How to Protect Yourself from a Cyber Attack
“Just because you’re paranoid does not mean they’re not out to get you.” Joseph Heller, Catch-22
Nothing could be more true than in today’s IT world. The data are staggering. Criminals lurk online in more than 200 countries. About 50% of cybersecurity experts think their agency will be targeted for a denial-of-service attack within the next year at their agencies and 67% don’t think they can fend it off. Many rely on IT support departments that may not be trained well enough.
Not scared yet? In 2013, about 145,000 new malware programs for mobile devices were discovered. This marked a three fold increase from the year before.
Nearly 145,000 new malicious programs for mobile devices were detected in 2013, more the 3x the previous year’s figure.
Even the federal government is not immune; China has bee reading sensitive and classified emails for years and this was just discovered several weeks ago.
Small businesses are the most vulnerable and many, 47%, don’t even back up their data.
What should businesses do? IT support companies suggest this:
Know your weaknesses and fix them. It’s easy to think a glass doesn’t have a hole in it until it’s full of water. Fill your system full of water and see where it spills out.
Protect yourself fro denial-of-service. Some criminals will flood a website with traffic to shut it down. The cost of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) can cost a company hundreds of thousands of dollars per episode to tens of thousands per hour. No company can afford this. Get DDoS protection from an IT management company.
Use two-factor authentication. A very common causes of security breaches is stolen or compromised user data. It only takes one loss to for a criminal to gain access to an entire network. Cunning hackers will target network administrators. They will also use social media. The good news is there are a lot of options to protect a business’ network with services like Google Authenticator.
Use scanning software to scan your own site. This is another way for you to find your weaknesses before they do and force you to do costly computer repair or network repair. This can be of critical importance to companies that run e-commerce websites. These should be run on a regular basis. They aren’t vaccines that only need to be taken once.
Research all of your vendors really well. Your payment processor, call center, shredder, hoster and everyone else who might have access to your network. Ask them about their security. Make sure they are compliant with security best practices. The damage they do has the potential to cost you your business.
It’s a brave, new world we’re in for sure but it’s not a safe one. These threats are real and they can do enough damage that no computer services firm can repair it but there is good news; preventing it doesn’t have to cost and arm and a let or be horribly complicated. The right IT support company can help prevent attacks.