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 innovations that were made for good, cybercriminals and hackers were innovating just as fast in order to evolve how they target networks. 2020 was the worst year on record, with nearly 3,000 significant breaches reported. That number was topped in Q2 of 2021, making this the worst year on record for cybercrime and illegal activity. 

SUCCESS Computer Consulting looks at some of the ways that breaches can happen, how you can protect your business, and if you should be worried or not. 

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, as 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 an unprotected endpoint and lives in a system until it is able to access a critical function of a network, such as an access point to restricted files or the program that controls a critical system. 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 are able to ransom cities in the United States for cryptocurrency, which is harder to track, making this form of cyberattack easier than ever before. 

Malware

Malware is malicious software that affects smaller businesses and individuals. This software is meant to infect and hinder your computer or network’s ability to function. 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 onto your computer in order to spread further. 

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 who have their sights set on sites that are resting on the idea that they are too small to be attacked. If you are not constantly talking about 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, and when a threat is detected, it takes another 80 days to mitigate it. While breaches are never good news, quick reactions can save you money. IBM also reports that the difference between a breach that is under 200 days and over 200 days is one million dollars. So how do you keep your business protected? 

Keep Your Network Safe With SUCCESS 

Having a Managed Security Partner on your side that not only understands the risks businesses face every day but is constantly checking your network for footholds, possible breaches, and updating security is worth their weight in gold. Many companies cross their fingers and hope that they can get away with doing what they have always done, and 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 and prefer an easy target to a big one.

Your business needs a partner that doesn’t just plan for tomorrow, but helps you realize how your cybersecurity plan will keep you protected 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.