The topic of cyber security never grows old. It would be nice if it did, because that would indicate we have a handle on it. Unfortunately, in the time it takes to scramble to institute
precautions, hackers have already hatched new schemes to infiltrate our networks. As the New Year begins, it is sobering to reflect that according to the IBM sponsored Ponemon Institute 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study
, the total average cost to 350 researched companies was $3.79 million, with the average cost paid for each record containing confidential information amounting to $154.
While the costs to your business may not be as costly, you are always at risk. However, adopting these three resolutions can help reduce your chances of falling prey to cybercriminals.
Security awareness is the first step in keeping your network safe, check out the White Mountain Cyber Security Toolkit
for a series of FREE resources to help keep you up to date with the latest tools and resources.
Back Up With Care
Although this sounds like a safe-driving motto, it actually applies to ransomware, a type of data kidnapping. This type of malware infiltrates your system by way of social engineering techniques, then encrypts your important files, rendering them inaccessible until you pay the "data-nappers" a ransom. The Cyber Threat Alliance Analysis of Crypto Wall v.3,
found that CW3, a recent ransomware, impacted the operations of hundreds of thousands of worldwide internet users and resulted in over $350 million dollars being handed over. Please see our recently published Crypto Alert
for more information about the dangers of ransomware.
If you want to call the bluff of "data-nappers", back up your files religiously. A little redundancy goes a long way. So does constantly reminding your staff to exercise caution and forethought when using the internet.
Phishing schemes that worm their way into your system clothed in the guise of official, authentic-appearing email messages are growing more sophisticated with each passing year. They have to, since they are often intended to trick CEOs and other high-ups into opening them. Once they do, network-wide havoc ensues, spreading viruses, and exposing sensitive data.
Take time to conduct educational meetings for all employees, institute a strict security policy, and if you don't already have one, look into a real-time monitoring and scanning system with blocking capabilities.
Keep Swatting Those Bugs
Most likely your company makes use of off-the-shelf software solutions rather than employing someone to develop your own programs. The code behind these popular software suites was written years ago and contain vulnerabilities that regularly, rise to the surface. Hackers are often the first to catch on, and before software developers have a chance to issue a patch, quickly exploit these freshly exposed holes to gain access to user's files.
As soon as they become available, download software patches to repair the vulnerable hole.
Does your business take data and cyber security seriously?
Do you encourage and promote security awareness and safe computing practices? Get the conversation started with our FREE Cyber Security Toolkit.
We have compiled a series of free downloads and links that include educational tools such as:
- Security awareness posters. Hang these in the lunch room and rotate them throughout the year, keep security on peoples mind every day.
- Educational videos. Many users don't really understand the role that they play in keeping your network safe, or NOT SO SAFE.
- Whitepapers, handouts and info graphics. More tools to use at company meetings and training sessions.
- Links for free software and tools to keep your users home computers and mobile devices safe.
- General tips and guidelines for safe computing best practices.
Interested in a free Cyber Security Review?
If you have questions about network security, or you are facing a compliance review or audit, contact us today at 603-889-0800 for a free confidential conversation about how White Mountain can help.