2020 Computer Security Review
What a year! Reports of company network breaches have increased steadily due to massive botnets and phish e-mails hitting users’ inboxes. Nearly one-third of malware incidents were ransomware in 2020! Trends show that a ransomware will hit a business every 11 seconds in 2021, and actual numbers might end up even higher. You may think your company might be able to fly under the radar without making any changes, but chances are increasing that ransomware could happen to you.
Some leaders have mistakenly believe that if hit by ransomware, their problems will end once the ransom is paid to the hacker. But ransomware is expensive on multiple fronts–not just in money paid out to hackers, but also in lost productivity, services–and even your reputation. These days, it’s critical to stay clear of ransomware by creating a cybersecurity posture that combines secure technology and proper security awareness training.
E-mail: A Hacker’s Gateway to Ransomware
Great security programs are critical for your safety, but they still won’t stop a network breach if your team members aren’t aware how to defend themselves from malicious e-mails. Training your team to discern legitimate e-mails from fakes is an important part of a multi-pronged security awareness training. While it’s easy to spot poorly-worded messages sent to thousands of recipients, your company–even if small in size–is at risk of being a deliberate target for a hacker’s custom-crafted message. When this happens to your company–and it will, if it hasn’t yet–be ready to expect e-mails that aren’t so easy to spot.
How Hackers Specifically Target Your Business
Bad actors buy information about your business through lists of e-mails and passwords on the dark web, or they purchase access to existing infected computers on company systems. An infected computer can operate on average for over 6 months, with malware lying dormant before it’s activated by hackers that bought access to it. Hackers carefully research your company, then when they are ready to strike, will pose as key decision makers on your team by crafting special malware links into highly legitimate looking e-mails that ‘appear’ to come from them.
Deceptive But Legitimate-looking Links
Some hackers register domain names on the Internet named similarly to your website, as part of a trick to spear phish your team members. For example, if your domain name contains an “L”, hackers might register a domain name just like yours except with a capital “I” in its place. See that https://www.google.com is not the same as https://www.googIe.com (the first has an L and the second has an upper case I) but they can look identical in your e-mail or in a web browser. What may appear legitimate may trick unsuspecting team members into clicking on a benign-looking link and installing malware or–even worse–a ransomware attack that steals your data. It probably didn’t occur to you if you reserved your website, to also register similar domain names so bad actors can’t use them! This is one of many ways that hackers craft sneaky e-mails. Educating your staff about security awareness is critical for your company’s safety.
Cybersecurity Tools and Team Trainings
Combining state of the art security tools and team trainings are your company’s best bet on the path to technology business success in 2021. Training staff may be your company’s lifeline that keeps your company from becoming a victim. Since even well-trained team members can still be fooled, it’s helpful to have additional security tools and configurations in place to help.
Make sure your company is getting the best of both of these two-pronged options. Invest in advanced cybersecurity protections and security awareness trainings that will help you relax and know you’re in good hands. If you’re not feeling this sense of security right now, it’s time to make sure your bases are covered.
Expert Cybersecurity Solutions for Your Business
Philantech3 consults with many Spokane area businesses on how to keep their businesses solvent and safe, especially in these times of uncertainty. We’re glad to help prepare you with the tools and knowledge you need to have a successful upcoming year. Get a free consult on how we can strengthen your business technology security; call us and we’ll help ease the fear of a network breach.
I am an IT professional with a broad depth of knowledge and experience as an IT planning consultant, with previous experience as a network engineer. I have 14+ years in the industry providing sustainable technology solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. I personally thrive on making systems more efficient and I am continually interested in ways to innovate using technology applications. I enjoy working closely with colleagues and clients to collaborate and provide a best fit solution for all IT-related needs. More recently I have assisted my workplace with an implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) in the “Integrator” role, where I have assisted with optimizing company operations and improving cross-departmental functional systems.