Some lessons are better learned by observing what happened to others, like the negative consequences of successful cyberattacks. How to protect your organization and data is knowledge you want to acquire without experiencing a breach. The scenarios below illustrate what can go wrong and how you can prevent similar situations at your organization.

1. Third-Party Vendors are Cybersecurity Liabilities

Both the cities of Bakersfield and Thousand Oaks were among several breached through a third-party vendor in recent months. Both cities suffered an attack through this vendor twice before distancing themselves from it. Click2Gov, an online payment platform used by cities across the U.S., has been breached multiple times, impacting cities outside California as well.

Hackers earned nearly $2 million from the first round of attacks, so it’s not surprising they struck again. Their repeated success demonstrates that the security solutions added after round one were not robust enough to protect citizens’ data. City governments – and all businesses – must carefully evaluate vendors and work with cybersecurity experts to ensure that rogue apps cannot cause this kind of damage.

2. To Ensure You’re Protected, Get a Cybersecurity Assessment

Third-party vendors are not the only liability you face. You want to plug every potential security gap – but you need to know where to start. A security assessment will prioritize the steps you need to take to improve security across your organization. Assessments point out the weak spots in your network and what would happen if an attack occurred. Had the city of Bakersfield ensured all cybersecurity vulnerabilities were addressed, the city’s taxpayers would not be footing a bill to recover systems and data.

3. Without Backup Solutions in Place, You Can Go Out of Business in an Instant

Imagine walking into work and being unable to access any of your files. Every piece of information you hold, including confidential client data, has been encrypted. What would you do? If you have a good backup in place, you don’t need to break into a cold sweat. Without it, you could be forced to close permanently, as happened to Wood Ranch Medical in Ventura County.

The situation escalated quickly. In August 2019, ransomware encrypted every patient’s file at Wood Ranch Medical. Because the practice couldn’t restore the healthcare records a month later, it announced they would permanently close on December 19, 2019.

Ask your IT provider for proof that your backups are working and will be available during an emergency. If you don’t have a backup solution in place, we can help. Reach out to us today to discuss your options.

4. Stay Ahead of Cybercriminals with Dark Web Monitoring

The breach at Wood Ranch Medical exposed personal data, and the practice posted online it was reaching out to patients to inform them about how to protect and monitor their personal information. The Dark Web is full of stolen credentials and every organization – even ones that haven’t been breached – should proactively check if their information appears on the Dark Web.

Through services like our Dark Web monitoring, your presence there is monitored and you’re notified when your credentials appear for sale. Without a system like this in place, most businesses don’t realize their usernames and passwords are on the Dark Web until after the information has been used by cybercriminals.

Be Proactive about Network Security

Confidential information is exposed, reputations suffer and businesses close when proper network security solutions aren’t enacted. Don’t blindly trust every IT provider promising to effectively manage your network security. Ask to read cybersecurity case studies or to hear from clients. Contact us today to see how we can protect your organization using a combination of monitoring, security tools, assessments and testing.