The Insurance Journal has sounded the alarm for companies of all sizes, scale, and industries to keep vigilant. Cyberattacks on their systems are getting more sophisticated and deadlier. Ransomware hacking rose by 35% while phishing increased at an alarming 55%. About 500 million personal records were stolen or irretrievably lost. Worse than all this was the incalculable damage done to the organization and its clients, partners, and other affected shareholders. Trust among these partners had been breached. Customer relationships had been damaged. Revenues will decline . It will take time before the affected companies can restore their reputation and market position.
The Journal also warns that many companies remain unaware of the possibility they can be attacked, and in which forms these can happen. Management dismisses the threats as a technological problem that the IT administrator should handle. Cyberattacks, though, are a serious problem that involves not just technology but security – and those who are to manage and handling risks related to the company should try to fortify their IT structure, and see that the organization remains strong and impenetrable.
Avoid being part of the casualties and recognize now the top three deadliest cyberattacks, and how you can protect yourself from them:
Phishing: As described by the International Business Times, phishing is luring an unsuspecting person within your company to divulge confidential information such as his username, password, and credit card information, among others. A hacker can have a field day once he has this information because he can use it to shop online, for example. But that is nothing to what he can do if he were to suddenly access the company credit card of your sales manager, or his password to a database of your sales leads. He would have access to a higher credit limit, and he can prey on the hundreds of names he now has at his disposal.
Phishing can be stopped at the first level by a human agent. The deception happens when this individual is asked to click on a link or an email blast that comes from a trusted person like a partner or a client. Clicking on that link will activate a malware that will infiltrate the system and steal identity-related information. Employees can be taught to spot a phishing expedition by checking out erroneous spelling, dubious email titles, or wrong email addresses.
DDoS or total internet shutdown: Small Biz Trends says that a DDoS attack can cost a business as much as $40,000 an hour in lost revenues. DDoS is a sophisticated cyber assault that renders a company’s website ineffective and literally shuts it down by flooding it with thousands of request for page views. Immense but artificial traffic floods your website and its system and paralyzes it. Your internet service finds itself overwhelmed by this overload, pulling it, and your website, away from the reach of the regular customer browsers. Not one of your legitimate customers can send you an email or receive one from you. They cannot access your website, which might compel them to go to your competitor. They cannot buy or order anything from you.
To prevent a DDoS attack, install the latest anti-virus into your systems. Firewalls and routers can also divert any threat. Purchasing extra bandwidth can also give your website more maneuvering ground that will make it less vulnerable to disruptions caused by excessive traffic.
Ransomware: Ransomware, as the name describes it, holds your IT system and your entire organization hostage. It freezes your IT infrastructure and all related devices in a lockdown, prevents you and your employees from gaining access to them, and places all files in an encryption that, once opened, can return your system to you or eliminate your data forever. Hackers say they will release your IT and files back to you, no harm done, for a price that can range from $300 to $30 million. Tribune India warns that not all hackers remain true to the deal; once the money has been paid, they still sabotage the files and leave lasting damage on your computers.
Employee training in the intricacies of cyber warfare is the best defense. Teach them how to spot false email messages, malware signs, and spam that looks too enticing to be true.
While employee education and installing anti-virus can be helpful in preventing cyberattacks from hitting you, a more effective way is to implement an IT Security and Compliance Solution. This application constantly monitors your system and clues you in on impending invasions and neutralizes them before it happens. It also analyzes your IT system, and makes recommendations which parts or aspects should be upgraded. And response time once a breach or a cyberattack has been detected is faster than the usual. While an IT team takes days to study the attack and perform remediation, this solution’s analysis and proposed next steps take only a few hours. The attack, if ongoing, can be halted to prevent further damage. Your IT system is rendered secure as a whole.
The IT Security and Compliance solution also comes up with strategies that can minimize risk and potential damage. It makes your organization stronger and able to fend off the hackers’ relentless attempt to penetrate your system.