Organizations are investing more into information security every year and with good reason. As the costs of data breaches continue to skyrocket and hackers take advantage of an ever wider range of attack methods, business leaders are facing a constant battle to regain control and stay one step ahead of the threats. Despite this, cybercriminals remain one step ahead as these alarming findings from recent years show:
Many small business leaders have a low profile and believe they’re off hackers’ radar. It’s a common (and very dangerous) misconception that cybercriminals are only interested in going for the big targets. In reality, small businesses are a favorite target simply because of this belief.
Every modern business, no matter its size, handles sensitive data whether in the form of client information, trade secrets, or payment details. Since they’re often perceived as easy targets, it is every bit as important for small businesses to protect themselves as it is for large companies. Fortunately, with the rise of managed services, enterprise-grade security is more accessible.
Although ransomware infection rates have dropped in the last year, cyberextortion remains a serious problem, particularly in the healthcare sector. After all, access to patient data can quite literally be a matter of life or death, which explains why healthcare operators are much more likely to pay up to regain access to their data.
Ransomware is typically delivered via phishing email or over a malicious website. Antivirus software can only help to a limited degree, and no amount of security solutions can overcome human error by themselves. To stay safe, healthcare providers must regularly train their staff in matters of security.
Now that data is the most sought-after commodity in the world, criminals want to steal and exploit it. The number of attacks continues to increase as attack surfaces expand and new opportunities arrive alongside technological evolution. In the United States alone, a business is targeted every 39 seconds.
The proliferation of cyberattacks may be partially attributed to the growth of dark-web markets, in which malware developers spread their wares to less technologically-skilled cybercriminals in return for a cut of the proceeds. To stay safe, businesses need round-the-clock monitoring and real-time intrusion detection and prevention.
Not all attacks are carried out for direct financial gain. Distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attacks, for example, are typically carried out to cause widespread disruption by overloading a server with requests until it crashes. Such attacks have risen five-fold over the past year, partly as a result of cyberwarfare carried out by state-sponsored operators.
The financial and government sectors are the most common victims of DDoS attacks, but any business can be a target, since attacks may also be carried out by hacktivists or competitors. Having an established method of preventing and dealing with DDoS attacks is now essential, especially in an age when extended periods of downtime can cripple an organization.
Cybercriminals employ an array of different tactics to try to break into a network and gain access to sensitive data. These include advanced persistent threats, exploits in old and/or unsupported technology, or even physical intrusion — to name a few. However, the root cause behind the clear majority of successful attacks is human error.
Unfortunately, no amount of technological or administrative controls can eliminate the problem of human negligence, since employees are usually the weakest link in information security. That’s why it’s imperative to train your staff and create a culture of accountability where everyone can identify the signs of a scam and report these immediately.
OC-IT provides hassle-free IT plans to give business leaders the confidence to use technology without the headaches. Contact us today to find out how.
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