Do you have the information that you need to ensure the security of your IT business systems? Staying on top of the changes could be a full-time job.
One of the truly frightening things about cybersecurity is that many businesses are infiltrated and may not know the extent of the issues for six months or greater. During that time, criminals are gathering information about the business, learning how money is transferred, how vendors are paid and even picking away at internal security measures. Your IT department and business users are blissfully unaware that anything has happened, and are not expecting any type of attack when it comes in the future. The hackers have invested the time to learn enough about your business to make a request for payment in a familiar format. This long game is unlike the ransomware or malware attacks that generally make themselves known quickly. Here are some of the top concerns of cybersecurity in the future.
Have you ever received an email from yourself — one that you know you didn’t send? Hackers are getting creative with the way they infiltrate our accounts. While it may seem as though your account was hacked, check carefully before you panic. There’s a chance that the email address was simply “spoofed”, or faked, to appear as though it was from your account. In most email programs, you can hover over the text (George@gmail.com) and see if the email address is actually showing as firstname.lastname@example.org. This simple trick can keep you from clicking links in emails that may not be safe. This is also a standard phishing ploy, where cybercriminals attempt to make it look like you’re receiving an email from a trusted colleague or a vendor, asking you to take an action.
Nearly every business has large vendors that you work with on a regular basis. It’s likely that your accounting department recognizes their email address and key contact names, and may not question a request to change in payment method — perhaps sending payments to a new bank transfer (ACH) address. You may not discover until much later that this change request was actually from a hacker and that the misdirected funds are no longer available in the remote account, and your vendor account is now delinquent. These hackers can disguise their locations so effectively than even cybersecurity investigators would have a difficult time unraveling the tangled web of misdirection to find your missing money. Combat this challenge by coaching your accounting team to always double-verify changes in billing or payment for major vendors through a secondary method; if you received an initial request via email, try a phone call directly to your contact to ensure everything is legitimate.
One of the key recommendations from cybersecurity leaders is to enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your devices and software. With MFA enabled, your users will need to not only log into a device or business system, but they will also have to verify their location or device from a code that is sent to their cell phone. This helps reduce the possibility that a hacker could get access to your password and log into a sensitive business application. Without access to your cell phone to retrieve the code, the hacker will still be unable to access your account and information. Plus, when you receive a code on your phone when you know you didn’t request it, this can clue you in that someone may be attempting to access your accounts without your knowledge.
Ransomware may be a topic that you hear shared on a global scale with large organizations, but it’s also a threat to small and mid-size businesses. With ransomware, access to your files is completely restricted, generally by a password. You then receive a pop-up or other message that your files have been encrypted and that you’ll need to pay the ransom before you can regain access to your files or business systems. This can be a frightening prospect, but having a robust backup and restore strategy in place often is all that’s needed to keep your business safe. With the ability to quickly restore your files from a complete backup, the ransom threat fades into the background.
Staying ahead of the cybersecurity curve can take a great deal of time and attention, which can be difficult for business owners and IT leaders in small to mid-size businesses. Fortunately, the professionals at Data Magic Network Solutions are available to help you stay safe online and protect the digital assets of your business. Contact us today at 469-213-6508 to see how our proactive approach to IT infrastructure will help your business run more smoothly, reduce stress and increase productivity for your teams. You can always fill out our quick online form for a free initial consultation and see what a difference it makes when your technology works like magic.