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How Secure is Your IT Network? Are You Protected from Cyber Crime?

How Secure is Your IT Network? Are You Protected from Cyber Crime?

How Secure is Your IT Network?

Cybercrime is rampant in 2019, causing trillions of dollars in damages for municipalities and businesses. How well are you protected?  

Cybercrime Security

Do you know the state of cybercrime in 2019? We often hear news of a major data breach somewhere, but in our busy lives, much of this news gets tuned out, like white noise. There are just so many hacks, scams and major data breaches that staying engaged with this news is hard. So, what are the facts?

Fact: Global cybercrime will cost up to $6 trillion in damages in just a few years.

How is that possible? Let’s consider the rate at which attacks are occurring.

What is Landmark Cyber Crime in 2019?

How are iPhone Vulnerabilities Exposed?

In August, research was published by Google showing that an attack on iPhones has been going on for the past two years at least. This long-term cyber-crime effort has been infecting iPhones with malware that that steals their private data including

  • Passwords
  • Encrypted messages
  • Locations
  • Contacts

Another Google Project researcher uncovered a separate iPhone hack. In this case, iPhone software could be penetrated to give hackers remote access even though none of it operates as a conventional ”server-side” code.

Is Ransomware on the Rise?

In May 2019, Baltimore was hit with ransomware, making their servers inaccessible. Since they refused to pay the ransom, the city’s IT systems were offline for weeks. Instead, they tried to ”rebuild certain systems,” according to Mayor Jack Young. With this incident, Baltimore joins the growing number of municipalities victim to ransomware this year. After each attack, the cities invest considerable resources investigating the incident. In addition to the attack on Baltimore, 22 different organizations in Texas including many local government agencies were infected with ransomware in August 2019.

Are There Enough Cyber-Security Experts to Meet the High Demand?

According to Gartner,

”The shortage of skilled security professionals has been a perennial problem that consistently results in failed security technology deployments. The number of unfilled cyber-security roles is expected to grow from 1 million in 2018 to 1.5 million by the end of 2020.”

Furthermore, recent polling performed for Tripwire found even more troubling evidence.

  • 93 percent of respondents say that the skills required to be a great security professionals have changed in the last few years, making it harder to employ skilled cyber-security professionals
  • 85 percent of respondents report that their security teams are understaffed
  • Only one percent of respondents believe that they can manage all of their organization’s cyber-security needs when facing a shortage of skilled workers
  • 96 percent of respondents say they are either currently facing difficulty in staffing security teams due to the skills gap, or they foresee the issue on the horizon

What Should You Be Watching Out For?

Is Phishing Targeting Your Business?

The average phishing attack costs businesses $1.6 million. Can you afford to spend that amount before one of your employees isn’t trained to recognize a phishing email?

What about CEO Fraud?

One of the most popular cybercrimes to make money is CEO fraud. Recently, a Canadian university paid out more than $11 million due to CEO fraud.

Is Data Being Sold Online?

Are you aware that your Social Security Number could be sold for as much as $45 on the dark web right now?

How Can You Protect Yourself?

  1. Pay attention — It takes businesses up to 6 months to discover they’ve experienced a data breach.
  2. Ask for help — Train your staff to ask themselves these questions before clicking on and opening an email.
    1. Do I know the sender of this email?
    2. Does it make sense that it was sent to me?
    3. Can I verify that the attached link or PDF is safe to open?
    4. Does the email threaten to close my accounts or cancel my credit cards if I don’t supply information?
    5. Is this email from someone I trust or does it look like a friend sent it? How do I verify the sender?
    6. Does anything seem ”off” about this email, the message contents or the sender?
  3. Back up your data — A data backup solution is insurance against encrypted ransomware. Just replace your encrypted content with your backup. Investing in a comprehensive back up recovery solution will give you the peace of mind knowing that you can always restore damaged data. Follow these minimal rules for backing up.
    1. Back up data at minimum once a day
    2. Inspect backups for damage
    3. Secure backups independently from computers and networks they are backing up

Should You Work with an Expert?

If you don’t feel comfortable working on your computer system, then hire an expert. Cyber-security professionals can guide you through all the steps. A cyber-security expert will help you managed your security, perform regular vulnerability testing, plan and achieve a secure environment, and provide ongoing service and support for security-related concerns.