Cybercrime is Rising – is Your Business Prepared to Recover?

Cybercrime has been rising substantially over the last few decades and is currently at an all-time high. The coronavirus pandemic has caused cybercrime to soar at an unusually alarming rate. Criminals are taking advantage of people through pandemic-related scams and businesses are moving online for the first time without any knowledge of data security best practices.

Hackers have small businesses in their crosshairs – they’re the easiest targets because small business owners don’t usually implement strong security. They’re just trying to run their business and haven’t thought about reaching out to a professional IT team.

According to data published by CNBC, 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% are ready to defend against an attack. Unfortunately, most small businesses that get hit don’t survive.

What does it take to Defend Against a Cyberattack?

You need a strong security posture, secure backups, and a solid recovery plan. If you don’t have a plan to recover after a major cyberattack, your business probably won’t survive.

How Long would it take you to Restore your Data after a Cyberattack?

If your business got hit with a ransomware attack that locked all of your company data across company computers, your web server, and your intranet, what would you do? Do you have a plan to restore your data in this worst-case scenario without paying the ransom?

The city of Riviera Beach, Florida didn’t have a plan when their computers were hit with a ransomware attack back in 2019. As a result, the city voted to pay their attackers $600,000 to restore access to their computer systems.

If the city had invested a tiny fraction of that amount of money in IT security from a company like Palm Tech, they would have had backups of all systems and data, and they could have reformatted their hard drives, reinstalled their software programs, and started fresh.

Why do Small Businesses Ignore Cybersecurity?

IT security experts have been warning businesses and individuals for years to adopt stricter data security habits. This attempt has been largely unsuccessful since many people think cybersecurity is the software developer’s responsibility. This misunderstanding comes from ignorance, so it’s understandable yet still not acceptable.

If you haven’t connected with a data security professional to secure your organization’s network and online presence, you could become the next victim of a major cyberattack. If you’re not prepared to recover from an attack, you could lose everything, including your website, your customers, and your business.

No Business is Immune to Cyberattacks

Despite countries and states implementing strict data protection regulations, like GDPR and the NY SHIELD Act, cybercrime continues to rise. Despite the rise in cybercrime, many business owners don’t think they’ll be affected, so they don’t bother to hire security professionals to secure their operations. This is a mistake.

90% of Cybercrime is Caused by Human Error

The vast majority of cybercrime incidents are caused by human error, including:

·                                 Using insecure passwords or passwords that have already been exposed in previous breaches

·                                 Sharing login credentials

·                                 Not installing software patches or updating software

·                                 Not preventing SQL injections

·                                 Using unsupported software with known vulnerabilities

·                                 Falling for a phishing attack through email

·                                 Remote employees logging into decoy free Wi-Fi hot spots

Having a strong security posture established by a team of experts, along with enforcing a strict IT security policy, will prevent many of these situations.

Establish a Recovery Plan by Hiring an IT Security Team

Unless you have millions of dollars to waste, your business won’t survive the financial impact of a major cyberattack. However, having a backup and recovery plan will ensure you won’t have to face that devastation.

One of the most important things an IT security team can do for you is limit network access by user groups so employees don’t have access to more data than necessary.

Employees accessing data without permission was a tough lesson for the Bethesda hospital in Palm County, Florida. An employee accessed a patient’s home health order and altered the order. The hospital said the employee “impermissibly accessed” the order.

Hiring Professionals isn’t just about Avoiding Fines

Some business owners perceive IT security professionals as a means to ensure compliance and avoid hefty fines. However, it’s not just about avoiding fines – it’s about security. The end result is compliance, but the purpose is to get secure.

Data Security is a Shared Responsibility

IT security is a shared responsibility. Software developers can only do so much to secure their applications. Business owners need to implement additional security solutions like firewalls, automated threat detection, encryption, and restricted user access.

While it’s impossible to prevent all cyberattacks, strong security will eliminate preventable attacks.