Do you think that only big companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook are easy targets for hackers? Think again — according to the 2018 State of Cybersecurity study conducted by the Ponemon Institute, 67% of small and medium-sized businesses have experienced a cyberattack, while 58% have suffered from a data breach.
Nearly half of all respondents to Ponemon’s State of Cybersecurity survey said they had no understanding of how to protect their companies against a security issue, while only 28% rated their ability to mitigate threats and vulnerabilities as “highly effective.”
How do these statistics affect you and your business?
If you think your company is safe, congratulations — there’s probably still room to enhance the protection of your data and devices while delivering more education to your employees. At the other end of the spectrum, simply ignoring the threat of cybercrime is tantamount to leaving the front door of your business (and your house, and your car door) unlocked so that anyone can take anything they like.
CMIT Solutions has identified 5 major factors that can illuminate and mitigate the threat your business might face from cyberattacks, online scams, and data disasters.
1) Are any of your computers running old operating systems?
One of the biggest issues that businesses deal with each year comes from regularly scheduled “end of life” or “end of support” proclamations. For instance, Microsoft announced last year that its popular Windows 7 operating system would no longer receive software updates after January 14, 2020 — yet it still remains the second most popular OS worldwide, capturing 38% of market share as of June 2019. Hackers will routinely target machines running old operating systems as soon as their “end of life” date passes, stealing any unsecured data or easily accessible personal information for future use.
2) Do your employees work remotely or from mobile devices?
This is certainly a question to which most businesses will answer, “Yes, of course.” Remote workers or staff members who conduct business from the road won’t necessarily cause a cyberattack — but as a business owner or manager, you will have to implement extra IT security measures to effectively manage protected data and monitor potentially dangerous Internet connections.
3) Is your data backed up remotely and regularly?
Speaking of smart data management, if you’re not securely backing up company information in a regular, remote, and redundant way, you are at risk of data disaster. Many of the most notorious current hacking schemes, like ransomware and spearphishing, rely on the fact that most business owners don’t have access to extra copies of relevant data. That means they’re often desperate to pay thousands of dollars to retrieve stolen or encrypted information. Treating your data like the crown jewel of your business means protecting it against everything from natural disasters to malicious attacks to hardware failure. After all, professionally managed data is one key contributor to business growth—all it takes is one or two days of significant data downtime to severely affect your company’s day-to-day operations.
4) Do you provide regular cybersecurity training?
Many of the most common cybersecurity problems occur due to human error: clicking on a malicious web link, accidentally opening an infected attachment, or providing confidential information to a hacker posing as a co-worker or executive. That’s why CMIT Solutions considers employee training so critical to cybersecurity. Savvy, well-informed staff members often serve as a company’s first line of IT defense, flagging spam emails or alerting higher-ups to suspicious online activity.
5) How good is your IT support staff?
If you don’t have one, don’t worry — it’s more common than you think. Still, none of the aforementioned cybersecurity strategies matter without a trusted IT provider working to keep your company safe.
At CMIT Solutions, we provide more than just IT support. We serve as a true business partner, working whenever and wherever we’re needed to match your company’s needs with right-sized IT solutions. We defend our clients’ networks, optimize hardware and software, and empower employees to work smarter and more efficiently.
If you want to focus on growing your business instead of worrying about a potential cyberattack or data hack, contact CMIT Solutions today. Our network of more than 900 business leaders and technicians across North America provide 24/7/365 protection to businesses of every size, all backed by a local commitment to the best customer service around.