect their confidential data from a wide variety of threats ranging from corporate espionage to financially motivated attacks to state-sponsored threats. Now that digital data is one of the biggest and most valuable commodities in the world, hackers are upping their game to exploit rapidly expanding attack surfaces and the fact that many organizations are still unprepared for the onslaught.
Small business leaders often assume that hackers are only interested in going after the bigger targets — large global companies with millions of dollars’ worth of valuable data in their care. In reality, many hackers recognize the fact that these organizations tend to be difficult targets, while viewing individual consumers as too low-value to be worth the effort. To that end, small businesses represent something of a sweet spot.
The fact that most small business leaders consider themselves inadequately prepared for a data breach is what makes them easy targets. They don’t make cybersecurity a top priority and hackers know this. If you don’t have the time or money to make security a primary concern, partner with a third-party entity such as managed IT service providers (MSPs) like Zentech to protect your data.
With the costs of successful data breaches now running into the millions of dollars, businesses are finding themselves more vulnerable than ever. It’s not just the direct costs of remediation and recovery that leaders have to worry about either — there are also indirect costs, such as reputational damage, increased downtime and stunted productivity. Furthermore, if a breach of compliance is discovered, fines and litigation can increase the costs significantly.
Business leaders should conduct regular risk assessments to determine where vulnerabilities lie and carry out impact analyses to define an acceptable level of risk. Both must be part of an ongoing strategy that evolves with the constantly changing cyber risks.
Cyberextortion has been around for decades, but 2017 saw ransomware rise to global infamy with high-profile attacks like WannaCry and Petya. While earlier forms of ransomware were often relatively easy to overcome, the epidemic isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. To make matters worse, ransomware developers are getting bolder and recruiting armies of less experienced hackers on the dark web to spread their malware.
To protect themselves against ransomware, businesses need a multilayered approach to cybersecurity that involves ongoing training, patch management and, most importantly, a solid backup and disaster recovery strategy.
Social engineering remains the most common attack method for successful cyberattacks. Rather than exploit vulnerabilities in technology itself, cybercriminals often exploit human ignorance instead to encourage victims to volunteer sensitive information or download malicious software. These phishing scams are often carried out to spread ransomware or steal login information and gain unhindered access to corporate systems.
Because phishing scams exploit people rather than technology, the only way for businesses to properly protect themselves is to provide ongoing security awareness training. Technology measures like multifactor authentication can also help, but they’re no substitute for training.
Data breaches are often discovered months after they occur, long after the damage has been done and stolen data has been released in dark-web marketplaces. Moreover, many businesses suffer multiple attacks per month. In fact, one of the most serious categories of cyberattack are advanced persistent threats (APTs), which are deliberately carried out over extended time spans and allow the hacker to maintain a low profile.
It’s imperative that attempted data breaches be revealed in real time so that security teams can work to mitigate any potential damage before it gets out of control. That’s why companies need real-time, round-the-clock monitoring for their entire network infrastructure.
Zentech helps companies get technology back on their side with customized solutions tailored to address unique business challenges. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation.
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