You are the proud owner of the world’s best widget-making business. You are a savvy business professional with an elite team of workers who love their jobs and take great pride in providing the best products and services for your customers. Your business is good. Life is a dream.
Until it’s not.
Just last year here in Colorado, a longtime Denver business shut its doors after being “plagued” by IT events and then finally being attacked by ransomware from which they did not recover. Colorado Timberline simply could not withstand the barrage of cyberattacks and could not restore their systems. They had to close their business for good and 100 employees lost their jobs.
Many business owners are not aware of the extreme danger their business is in when IT systems are neglected. Although preserving old-fashioned business values can be beneficial, clinging to old network servers and outdated software exposes your business to cybercrime, along with slow computers and operational downtime. You can alleviate these risks by reducing your IT vulnerabilities.
Protecting What’s Yours
IT vulnerabilities can be reduced by a strong IT infrastructure, layered cybersecurity, and diligent upkeep of technology equipment and tools.
Amnet works with Colorado businesses to make sure the IT infrastructure core is set up to protect you from risks. Installing a hardware firewall is the first step to securing your cyber perimeter. At Amnet, we like to compare it to locking the doors of your house. If you leave the door to your house open, a thief could walk right in your front door. Do they? Probably not. But, what about the day the thief does walk through? You have no idea what they might steal or what harm they may cause.
The stuff in your house is most valuable to you and doesn’t have a huge value on the Black Market. It’s the same with your business data – hackers know it’s important and that you need it back to stay in business. However, the personal information, such as social security and credit card numbers, you keep on your employees and customers can be quite lucrative on the Dark Web, so protecting it is essential to cybersecurity.
5 IT Vulnerabilities You Can Avoid
Cybercriminals deploy sophisticated methods to compromise businesses. They are always aware of when product patches are released or go end-of-live because they know people are not good about installing patches or upgrading before support ends.
When it comes to cybersecurity, it’s best to “assume breach.” Your business will be or has been breached already. Here are 5 common IT areas that hackers capitalize on because they are often outdated or, in the case of employees, unaware of the risks.
1. Employee Training
Employees are your first line of defense against cyber intruders – unless they haven’t been trained to be aware of threats and how to handle them. Then, your employees are the greeters at your open door.
It doesn’t take a criminal mastermind to break into your systems. Someone with a marketing or English degree who can get your employees to click on something can initiate an intrusion. People are easier to hack than firewalls.
Employee cybersecurity training must be done regularly so best practices are top-of-mind and current. Best cybersecurity practices from 5 years ago are not going to protect your business from this year’s cyberthreats. Good cyber behavior includes being diligent about the authenticity of emails, digital coupons, and web pages. During Amnet’s cybersecurity awareness training, employees are given 8 sections of tips, videos. and ongoing refreshers to keep them focused on keeping your company safe.
2. Backups and Data Recovery
Backup solutions also become dated. Tape backups, for example, are no longer a reliable method of backing up your data. (If you are still using tape backups, stop reading and call us immediately –719-442-6683.)
Because backups are key to restoring any data you lose, you must always have a backup solution in place. On-premises backups along with off-site or cloud backups will ensure that you can recover your data without paying ransom. Without a functioning backup in place, it’s extremely difficult to recover data, if not impossible in most cases.
Backups are not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. Testing and monitoring regularly stave off unpleasant surprises when backups are actually needed. Many businesses believe their backup systems are working only to discover later (after a breach) that there is no current backup.
Amnet continuously researches backup solutions to ensure Colorado businesses are protected.
3. Data Management Systems
Older data management systems are much easier to circumvent than current systems. Not only do the older systems have antiquated security features, but they also have been around long enough for the bad guys to learn how to break in.
4. Detection Systems
Many businesses don’t even know that they’ve been hacked until the hacker reaches out to them asking for ransom. The Ponemon Institute’s most recent research found that U.S. companies take an average of 197 days to detect a data breach. The longer it takes to identify a breach, the more costly it is for the business. Ponemon notes that companies identifying a breach in less than 100 days, saved more than $1 million as compared to those taking more than 100 days to discovery.
Antivirus and antispam software are the basic of the basics when it comes to cybersecurity. However, they must be updated as new patches and versions are available or they are only as good as the day they were installed.
If you’re not sure of the last time your backup solution, network server, or line-of-business software was updated, it’s time to find out. Amnet is a 9-time winner of “Best IT Support Company,” and we like to prove it – let us know if we should be working together to secure your business from cybercrime.