How many times will businesses be hacked in 2021? If 2020 was any indication, all too many! Approximately 60% of small companies close within 6 months of being hacked. If that is not enough to drive business leaders into acting, consider this. The average cost of a data breach to U.S. companies was $3.86 million dollars in 2020. Even if a business has cyber liability insurance and the internal financial resources to absorb these attacks, most companies cannot withstand the public relations nightmare, productivity loss and internal strife caused by these types of attacks.
Why is this happening and why will this trend worsen in 2021?
1. With the Coronavirus Pandemic keeping workers working remotely indefinitely home internet connections are overtaxed, are not as secure as those found in the traditional workplaces and users are not as cautious at home as they are in the office.
2. Even prior to the Pandemic internal IT departments were overburdened and undertrained in cybersecurity. As hard as they try to support remote workers, they just do not have the resources and needed training to properly fight this battle.
3. Employees working from home all too often tend to be lax when it comes to potential phishing emails and online scams as well as they find themselves frequently sharing a single internet connection with family members on the same network who are not working remotely and not as focused on data protection.
4. Between companies attempting to save money by using older and out of date technology that have expired operating systems and the demand for new computers far exceeding the available supply, security is further compromised.
5. Understandably businesses are concentrating on maintaining worker productivity while they are remote. Sadly, all too often though things like cybersecurity training is abandoned and workers are left to fen for themselves.
6. Hackers are smart! That seems to be an oxymoron, right? Hackers know all too well that we are all distracted and as such, with our eye off the ball, it is easier for them to find and attack soft targets.
So, with all this reality what should businesses do to protect their business, employees, and customers/clients? As the adage goes, the best defense is a good offense. There is a myriad of simple things that can be done quickly to mitigate your risk. Things like-
• Dark Web Monitoring
• Having an autonomous artificial endpoint security platform
• Train employees in security principles
• Protect your assets (i.e. computers, information, networks, etc.)
• Have solid and up-to-date firewalls in place
• Create a mobile device action plan
• Have multiple segregated and separate offsite data backup sets
• Secure your Wi-Fi networks
• Limit employee access to data and information, and limit their authority to install software
• Ideally user multifunction authentication (a.k.a. two factor authentication) or at the very least require users to change all passwords every 90 days
While there are no easy answers Lehigh Valley Technology keeps your business IT systems secure, reliable, and operational!