Every day a cyber criminal targets a vulnerable business. Ransomware attacks flood the news as hackers and cybercriminals successfully steal information from businesses large and small. And unfortunately, most of us turn a blind eye until it happens to us.
Hackers target businesses because data is always useful. A mildly knowledgeable hacker can sell company information they obtain in a hack to organizations or individuals on the dark web.
Even the most loved, trusted and popular companies in the U.S. have been hacked. Every company big or small, no matter the industry, is at risk. Industries such e-commerce, retailers, healthcare manufacturing, financial services feel the impact of cyber breaches.
What does that mean for your business? It means, without proper security protection, you’re probably next.
Simply put, some businesses cannot survive the risk of being hacked at any level. The productivity time lost, the employee moral plummets, possible litigation issues, lost revenue and the most valuable asset lost – clients’ trust. Luckily, there are steps that small and medium sized businesses can take to secure themselves.
1. Employee Training
Phishing attacks compose the majority of cyber attacks. In other words, an impostor trying to steal from your business through deception. Unfortunately, these types of scams are the norm. One potential solution this is quarterly or bi-annually mandatory IT Security presentations and assessments. Let’s be honest, most employees would find this boring and tedious, but it needs to be done. Better late than sorry.
2. Evaluate your current cyber security
Taking stock of the current state of your cyber security is an imperative. Knowing where your company stands is the best way of knowing what’s lacking.
Incentivize employees and set a deadline to complete this assessment. Make clear that this is mandatory.
4. Two Factor Authentication and routine password changes
We recommend password changes every 30 days with specific requirements. If not you could be exposed to various forms of Social engineering
5. Look out for common phishing signs such as :
• Grammatical errors, ex. AIIG vs AIG
• Being asked to disclose personal or confidential email
• Unknown company or sender
• Too good to be true, FREE Services / Products
• Check the URL
• Sometimes the sender is someone that you know! Check, Check the URL
6. Updating Software
Update your software constantly. The older the applications, the more susceptible they are to attacks like Zero-Day attacks. Essentially, zero-day vulnerabilities are unnoticed software or hardware flaws exploited by hackers to attack computer systems . Most importantly though, make sure you back-up all your systems before updating anything.
These attacks on zero-day vulnerabilities can lead to stolen information, breached networks and can cause serious damage. Cloud service providers, like Nerds Support automatically install new updates on all of the hosted apps available as to avoid vulnerabilities that may normally from neglecting updates. Network security hacks can take a toll on a business and, in the worst of cases, ruin it completely.
7. Be Careful on Social Media
Yes, social media. Hackers use this to try and guess your password. Example – Most people use their birthday, anniversary, or important events in their password. This is how a lot of celebrities get hacked.
8. Monitoring Systems at all times
A cyber attacker can come from anywhere and happen anytime. Managed Service Providers (MSP’s) assist in additional support in the form of security analysis. However, businesses should invest in cybersecurity software as soon as possible. MSP’s can also monitor and track network activity around the clock. As a result, damage from cyberattacks are prevented rather than managed.
9. Record your phone calls
Sometimes a hacker might call and disguise as an IT tech, colleague, or partner to gather information and target the company. For instance, by recording the call you can refer back to the original target. Using an IT Services partner, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.
10. Partner with the right Managed IT firm
Ask questions, do your due diligence. A trusted Managed IT provider should provide references, recommendations and truly understand your needs. In particular, try partnering with an MSP that has experience in your industry and has good referrals. We encourage our prospective clients to visit current clients.
Some questions to ask include:
• What verticals are you experts on?
• Are your engineers certified? What certifications do they have?
• How long have you been in business ? And do you use what you sell ?
• What is the SLA ? How do you honor it ?
• Can we speak to current clients ?
IT is a Priority
Identifying basic security threats is the first initiative when dealing with cyber-attacks. Taking care of your systems is much the same as taking care of your body, it’s mostly about preventing than treating. All businesses regardless of size have sensitive data they acquire from clients, vendors, employees etc. In reality not many businesses take cyber threats seriously.
To this point, wanting to focus on core business goals is natural, however doing so at the expense of your business’s security is negligent. For instance, there is a cyber-attack every 39 seconds, according to a Clarke school study at the University of Virginia.
In the next five years the world will see a rise in cyber-crime. It may become the greatest threat not only to businesses, but to individuals also. Technology will continue to advance, grow, spread and become commonplace. However, there will also be those trying to exploit its weaknesses for profit or benefit.
Every generation has its innovators and its criminals. If you cannot stop progress you must learn to thrive in it.
Make Cyber Security Part of Your Budget
The old saying is true… You get what you pay for. When it comes to IT Services, oftentimes, the cheaper route is not the answer. In other words, investing in the right team is imperative. One hack and your company can be out of business and never recover. The cost of a cyber-attack is over 20k for a small business and about 63 percent have already been hacked, according to the Florida SBDC .
Moreover, with Nerds Support, you get a team full of Microsoft certified engineers that have gone through a vigorous hiring process. We have the procedures in place so you never have to worry about a cyber-hack or data breach, which means Nerd Support does the worrying for you.
Helping small and medium sized businesses with their IT needs is our purpose. As your Miami IT Services partner, we will secure your information and act as your very own IT team.
You deserve the best team there is. Leave it to Nerds Supports to help you increase productivity, secure your information and handle all IT hiccups.
Schedule your free IT assessment. Nerd Support checks if your information is being sold on the dark web.
Is your information for sale on the dark web?
Find out today by contacting us at 305-551-2009 or contacting us here.