The pandemic changed practically everything about the world as we once knew it. As soon as we got used to new practices like sanitizing, social distancing and remote working, the pandemic also made us embrace changes in the ways we deal with cyberattacks and cyberthreats. In 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received OVER 800,000 complaints from Americans. That’s 7% more than 2020, and the potential losses for these complaints exceeded over $6.9 billion!
Since working remotely seems to be here to stay, the increase of cyberattacks are expected to continue well into the future as well. Furthermore, business technologies are also evolving, attracting more hackers to want to target business data. In this situation, the best solution is to build your cyber resiliency and protect yourself from unforeseen attacks.
Cybersecurity has always been a challenge for businesses with sensitive types of data. A single unexpected data attack could wipe out everything and put your business’ entire existence in question. With the recent and quite abrupt transition to remote work, the challenge has changed for security teams. From the potential safety of the remote working networks to just simple and trivial human errors, there are countless methods in which your IT network and entire business could be affected when employees are working remotely.
In a recent study, nearly 20% of businesses said that remote work contributed to their company’s data breach, which ended up costing companies $4.96 million- that’s 15% more than the average data breach. Also, early detection of breaches is another big issue for IT security teams. In 2021, it took an average of 212 days to detect a network breach, and an average of 75 days to actually contain it, for a total timeframe of 287 days from initial penetration to eradication. Are your company’s cybersecurity solutions good enough to withstand this type of attack?
Cybersecurity threats come in all different shapes and forms. From the simple spyware monitoring your network transactions to a full-blown ransomware attack that holds all your critical data for a ransom, there are multiple ways in which your IT network could be destroyed. It’s only after you get a real idea of the potential risks surrounding your IT environment that you can build a resilient cybersecurity strategy that enhances your IT infrastructure and keeps vulnerabilities in their place.
· Phishing scams: Phishing emails are still a major threat to the digital environment of many businesses across the world. COVID-19 emails have given the perfect cover for these emails to lure in unknowing and unsuspecting users. By creating a sense of urgency, these emails can persuade your employees to click on harmful links that could install harmful viruses and steal sensitive data.
· Ransomware: Ransomware attacks are increasing every single day. There was an almost 93% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021 compared to 2020. A ransomware attack will hold a company’s critical private data for a ransom, and millions of dollars are paid to hackers every single year as corporations do not want to risk losing their sensitive data to a hacker. However, there is absolutely no guarantee that the data that you’re paying to release will even be returned in full, or still not being held for sale on the Dark Web. It really is a lose-lose situation after you suffer from a ransomware attack.
· Cloud jacking: With “the cloud” becoming a more professional way of storing data, incidents of cloud jacking have become a serious threat to businesses who utilize the cloud for data storage. These types of attacks are mainly rolled out in two ways – installing malicious code into 3rd-party cloud libraries or injecting codes directly to the cloud platforms themselves. To simplify things, your cloud service or vendor is solely responsible for maintaining the infrastructure of the platform itself, but all the responsibility concerning your private data security lies within your hands. So, keep in mind that you are entirely responsible for your data security and its integrity, even when it is on the cloud.
· Man-in-the-middle attack: Hackers can inject themselves in a two-party transaction if it happens on a public network. Once they get access, they can filter out and steal your data. If your remote working employees use public networks to carry out their business tasks, they are extremely vulnerable to these types of attacks and are strongly encouraged to use a VPN or private internet connection when handling company assignments.
· Distributed denial-of-service attack AKA DDOSAttack: This type of attack happens when hackers mess with your normal web traffic and flood your system with issues and traffic that burns out the bandwidth. In exchange, users will not be able to perform their legitimate tasks. Once the network is flooded, the attacker will be able to send various botnets into the network and manipulate it for their own benefit.
Being readily prepared for a security incident is something all organizations must focus on, regardless of their size, type, or industry. It is critical to have a plan of action that outlines what needs to be done if something goes wrong. Most importantly, it is critical to have a trusted MSP partner (like us here at Tekie Geek) who can continuously monitor your IT environment and give you a heads-up on unusual activities.
Investing in cybersecurity solutions is much less expensive than losing your critical data or paying a large ransom. You need to roll out advanced solutions that can keep up with the sophisticated threats in this day & age. Your antivirus software from a few years ago is like putting a piece of scotch tape on a jail cell door. It’s going to do nothing to keep things intact. There is a list of best practices such as multi-factor authentication, DNS filtering, disk encryption, firewall protection and more that we can discuss that can help you be more secure today!
If all these aspects of cybersecurity sound too confusing to you, fear not! Reach out to us here at Tekie Geek to understand the vulnerabilities that lie within your network and how you can safeguard your data with the right tools, techniques, and services!