Bah Humbug CYBER ATTACKS Season!
Holidays are here and everyone is browsing the internet shopping and giving the bad guys opportunities to infect your computer. Do not open anything you don’t recognize in your browser to prevent cyber attack.
Data breach. Ransomware. NotPetya. BadRabbit. WannaCry. 2017 has seen the emergence of
a whole new vocabulary of threats to the health of your business—but you might not even be aware of the danger.
Just about everyone has heard about the Equifax disaster: 143 million individuals made vulnerable to identity theft. Not quite as many people are aware that the Eastern European countries of Russia, Ukraine, Turkey and Bulgaria were targeted by the Petya, NotPetya and BadRabbit malware, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits and damages. You might not even have known that some thirty schools in Montana were shut down just this September after receiving death threats to students and ransom demands from the TheDarkOverlord Solutions group after it hacked a Columbia Falls school district server. It all sounds like a threat right out of Star Wars—huge, inexorable, and most important, something that is happening in a galaxy far, far away.
But it absolutely isn’t: cyber attack is potentially very close to home and to your business.
The very size of the targets that have received the most coverage is misleadingly comforting. According to a survey by CNBC, approximately 14 million small businesses in the United States have suffered data breaches at least once; that’s one-half of the total small businesses in the country. Why? Most hackers are motivated by profit, and they can net as much by hacking a number of small businesses as by making a killing on a corporate giant. And it’s so much easier, because limited budgets mean that small businesses simply can’t afford to stay on top of the dizzying proliferation of threats, much less assemble the resources to thwart them.
You might be thinking that this doesn’t apply to you, because you don’t maintain sensitive data files on anybody or anything. But unless you are currently using an abacus you still have computer architecture that could harbor malware designed to make your system vulnerable to the interference of a hacker. You could even export that liability to a customer—hardly the kind of word-of-mouth advertising you’re looking for.
What’s the answer? A Unified Threat Management tool consisting of a firewall, spam blocker, antivirus, and content filters is the first line of defense. A UTM isolates and limits threats, giving your IT provider timely warnings that your infrastructure is under attack. Proper security measures, such as strong password requirements, are something that you should make sure all your employees are committed to. Another essential facet of employee education is instruction on the micro-level versions of cyber attack: phishing and social engineering, which can endanger the organization as much as the individual.
It’s a lot to think about, especially when it’s not the focus of your business efforts. Maybe you’re even one of the 14 million small businesses that have suffered compromise at the hands of hackers, but you still don’t know how to protect yourself. Let CrafTech help you create a threat management policy that will give you and your staff peace of mind. It’s what we’re here for. Read more about Hosted Microsoft Exchange, HIPPA Privacy Protection, Email Filter
Written by: Susan Palmer