Cities, enterprises, nonprofits, small businesses and your organization are all united by one commonality: the threat cybercriminals pose. A successful attack harms more than your finances and will impact every facet of your business. 60% of small businesses will close after being hit with a cyberattack. The right IT investments prevent attacks and limit downtime and damage during a worst-case scenario. Below are 4 costs to consider and the solutions you can use to protect your business.
Hackers are going to town on municipalities in California and across the country.
Municipalities are popular targets for cybercriminals because most have a variety of services on their websites that requires city residents to share credit card information, addresses and other personally identifying information. Even with the prime data cities store, they often don’t have adequate security solutions in place to prevent ransomware attacks.
What’s the worst technology disaster you can imagine hitting your business? An earthquake shattering all your computers, monitors and phones? Hackers stealing all of your customers’ personal information and selling it on the Dark Web? How about your server room catching fire and destroying all communications systems?
All of these and more (let your imagination run wild because it’s probably on the right track) threaten businesses worldwide – including Southern California SMBs. It’s that last one, though – the server room fire – that DiamondIT experienced firsthand with a local business.
1. Thousands of Los Angeles police caught up in data breach
The Los Angeles Police Department personnel records were hacked into in July. The breach went undetected until the cybercriminals contacted them to let them know names, partial Social Security numbers, dates of birth and other personally identifying information from the department were now available through “external sources.” PII for 2,500 LAPD officers was compromised along with about 17,500 records of LAPD’s Candidate Applicant program.
Every day, more experienced hackers and sophisticated phishing schemes invade businesses across California. You can’t afford to sit back and hope you have enough protection against hackers. Download your free copy of DiamondIT’s ebook: “Detect and Prevent Cybersecurity Threats to Your Business.”
2. City of Lodi confirms ransomware behind computer troubles
Lodi city employees received ransomware emails with attachments appearing to be invoices. The malware disabled the city’s phone lines, financial data systems and other computer systems. The hackers demanded $400,000 in Bitcoin as ransom; Lodi officials declined to pay.
Balancing limited resources with cyber security best practices is complex. DiamondIT works with city and county organizations across Central and Southern California to secure government entities: Check out our solutions here.
If history is any guide, we could be seeing more news articles about ransomware attacks in early 2020. On January 14, 2020, Microsoft Windows 7 and Server 2008 will enter end-of-support. Microsoft will stop offering security patches, leaving any organization running these systems exposed to cyberthreats. An infamous example of what can go wrong is the May 2017 WannaCry attack.
WannaCry: A Microsoft End-of-Support Worst-Case Scenario
On May 12, 2017, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom was paralyzed by a ransomware attack when cybercriminals exploited a flaw in WindowsXP. Support for WindowsXP had ended in April 2014, but the NHS continued relying on the system.
1. Thousands of patients exposed in L.A. County Dept. of Health data breach
A recent phishing attack on the Los Angeles County Department of Health released names, addresses, dates of birth and Medi-Cal identification numbers to third-party hackers. Although the county reports there is no evidence at this time that this information is being misused, you should enroll in the provided credit and identity monitoring services being offered.
SMBs: It is possible to check if your company has information for sale on the Dark Web. Once you know if your credentials are compromised, you can act. Sign up for a Free Dark Web Scan here.
The adage “lightning never strikes the same place twice” doesn’t apply to cyberattacks. The experience of our client John Balfanz Homes, a premier homebuilder based in Bakersfield, illustrates why.
Saved by the backup
The first attack took place right after we completed offsite backups as part of our BackupCentric solution and as we were setting up SecureCentric, our next-generation security stack. Before SecureCentric was completely installed, a cryptocurrency attack encrypted the builder’s on-premise servers. Because we had offsite backups, we were able to restore files without paying ransomware.
The incident grabbed the owner’s attention, and he asked what else he could be doing. We assured him with SecureCentric and BackupCentric fully installed, he had the right tools in place. Our promise was tested a few months later.
A business owner runs through the street as buildings burn around him. He clutches his business’ server in his hands as he runs, searching for safety.
Sounds like the opening to an end-of-the-world movie, right? Unfortunately, this happened last year to a large medical center with numerous locations around California during the Santa Barbara fires. Because he didn’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, this business manager did the only thing he could think of to protect his data – unplug his server, grab it and run.
Just because your business is small doesn’t mean you’re immune from computer viruses, malware and other cyber-attacks. Although it sounds logical for hackers to target larger businesses because of their larger amounts of data, research shows small and medium businesses are just as likely to be attacked as larger enterprise businesses, according to the 2018 Symantec Internet Security Report. In fact, small and medium businesses may be even more vulnerable than their larger counterparts because of the tendency of smaller companies to spend less on security.
Many smaller businesses have not increased their cybersecurity even though they often have poorly secured servers, unprotected endpoint devices and vulnerable storage and back-up processes. With the increased usage of mobile devices to accommodate today’s mobile workforce, the door to your data is opened wide if a laptop or smart phone is lost or stolen.
Hackers aren’t about who they attack – they’re happy to steal from any business. They typically take a shotgun approach, aiming at as many businesses possible to make small amounts of money per breach. This spray-and-pray approach increases cyber risks exponentially for smaller businesses.
In conversations about cloud computing, people tend to refer to the tool as “The Cloud” which implies that somewhere out there in the virtual world is a single place where all data and online apps live. Actually, there are many cloud services available. In fact, the virtual world can be downright overcast with the number of cloud choices.
Cloud computing gives businesses access to data, apps, services and files anywhere, anytime. The problem is – what if it also allows access to anyone?
The Cloud especially improves team collaboration when a business has multiple locations or even numerous employees working on the same project in the same location but on individual devices. Teams that use social technologies like cloud collaboration tools have raised their productivity over 20 percent.