The Internet Is Like The Wild West
Some startling statistics:
- FBI reports 4,000 cyberattacks daily since COVID-19.
- Microsoft announces that COVID-19 themed attacks jumped to 30,000 daily in the US.
- Monstercloud finds attacks on cybersecurity firms and law agencies jumped 800% during Pandemic.
The bad news keeps coming. Hackers are running rampant and are attacking small and medium-sized businesses because of their weak security measures. Folks, this trend is not going to stop―each company must harden its IT network. Following are the steps you should take.
Get A Technology Assessment
If you have not had a detailed review of your network, start here.
A comprehensive examination will look at your present infrastructure, equipment, users, backup system, etc. and assess vulnerabilities. Make sure you get the entire assessment in writing and that the vendor reviews it with you, page by page, so you understand everything.
The evaluation should be at no cost to you and not tied to any commitment to hire them or a particular vendor. The written document should be yours to keep.
Make Sure To Include Cloud Security and Backup In Your Security Plan
Many companies forget that security and backups also must be extended to cloud applications as well. The most used cloud app is Microsoft Office 365 (O365).
Did you know that Microsoft does not keep point-in-time backups of your data? They say so in their user agreement. Don’t make the mistake of believing that if you suddenly lose your O365 data through deletion or malware, that Microsoft can bail you out.
Additionally, O365’s native protections are decent but no match for today’s sophisticated attacks. Office 365 security must be augmented with more robust third-party security using artificial intelligence.
If You Don’t Have An Internal IT Department―Hire An MSP
Please don’t go it alone! Cybercrime has evolved. Hackers are more sinister and effective. In many cases, companies may not even know they’ve been breached for days, weeks, or months as criminals siphon data from their systems.
A Managed Services Provider (MSP) will make sure your systems are configured correctly, advise you on the best security measures, patch your network and programs consistently, and will be there for you when trouble arises.
A good MSP is worth its weight in gold.
Train Your Employees
The most dangerous cyber-criminal is a social engineer with IT skills. If they have trouble penetrating your digital defenses, they’ll contact your employees and trick them into giving up confidential information and maybe even money. Social engineers perpetrate most payroll scams and wire frauds. And, they steal billions every year.
Security training is a must in this dangerous digital world. Skimp on employee training, and it’s only a matter of time before your business becomes a victim.
Install A Business Continuity Solution
Many businesses are still using data-only backup systems, thinking that they can recover quickly if they lose their data to ransomware. Many times when we speak to prospects, they’ll state that they can’t be down for even an hour, then show us the data only backup system they’re relying on.
The bottom line is that with a traditional backup, you’ll recover your data, but it won’t be quick. Every hour your systems are down; your business bleeds money.
If your server suddenly died or was compromised, to recover with data only backup:
- You need first to repair or replace the server
- Re-install all software and data
- Re-configure settings and preferences
This process could take hours for small networks or days for larger ones. It could take much longer if you’re downloading data from the cloud.
With a Business Continuity solution, you can perform frequent image-based backups. Backups can be taken every 15 minutes if needed. Images are complete copies of the operating system, programs, data, and settings. These images can be virtualized and, in effect, act as a complete software copy of the server.
If your server goes down, the latest image is virtualized. Users are then connected to the virtual server, working business-as-usual. Downtime is minimal.
Have A Written Disaster Recovery Plan
So far, we’ve talked about the security measures you should put into place. However, without a Disaster Recovery Plan plan, you’re “flying blind.”
If the unthinkable happens, and your systems are down due to natural disasters, malware, ransomware, etc., you need a document to guide you in your recovery. A written Disaster Recovery Plan will show you the exact steps and the order they need to be executed to give you the best chance for a quick recovery.
If you don’t have a written Disaster Plan, use our Disaster Recovery Plan template. It’s free.
Today, every company must take security seriously. The days of “I’m too small for hackers to worry about” are gone. It’s because you’re not a large organization that criminals view your business as low hanging fruit. Don’t hand them the keys to your business―fight back.
XSolutions is an Elite Partner of Datto, the world leader in Hybrid-Cloud Business Continuity solutions. We provide Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), Backup as a Service (BaaS), Cloud Data Protection (CDP), and Managed IT Services (MSP). Call (845) 362-9675 for a free consultation. Backup & Disaster Recovery| Cloud Data Protection |Managed IT Services