Things we’ve learned from IT security incidents of years past

Things we’ve learned from IT security incidents of years past

Securing your company's IT network and critical data is becoming increasingly tough as every year, cyberthreats evolve and the number of attacks continues to rise. According to SonicWall’s 2022 Cyber Threat Report, every category of cyberattack increased in volume throughout 2021. The report also revealed that ransomware, encrypted threats, cryptojacking, intrusion attempts, and Internet of Things (IoT) malware all saw an increase, and only malware attacks saw a decrease in volume.

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Unfortunately, there is no way to completely protect your small- or medium-sized business (SMB) from numerous attacks in the ever-growing threat landscape. Here are some things we’ve learned from IT security incidents in recent years and what steps can be taken to make your SMB less vulnerable.

Service disruption caused by a hack can be debilitating

In March 2016, restaurant chain Wendy's announced that its point-of-sales (POS) systems had been hit by a malware attack, which affected over 1,000 restaurants across the United States. The attack forced many of these restaurants to close their doors temporarily while they worked to clean up the infection and restore their systems.

Like Wendy's, countless businesses have suffered from service disruptions and lost revenues due to malware attacks. Businesses whose POS systems have weak security also tend to be exposed to greater security risks. In worst-case scenarios, this can cause service disruptions that can force companies to close their doors.

Cyber incidents can overwhelm IT security teams

Your cybersecurity teams may find themselves struggling to contain and address the impacts of a cyberattack. This is why it’s crucial to have incident response plans in place so you can quickly react to a cyberattack and mitigate any damage. Moreover, your IT team should take a layered approach to security, which will allow them to detect threats and make these easier to address.

Additionally, it's essential to stay up to date on the latest security threats and vulnerabilities. Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to exploit systems, so organizations need to be constantly on the lookout for new threats.

Dealing with legal issues can be a financial drain

If your business accumulates and processes data of EU citizens, it is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which outlines EU citizens’ rights regarding their personal data and the steps businesses must take when storing these data. To illustrate, in 2021, Luxembourg’s data protection authority ordered Amazon to pay more than 740 million euros ($847 million) for mishandling personal data gathered through cookies.

This case is particularly severe and the GDPR rules are especially stringent, and it may seem like these would not apply to companies much smaller than Amazon. Nevertheless, your SMB could be looking at some hefty fines from the government if your business fails to comply with regulatory standards like the GDPR. SMBs, in particular, can become financially vulnerable if they have to pay hefty fines. Outsourcing your IT security solutions to a dependable tech provider is a bargain compared to what you’ll be paying if you suffer a data breach due to a lack of sufficient IT protection.

Everyone is a target

In 2021, the retail and healthcare sectors were among the industries most targeted OR affected by data breaches. Hackers gained access to retail businesses' customer information, such as names and contact details, through unsecured payment systems and websites. Meanwhile, hackers were able to steal sensitive patient information, including Social Security numbers and medical records. This led to several lawsuits against healthcare providers, as well as increased costs for implementing better security measures.

Businesses across various sectors need to be aware of the increasing risk of cyberattacks and take appropriate steps to protect themselves. A dependable IT provider like USWired can help California businesses like yours by providing advanced IT security solutions that can make your data more secure.

Automating backups is a lifesaver

Automated backups are an essential part of any business's information technology security plan. They provide a layer of protection against data loss in the event of a cyberattack or other disaster. By automating your backups, you can ensure that your data is regularly backed up and that you will be able to quickly and easily restore critical files, and recover in the event of a disaster.

Passwords are not enough

In May 2021, cybercriminals successfully attacked Colonial Pipeline by stealing a single password. This caused disruptions in gas supplies and operations across the southeastern United States.

This incident is a perfect example of why authentication and identity management are vital for businesses. If Colonial Pipeline had stronger authentication procedures in place, including enabling multifactor authentication, it would have been much more difficult for the cybercriminals to gain access to its systems.

Cybercriminals will always find ways to profit off businesses’ data. Partner with California’s most trusted IT provider USWired to ensure you avoid devastating IT security incidents. Schedule a free IT consultation with our team today.

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