With Cybercrime on the Rise, Investing in Your Organization's Cybersecurity is More Important Than Ever

Learn how managed IT services and security best practices shield your business from cybersecurity threats

Articles published July 20, 2021 by Steve Simpson

cybersecurity

Earlier this month, thousands of businesses around the globe were impacted by what is believed to be the largest ransomware attack in history. Kaseya, a company that provides software tools for managed service providers, notified Customers on July 3 that their VSA product had fallen victim to a sophisticated cyberattack. The impact of this cyberattack had far-reaching effects as hundreds of managed service providers leverage the VSA server product to other organizations.* According to reports, an affiliate of the well-known REvil cybercrime gang is responsible and requested a whopping $70 million in exchange of a universal decryptor software key that would unscramble all the affected machines. 

This comes after JBS Foods, the world’s leading beef producer, paid an $11 million ransom to cybercriminals in early June who temporarily shut down plants that process a large portion of the nation’s meat supply. In May, another ransomware attack caused a multiple-day shutdown of America’s largest fuel pipeline, Colonial Pipeline, resulting in gas shortages, increased gas prices, and consumer panic.

So, what can we learn from the uptick in cyberattacks that have impacted multiple industries across the country? For starters, these recent instances of cybercrime illustrate the growing importance of protecting your organization with quality threat mitigation tools and security best practices.

How Likely Is It For An Organization To Be Impacted By A Ransomware Attack?

That depends on the threat mitigation tools in place by each organization and how cognizant employees are regarding security best practices. However, according to Cyber Defense Magazine, a business falls victim to a ransomware attack every 13.275 seconds. This results in an average of three days of downtime which can greatly affect the flow of business, consumer happiness, and your business’s reputation.

To protect your organization from ransomware attacks, firewalls and a trustworthy network system is becoming a necessity. These lines of defense can be the difference between a cybersecurity breach and being cyber safe. Services such as anti-virus, firewall protection, network monitoring, and wireless security are basic layers of defense that combine to provide state-of-the-art cybersecurity protection.

Create A Healthy Cybersecurity Culture

Even with the most advanced technologies in place, untrained employees can leave an organization vulnerable to malicious attacks. Creating a culture around data security can help prevent breaches. When employees know how to stop these strikes before they take place, the risk of a ransomware attack decreases and validates the criticality of your organization’s data.

Here are a few tips to get you started.

1. Make Security Awareness Training A Mandatory Event for Employees

Did you know that since the onset of the pandemic, employees are clicking on three times as many malicious emails as they had before? It is recommended in many standards, and required by certain regulations, that organizations exercise an annual review of cybersecurity policies. This includes consistent training practices for employees to mitigate phishing attempts from bad actors.

2. Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) allows you to have a secure connection wherever you are – whether at home or on the go. A VPN encrypts your connection, making anyone else on the same Wi-Fi network unable to intercept your traffic. Additionally, it is recommended that organizations use Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for an additional layer of security. In fact, MFA (or multi-factor authentication) has become a requirement for some cyber-insurance policies.

3. Have An Effective Password Policy

It may seem obvious to consistently update organizational passwords, but a Mimecast report states 65 percent of companies have over 500 employees that have never changed their password. Tips for creating an effective password include:

  • Requiring a minimum length of eight characters, no password hints, and a common password ban list.
  • Requiring a unique passphrase with special characters.
  • Utilizing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).
  • Setting a policy that limits the number of consecutive incorrect access attempts.

Additionally, backing up your business’s data makes paying a ransom unnecessary in the event that an attack gets past lines of defense such as anti-malware software or firewalls. Services like disaster and backup recovery from Aureon provide additional layers of protection and strengthen your organization’s business continuity.

How Can Managed IT Services Protect You From Cybercrime?

Simply put, managed IT services from providers like Aureon provide enhanced security – delivering increased productivity and protection from costly downtime. By partnering with a technology solutions provider, your organization can take advantage of several benefits including responsive backup and data recovery, firewall and network security, cloud and data center services, and more. This means dedicated experts will monitor your systems and apply necessary updates and patches to physical or virtual infrastructure that may be vulnerable to security threats, such as the recently exposed Kaseya VSA Servers.

The ever-evolving environment of cybersecurity is sure to create uncertainty and worry for businesses large and small. However, with trusted service providers like Aureon, organizations also have the opportunity to become stronger than ever by implementing the right solutions that protect their business and Customers.

*Please note: Aureon does not partner with Kaseya for managed service software and does not utilize the listed VSA servers that were impacted by recent cybercrime.

Connect with an Aureon expert to learn how the right technology solutions can protect your organization from ransomware and other cybersecurity threats.

About The Author

Steve Simpson

Steve Simpson is an experienced Client Advisor at Aureon, where he works with business leaders and technical resources to explore new ideas. for the last 30 years, his efforts have been focused on providing technology services in healthcare, manufacturing, banking, state/local government, and sen ... read more

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