Data is the DNA of any business or organization. And your data – whether it’s research and development, payroll information, client payment details, or any other mission-critical information – is up for grabs by cybercriminals who want nothing more than to sell stolen data on the dark web.
It’s a good news-bad news scenario: Many IT teams, from government to agriculture to healthcare and everything in between, are receiving an abundance of threat notifications from their next-gen firewalls and operating systems. The cause? Suspicious malware lurking in an organization’s network.
Have you received what looks like a very legitimate email suggesting you need to upgrade your Microsoft 365 account? Maybe the IRS sent you a notification regarding a “critical alert” via email? If so, do not engage! A new wave of phishing attacks is trying to get users to respond to fake emails that could easily infect your computer with a virus that can compromise your passwords.
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.
It is no secret that cybercrime has hit a record high. Reports from The Center for Strategic and International Studies and McAfee are estimating that worldwide cyberattacks – including online fraud, financial crimes, post-breach mitigation, cyber insurance and more – are costing the world a whopping $600 billion — a $150 billion increase over 2014.
Taking into mind that any organization, large or small, can be hit with ransomware, DDoS attacks, and other cyberattacks, the Center for Audit Quality has announced a new tool to help board members, management, and CPA firms have a strategic discussion about cybersecurity risks, mitigation processes, and disclosures.
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.
Now that we are a few months into 2018, security analysts are able to look back on 2017 and analyze leading cybersecurity trends. Not surprisingly, according to the Cisco 2018 Annual Cybersecurity report, there was an elevenfold increase in malware last year.
“Adversaries are becoming more adept at evasion— and weaponizing cloud services and other technology used for legitimate purposes,” the report declares.
The following are some of the major cybersecurity trends of 2017:
Ransomware Families Up 32%, Total Ransomware Threats Down 41%
According to Dark Reading, the growth in ransomware attacks hit a plateau, while the number of ransomware families rose considerably. As cybercriminals become more adept in targeting individuals and organizations, the variety of ransomware attacks are evolving. Not surprisingly, the WannaCry variant dominated the landscape – making up 57% of all ransomware detected last year.
The 911 Call Centers have become a symbol of rescue and hope. But in recent months, that very symbol of safety is under attack in such cities such as Baltimore, Atlanta and Seattle. Ransomware and denial-of-service attacks are targeting these 911 centers, forcing some cities to “write down” emergency calls — pushing the system back 50 years or so.
The ability to connect to the Internet anywhere and at any time has made a business Wi-Fi network a necessity for most organizations. With benefits ranging from increased productivity to improved customer satisfaction, implementing a wireless network for your employees and guests is no longer just an option. It’s pretty simple to enable Wi-Fi, just walk into any retail store or office lobby and you’ll find a long list of available connections. However, keeping the network secure is the real challenge.