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Is Your Business Cyber Safe? 

Friday, April 17, 2020

“My business isn’t a target for cybercrime.” 
“I’m too small to get hacked. It will never happen to me.”
“I have antivirus and firewalls, so I’m protected.”

Guilty of any of the above thoughts? According to a 2019 study, roughly 2/3 of small-to-medium sized businesses globally have been victims of a cyberattack, and this number has been increasing year over year. These businesses have lost data, had to potentially halt or shut down operations, and ultimately lost the trust of their customers who counted on them to provide goods and services. In fact, companies spent an average of $1.2 million in 2019 to mitigate the damage done by the attacks. 

Small business owners are sometimes guilty of feeling “immune” to an attack because their company is “too small” or located in a rural area, or a small town. This is not the case.

Your business, or the business next door to yours, are equal targets in the mind of a cybercriminal. The only thing a hacker cares about is financial gain and whether they can email the company’s employees to execute their attacks. Those are the only criteria. They aren’t going after only banks, or only hospitals, or only city governments. Those are the stories you see in the news, because they are large targets and the impact of an attack is far-reaching. However, a cybercrime can just as easily hit a small manufacturer, a school, a dentist’s office, or a yoga studio if there’s a payday within reach for the hacker.

Antivirus is no longer adequate protection against a cyberattack
For years, businesses have relied on antivirus and firewalls to keep their data protected. One thing to understand about an antivirus program, such as McAfee, Norton, etc., is that it is software that is specifically programmed to catch viruses, or malware, that are known and have been used by hackers. As new types of malware are developed (and that is happening every day), the antivirus program has to be updated through security patches to recognize the new attacks. Attackers can now easily re-package their malware in a matter of minutes to avoid detection by antivirus programs. If you are targeted by a malware attack that was re-packaged by a cybercriminal to target your business, your antivirus isn’t going to recognize it as suspicious. 

Antivirus also can’t stop attacks such as phishing, because these types of attacks use deception to trick your employees into opening an attachment, giving up payment information, or diverting wire transfers into fake accounts. As attacks become more sophisticated, and rely more on tricking a person into performing a behavior that will yield financial gain for a hacker, antivirus will become only a small piece of a company’s overall cybersecurity defense.

Firewalls don’t help when malware slips in through an employee’s email or web browsing and connects back out to the attacker’s server. Once the malware has been installed on an employee’s workstation, the attacker can use it to steal the passwords of other accounts and exploit the rest of the computers on the network. Its communication looks just like web browsing and is allowed by your firewall, but behind the scenes the attacker can spread their access and influence across your business.

How to stay cyber safe
If your current cybersecurity strategy is comprised of antivirus and firewalls alone, you may wonder what your options are to better defend against a cyberattack. One such option is Managed Detection & Response (MDR), with 24/7 monitoring by a Security Operations Center. MDR software installs on every laptop, desktop computer and server in your organization, and monitors behavior in addition to detecting malware and other “traditional” types of attacks. What kind of behavior? For instance, if a member of your sales team’s computer is suddenly trying to run computer administration scripts, that would get flagged and brought to your attention. Or, if a computer using an IP address from a different part of the country, or out of the US altogether, tries to log on to the network. Maybe these behaviors have perfectly reasonable explanations. Or, maybe it’s an indicator that a cybercriminal is trying to find a way in to your network.

MDR software is affordable for a business of any size, and, when compared to the cost of a cyberattack, both long and short term, the cost is definitely worth it. Binary Defense is offering GAC members a 15% discount on MDR. Take advantage of this offer to bolster your cybersecurity program.

In addition, educating employees on what to look for can help prevent an attack. Many vendors offer training modules that you can purchase and distribute to your employees. If that’s out of your price range, simply sharing best practices and creating a policy around cybersecurity can also go a long way toward preventing some attacks. 

Start by getting an assessment of where your organization stands. Binary Defense is offering GAC members a complimentary cybersecurity assessment. To sign up, just visit BinaryDefense.com/Risk and use the promo code “GAC” for your free assessment. Binary Defense can help you get the technical information needed to perform the assessment if you don’t have someone on staff dedicated to IT. 
Posted: Friday, April 17, 2020 | with 4 comments

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9/15/2020 4:44:48 PM
Good Day
Cyber attacks are getting rampant today. This modus will not choose wether you are a small business or not as long as they will get something. Let us be vigilant with our informations.
7/7/2020 7:05:57 AM
Reach us here
It's easy for a business to underestimate the potential harm that a cyber incident could cause. Loss of revenue, damage to equipment and reputational issues are some of the concerns that can come from cybercrime and other malicious online activities.
5/28/2020 10:28:56 AM
Akron Auto Glass Pros
Cybersecurity is something our company is trying to learn more about. This article was very helpful and appreciated the suggestion for the MDR software. Thank you for taking the time to put this together, it was a ton of help!
4/22/2020 6:19:23 PM
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