The Security Landscape for 2019
Ransomware attacks alone are expected to cost businesses $11.5 billion in 2019. Compare that to only $325 million in 2015, and you’re talking about a lot of networks being actively exploited. The healthcare industry is expected to take the brunt of these attacks with ransomware attacks quadrupling by 2020. Although these statistics are only in reference to one particular cybersecurity threat, we’re seeing trends like this across the board.
Not sure what ransomware is? Wondering how you can protect your business from losing money to cybercriminals in 2019? Awareness is the first step, so you’re in the right place.
Viruses and Worms
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise; but, as with most things, you can’t neglect the fundamentals. Evolving viruses and worms will likely remain a security threat for years to come. Once on your network, viruses discretely replicate themselves to infiltrate as many connected systems as possible. Installing effective anti-malware software is only half the battle. Security updates, patches, licenses, and vulnerabilities must be proactively monitored in order to fortify network defenses. In today’s world, choosing to hold off on an update can mean the difference between disastrous network exploitation and just another day on your network. If you don’t have time to manage these resources, a Managed Service Provider (MSP) provides an optimal solution to maximize your fundamental network fortifications.
Botnets are networks of computer systems that have been infiltrated so they can be remotely controlled to launch massive cyber attacks. These infiltrated systems are called zombie computers. They can be used to crash websites and entire networks with targeted attacks. Ensuring maximum antivirus protection is the first step to making sure your network doesn’t become host to zombie computers. On top of this, 24/7 monitoring and support services monitor your network on an ongoing basis to detect any suspicious fluctuations in activity. This way, your MSP can shut down attacks before they happen.
Of all the potential threats to your network in 2019, ransomware is the one most likely to cripple your business. Sixty-seven percent of companies permanently lose part of or all of their company data after a ransomware attack. So, what is ransomware?
Imagine a classic ransom situation: criminals kidnap a high-profile celebrity. The only way her captors will safely release her is if they are given a stipulated amount of money. Unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that they will, in fact, release her after receiving payment. Now, replace the celebrity with your network and the criminals with cybercriminals. That’s ransomware.
During a ransomware attack, cybercriminals capture some or all of your business-critical data and leverage it against you for money. And the worst part is that there’s never a guarantee you’ll get your data back even if you pay the money. Sound scary? It is. Unfortunately, businesses of all sizes and in all industries are vulnerable to such attacks, and cybercriminals are known to go after the lowest hanging fruit. Phishing attacks and viruses frequently open the door to ransomware attacks, so by addressing these roots causes, you can actively protect your network from being held hostage. If you want to maximize network defenses for your business, it is crucial that you find a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).
Gone are the days of Nigerian princes sending emails offering access to their fortunes if you first wire them some money. Cybercriminals are hatching advanced phishing techniques that replicate reputable brands and designs that you and your employees have come to trust. For example, a phishing attack might copy the design and content of your bank’s emails in order to lull you into a false sense of security. Thinking you’re dealing with a trusted partner, you and your employees can end up revealing private data that can then be used against your business.
Banks and financial institutions never contact you to provide them with your private information; they already have it. If you receive an email from a seemingly reputable source asking for personal information, contact the provider to confirm that they sent it. Chances are, they didn’t. Make sure you train your employees to do the same. Safeguards like second chance email alerts warn employees that they are clicking a link to an unknown domain. These secondary safeguards give employees another chance to make sure they are clicking a safe link and are a simple way to protect your network from phishing attempts.
In the face of an ever-changing security landscape, your network needs guaranteed security that keeps you protected from the latest threats as they develop. To safely navigate the murky waters of cybersecurity in today’s world requires nothing less than a team of security experts. Don’t sell your business short by partnering with an IT provider that doesn’t adapt to developing threats and industry-specific vulnerabilities.