September 23, 2021 Cyber Security

Data Breaches: How worried should you be, and how to protect your business

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2020 brought about many new innovations that made our lives easier and helped to boost work-from-home productivity. Along with the beneficial innovations, cybercriminals and hackers were innovating as well, targeting networks across the world. 2020 was the worst year on record, with nearly 3,000 significant breaches reported. Q2 of 2021 saw even more attacks, making this the worst year on record for cybercrime and illegal activity. 

SUCCESS Computer Consulting examines how breaches can happen, and how you can protect your business. 

How Do Cyber Criminals Access Your Network? 

Cyber criminals have a myriad of ways to gain access to networks, and they are refining how they target individuals and businesses all the time. The Hollywood-esque screens full of 1s and 0s are less of a reality today. Cybercriminals are relying on employees and other affiliated individuals to do the hard work of getting past firewalls and security measures for them. Some of the common methods that are used to gain access to a network include: 

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid. It’s installed through a weak gateway or unprotected endpoint and lives in a system until it can access a critical function of a network. These functions include access points to restricted files or programs that control critical systems. The cybercriminals then make themselves known, demanding a ransom, as the name would suggest, for the release of that system or information safely to the victim. For example, according to an article by the Washington Post, ransomware has been targeting major US cities. Gangs for hire out of Russia ransom cities in the United States for cryptocurrency, which is harder to track. Cyberattacks are easier and more prevalent than ever.

Malware

Malware is malicious software that affects smaller businesses and individuals. This software infects and hinders your computer or network, causing it to malfunction. Malware often finds its way onto your computer or network by masquerading as something that it’s not. It will then ask for permission to change settings on a drive or install a program, and cause harm to your computer. These attacks often find their way onto computers and networks through emails or infected sites, which then latch the malicious code into your workstation. 

Phishing 

Phishing is one of the most common ways that cyber criminals gain access to your network. This is the process by which an email with a malware attachment or download is disguised to be something that encourages people to click. This mostly targets individuals, but increasingly hackers are socially engineering these emails to target end-users at companies. This means that they look up the information that would get users to click, such as the name of a boss or coworker, or copy the format and style of a well-known company’s email template. Phishing is especially dangerous when it targets emails within your network, and can cause extensive damage and footholds for cyber threats. 

Should You Be Worried? 

The short answer? Yes. Being prepared for the worst and concerned about what is out there keeps your company vigilant. Plus, statistics don’t lie. Cyberattacks are increasing, and while the big payoffs are going after large companies, there are infinitely more hackers targeting small companies who mistakenly believe they are safe. If you are not constantly considering cybersecurity, or working with a partner who is vigilantly and actively protecting your network, there may have already been a breach. IBM states that the average time that a threat goes undetected in a network is 222 days. Once a threat is detected, it takes another 80 days to mitigate it. The report also states that detecting a breach before the 200-day mark saves roughly one million dollars.  So how do you keep your business protected and save your resources? 

Keep Your Network Safe With SUCCESS 

The right Managed Security Partner is worth their weight in gold. This professional understands everyday business risks, but also constantly monitors your network for footholds, possible breaches, and security. Many companies cross their fingers that they can get away with doing what they have always done, hoping cybercriminals will choose larger, more valuable targets. With crime on the rise, size is no longer a shield. Hackers go after the low-hanging fruits of networks that aren’t regularly updated, opting for easy targets rather than large ones.

Your business needs a partner that doesn’t just plan for tomorrow, but protects you day in and day out as you grow. SUCCESS Computer Consulting implements a technology plan that drives companies away from the break-fix cycle that cybercriminals often target, and puts you in a strategic mindset to stay ahead of breaches. Don’t pay the price for working with less than the best. Find out how SUCCESS Computer Consulting can help your business today.