Summer is coming to a close, vacations are ending, and the kids are heading back to school. As you look around the office, you realize that everyone’s back at work. Before you know it, the leaves will change colors and the scent of pumpkin spice will fill the air. We welcome the changing of the seasons and look forward to everything fall has in store for us!
As your team gets back to business after a hectic summer, bear this in mind: hackers and their bots are relentless. Bots don’t take summer vacations. They work around the clock, constantly seeking vulnerable systems to exploit. We hear about security breaches on the news all the time now. It’s become a routine part of the news cycle, but please, don’t become complacent. These threats are real, disruptive, and devastating.
In fact, over the last two years, the FBI reports that hackers stole approximately $747 million from more than 7,000 US businesses. Globally, the losses topped $1.2 billion from a total of 8179 victims. Do the math; that’s an average loss of $146,717 per victim. Can your business survive an overnight hit in that price range? Of course, that’s an average. Some businesses lost less, and some a lot more.
Maintaining a secure environment throughout your network is crucial in protecting your business from preventable financial losses and safeguarding your data and reputation. Even with sufficient financial resources to cover the immediate costs of a hack, your business could be irreparably harmed in other ways. Can your business survive the disruption of data loss or extended system downtime due to hacking? How long will it take to recover your reputation or reassure your customers that their personal data is safe with you?
Hackers use many creative methods to break into systems. Fortunately, “white hat” hackers exist, developing countermeasures to ensure IT security. If you have not yet implemented IT security measures in your business, we urge you to take action now. Every business, whether a small mom-and-pop shop or an enterprise organization, is at risk.
The following three security measures are a good place to start:
• Firewall — Firewalls serve as a filter, monitoring everything that flows in and out of your network. They block all unauthorized connections, essentially serving as a wall between would-be hackers and systems. This is often the first line of defense.
• Web Content Filtering — These filters scan web pages and email messages for content that may be indicative of a virus, spam, porn site, phishing scheme, email spoofing, and other threats — and then block them so they cannot cause harm.
• Two Factor Authentication — Two-factor authentication adds a second factor to the typical username / password combination, which is often easy to crack, guess, or steal. This second factor is something that the hacker cannot possibly have access to. With two-factor authentication enabled, one more step is required that is in your possession, such as a numeric code texted to your smartphone or even a fingerprint or retina scan. While a hacker may have your username and password, he or she won’t have access to the second factor, and thus, can’t get into your account.
Quikteks can help you with all of the above and more. It’s our passion. Hackers may be relentless, but so are we.
Wishing you great success heading into the new season!