Cyberattacks are on the rise — again. From email compromise scams to phishing, ransomware, and more, cybercriminals are ramping up their activities, costing American businesses more than $4 billion in the last year alone. Currently, they are hitting not just high-profile companies, but also smaller businesses that often pay less attention to data security, so they are low-hanging, low-risk fruit for the savvy hacker.
Hackers can take advantage of nonsecure networks, but they can also exploit vulnerabilities inherent in unpatched soft- and hardware. The recent Solar Winds hack that targeted a flaw in installed IT management software, illustrates the ease with which serious damage can be done — and exploited — through these weaknesses.
While most developers are keen to uncover risks before hackers do and release sporadic updates and patches to correct vulnerabilities as they are discovered, many companies have a lackadaisical approach to security updates, in part because they lack the staff or resources to stay on top of them. However, not installing updates as soon as they are released can expose your company to the risk of a serious data breach that can cost not only hard dollars, but also negatively affect your long-term business reputation.
Why Fast Security Fix Installation is a Must for Risk Management — And Where to Start
The volume and severity of cyberattacks are increasing year over year, with the last twelve months seeing an increase in attacks by 17% and severity by 27%. Worse yet, attackers are getting ahead of companies by using machine learning and artificial intelligence to mount their attacks. And yet, only 36% of companies says they have the IT staffing capabilities to stay ahead of patching tasks. Here are three things to consider to keep your company’s data safer as this digital arms race escalates:
- Consider Your Endpoints
With more companies than ever adopting remote or hybrid work environment strategies to keep business moving in the post-pandemic era, hackers are turning their attention to endpoint devices. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments are at a particular disadvantage, since employees’ personal devices are often not monitored by company IT staff. Home office printers and copiers as well as those in brick-and-mortar businesses are also vulnerable, with hackers targeting a host of vulnerabilities.
What to do: Consider multifactor authentication scenarios for all BYOD endpoints. Limit use of personal devices at work or use biometrics to ensure only authorized persons can access company data. Choose printers or copiers with strong security features and ensure all software patches and updates are installed immediately.
- Monitor Your System
Thirty-seven percent of companies that experience a data breach noted that they do not scan their systems for vulnerabilities, and many do not monitor for suspicious behavior. Remote, around-the-clock monitoring is crucial for early detection and prevention of threats, as is routine scanning.
What to do: Implement a scanning schedule and stick to it. Consider a service that provides remote monitoring for 24/7 security.
- Rely on Experts
While our first two suggestions may seem simple, there are many companies that simply don’t have the IT staff power to take care of them on a routine basis — and some companies have no IT support at all. Fortunately, you can easily outsource these tasks to a reputable third-party Managed IT service provider (MSP). Your MSP will work behind the scenes to ensure all patches are immediately deployed and that your system is constantly updated as threats evolve. Infrastructure can be easily monitored 24/7 to detect and prevent emerging threats.
What to do: Find a trusted third-party partner with whom you can build a strong relationship. MSPs provide a cost-effective way for companies of all sizes to gain access to the security tools and technologies they need to keep their data safer.
Team Up with Perry proTECH for a Safer Data Environment
We understand that it can be difficult for some companies to get the help they need to stay abreast of fast security fix installations and other data protections. IT help is expensive, and talent can be hard to find — and to keep.
That is why at Perry proTECH, we have assembled a team of cybersecurity and Managed IT experts that have access to the leading-edge technology and knowledge it takes to ensure your infrastructure and your sensitive data is kept out of the hands of cybercriminals. Our team will assess your current environment, detect and correct vulnerabilities and weaknesses, and stay on top of evolving threats.
Don’t take any chances with your company’s sensitive data. Contact a Perry proTECH consultant today to find out how our Managed IT services program can enhance your business continuity, reduce your vulnerabilities, and give you exceptional peace of mind.