It’s not just professional organizations like financial firms, healthcare facilities, and law offices who are routine targets of cybercriminals. Any company of any size these days can become a victim of cybercrime, unfortunately. In the last few years, small businesses have come into the crosshairs of malicious hackers, ransomware, and the like. Staying safe from cybercrime in New York means expending some effort and monetary investment, yes, but the cost of any amount of cyber defense cannot outweigh the cost of a devastating cyber attack.
How much is your continued ability to remain in business worth to you?
Wishful thinking is gripping the cyber-connected marketplace to a great degree. Using any old security tools and hoping and praying (in a passive way) that you don’t get hit by a catastrophic ransomware or another malware virus won’t cut it. You may be able to coast along for a few years or even a decade or more free of cybercrime in New York City, but – the fact that a cyber attack can happen on any given day to any computer-networked company should inspire preventative efforts, not “head-in-the-sandIsm”.
Our approach to cybercrime where NYC businesses are concerned is three-fold: Assessment, Awareness, and Protection. That is also to say, we promote constant attention to one’s ability to prevent and survive cyber-threats of all types.
How to Keep Your New York Business Safe from Cybercrime in 2018
A recent article in Information Age spells out “3 Ways to Keep Businesses Safe from Cybercrime in 2018”:
With 2.7 billion more IoT devices brought online in 2017, businesses saw that the attack surface – or a number of exploitable vulnerabilities – expanded significantly. And with more susceptible doors to lock, the year began with 918 reported data breaches during the first six months, an increase of 164% from 2016. The year then ended with a number of high profile, devastating attacks, including the Equifax breach and the WannaCry attack.
Unfortunately, the silver lining’s not yet in sight. 2.8 billion more IoT devices will come online in 2018 and individual data breaches are now costing larger enterprises on average $1.3 million, and small and medium-sized businesses $117,000, according to a Kaspersky Lab Report.
The days when an anti-virus and a firewall would cut it, in other words, are long gone. Businesses need to be prepared. So, let’s take a look at some ways companies can make certain they’re protected in the coming year.
“With more doors to lock, make sure you control the keys to the kingdom.”
A larger attack surface means that businesses must show greater care in defining and managing the access privileges of users. This need is exemplified by the fact that, according to a report by analyst firm Forrester, 80% of data breaches actually involve hackers gaining access to privileged user credentials.
Accordingly, businesses should pay special attention to privileged identity and access management (PAM) – that is, to monitoring access rights for privileged users given administrative access to critical systems. With careful management of these privileged credentials, businesses are able to eliminate one of the main avenues and vectors hackers use to gain access.
The vigilant company will deploy PAM solutions, as well as enact company policies to enforce the correct use of those solutions. A cautious business will also aim to grant the least amount of access possible without completely inhibiting onboarding, offboarding, and necessary permission authorizations.
“Don’t count on AI or blockchain to save you – not yet.”
On the subject of cybersecurity, there is a lot of hype surrounding AI and blockchain technologies right now – and for good reason: in the future, the two will prove to be effective weapons in the war against cybercrime.
The WannaCry ransomware attack of May 2017, which encrypted data from an estimated 300,000 computers worldwide, exploited a vulnerability for which Microsoft had provided a patch via a software update months earlier – the problem was many users had not updated their systems.
In the wake of the attack, media outlets, technology firms, and cyber security companies around the world insisted people update their systems to avoid such catastrophes. The call, once more, wasn’t heeded by many – and a second attack, nicknamed “Petya” and exploiting the very same security flaw, attacked computers whose systems remained outdated the next month.
Though the consequences of not updating can be drastic, Avast’s 2017 PC Trends Report Q1 revealed that 52% of the most popular PC applications around the world remained out of date.
Nevertheless, updating your company’s software is the only way to fix the most recently discovered security holes. Often, it’s not updating simple applications like Flash and Java that leaves people most vulnerable to attacks.
To keep your data safe, always keep your software updated.
Turning the Tide Against Cybercrime in New York
Though it’s often assumed to be an unwinnable game of catch-up between the good guys and the hackers who stay one step ahead – wreaking havoc by exploiting some newly discovered software/hardware vulnerability – so-called “zero-day attacks” are relatively seldom.
When assessing the state of the war against cybercrime, therefore, it’s critical to remember that the majority of attacks are instances of criminals using “the same old bag of tricks” against companies which have failed to update software and/or be vigilant with low-level security basics.
[Source credit: Information Age]
Let E-Valve Brighten Your Cybersecurity Picture
Did you know? 71% of the data breaches investigated by Verizon’s forensic analysis unit targeted small businesses with fewer than 100 employees, wherein it was found that less than 10 employees were the most frequently attacked. A recent E-Valve Study found that the number of cybercrime attacks targeting firms with fewer than 250 employees jumped from 18% in 2011 to 31 percent in 2012.
And, it’s only continued to climb in the intervening 5 years.
But, luckily, our NYC IT company has the sharpest tools in the shed (and a not-to-miss e-Book on cybersecurity) to fight cybercrime in New York City – and your business doesn’t have to become a victim of it.
Let E-Valve Technologies alleviate your cybersecurity concerns – call us at (646) 564-3636 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org today for a comprehensive assessment of your current security status and all the right tools to make sure you don’t become another statistic due to unchecked cybercrime in New York.
Published on 18th January 2018 by Michael Garrido.
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