Every day there’s a hacker hacking a company. The news is flooded with new victims every day. Most of us turn a blind eye until it happens to us.
Hackers target all types of businesses whether they be big or small. Why? Data is always useful. A mildly knowledgeable hacker can sell any information they obtain in a hack to organizations or individuals on the dark web for a price.
Many leading companies from all over the world were affected by the Wipro data breach, for example.
Even the most loved, trusted, and popular companies in the U.S. have been hacked. Renown and loved Arizona Beverage Company, to large Fortune 500 financial firms have become victims of cyber-attacks. Every company big or small, no matter the industry is at risk. From e-commerce, retailers, healthcare manufacturing, financial, and Managed Service Providers.
What does that mean for small and medium sized businesses? If large, Fortune 100 companies are being hacked and data is being breached. How can my business survive?
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 when it comes to cyber-security.
1. Employee training
Most cyber hacks happen because of phishing. Basically a fancy word for an impostor. In Miami, unfortunately, these types of scams are the norm. A solution to this is quarterly or bi-annually mandatory IT Security presentations and assessments. Let’s be honest most employees 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
The software used by your company should be the most recent version. The older the applications, the more susceptible they are to attacks like Zero-Day exploits. A zero-day vulnerability is essentially a flaw in the software or hardware that creates problems before anyone realizes it.
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. A cyber-attack can happen anytime. There is security software available that alerts you to any suspicious activity. Managed service providers assist in delivering additional support in the form of security analysis. This helps track data that indicates an attack is underway. They can also monitor and track around the clock.
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. 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. Try partnering with a partner 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 ?
Make IT 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. The unfortunate reality is not many businesses take cyber threats seriously.
Wanting to focus on core business goals is natural but doing so at the expense of your business’s security can be negligent. 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. As it takes on a greater role in the way we interact with one another on both a micro and macro scale, there will also be those trying to exploit its weaknesses for profit or benefit.
Rather than lament the days of old, when everything was analog and safe from the grips of a cyber-criminal, invest in the technologies, training and education required to get ahead of the curb. Every generation has its innovators and its criminals. If you cannot stop progress you must learn to thrive in it.
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. Investing in the right team is imperative. One hack and your company can be out of business and never recover. According to the Florida SBDC, the cost of a cyber-attack is over 20k for a small business and about 63% have already been hacked.
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 where we check 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