What Is The True Cost of Cyber Theft For Your Company?
A new article from Forbes is reporting that businesses across America may be in for their biggest financial losses yet due to cybercrimes. The Forbes article entitled, “The True Cost Of Cybercrime For Businesses” says that all types of cyber-crimes are escalating and that businesses now face $7 Trillion in losses during 2018.
What Types of Cyber Crimes Are Taking Center Stage?
One of the big winners for cyber criminals is ransomware. This type of attack works this way:
Jane, the receptionist at ABC Chemicals goes to work one morning. She’s still trying to wake up, sipping her first cup of coffee. She sits down at her desk and starts going through emails. She’s really not paying attention. She glances at the computer screen and sees an email that says “Urgent Overdue Balance.”
Being a diligent employee, Jane clicks on the email and then sees the attached invoice so she clicks on that. She wants to look it over before she forwards it to the accounting department.
Suddenly, her computer screen goes blank, then there’s a message scrolling across the screen:
“Attention business owner! Please send $22,000 in bitcoin to the following account! Your files will remain locked until we receive our payment. Once we do, we’ll send you the code to unlock all your data files and records. Failure to follow our instructions will result in your entire data base being destroyed.”
Jane sits there stunned for many long moments, until several employees come out of their offices with puzzled looks on their faces. Everyone is talking all at once but the bottom line is that every computer in the building has been locked up. No one has any access at all. Most people lost whatever documents they were working on when the freeze came.
The security people are called. The business owner and all executives are notified. Everyone stops what they’re doing and their whole focus is on one thing:
“What do we do now?”
Sadly, this scenario is unfolding all across the U.S. in both large and small businesses. No one is immune.
Why Does Ransomware Work So Well?
There are actually several reasons why. Often the thieves ask for a smaller amount of money. They know that if they’re wanting less than it would cost for you to call an IT expert in to restore access to files, then many business owners will just pay the ransom.
For instance, if the thieves are only asking for $3,000, wouldn’t it be cheaper to pay them than get a bunch of high-priced IT consultants in to fix things?
From the point of view of the thieves, if they can successfully pull off this same ransomware crime several times a day, they’re earning pretty big bucks. Living in Eastern Europe isn’t all that expensive. Everyone gets a big paycheck each week and no one ever gets caught or placed in jail. There’s no downside to being a cyber thief.
For business owners, it’s a nightmare. How do you make sure each and every employee understands the severity of clicking on a malicious link? It feels like an uphill battle. And yet, by taking a few precautions, you can greatly reduce the probability that your company will ever face such a bleak day.
The number one thing that business owners can do is realize that they could very well become a victim of some type of cybercrime. Malware, phishing scams, ransomware … these are just the major ways you might be attacked. If you run a business in America these days, you must prepare for the worst.
The FBI released their Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) 2017 Internet Crime Report. In it, you can read all about the latest trending Internet scams. And these criminals are coming up with new and more clever schemes every day. So you must be proactive in order to keep your data base safe from intruders.
Below are some important things that every business could and should be doing:
- A Cyber Security plan that spells out exactly what will happen in case cyber criminals break into your computers. This should include rapid response, someone who handles the media and compliance issues, a team of IT experts that can come in and assess the damage, then make recommendations.
- A bundled security program that includes an anti-virus solution, intrusion prevention firewall, data encryption, email and web protection, and integrity monitoring.
- Full protection for all PCs, laptops, tablets, servers, and other computer devices such as point-of-sale machines.
- Mobile Device Monitoring with security for your mobile devices and support for your BYOD (bring your own device). You should be able to remotely erase data from any phone or computer that has been lost or stolen.
- Daily onsite and offsite backups of your computer system. Do you have a current version of your entire data base including software programs? If you have this, you can get the IT staff to reinstall everything from scratch.
- Remote monitoring and management of your network and computers to detect intrusions and block them before criminals can steal your data.
- Security risk assessments to identify vulnerabilities and modify your overall security posture.
- Security Awareness Training to educate your staff on security awareness which is crucial to your data privacy.
- Penetration Testing and Ethical Hacking to reveal how effective your security measures are.
Today’s cyber criminals are often backed by huge governments like those in China or North Korea. Hacking has become big business in these countries. There’s almost no risk and those who are really good at it can net millions of dollars a year. It’s the perfect crime.
The best thing that business owners can do is take every precaution not to fall into their web of crime. One thing that can be beneficial is to hire a good, experienced IT company like Outsource IT Solutions Group. We’ll come out and do a full assessment of your security programs. We’ll:
- Conduct Pen testing.
- Ethical hacking to see where you have a weak perimeter.
- Security training for employees so they know what to look for.
- Check and make sure there are no viruses currently lurking in the background.
- Suggest improvements to make your security perimeter as tough as it needs to be.
If you’d like to learn more about how Outsource IT Solutions Group can protect your business from the growing number of global cyber-attacks, please contact us. We have the experience, resources, and tools to stop attacks from occurring and ensure that your data and computer assets are safe and secure. Call (630) 701-3393 or email email@example.com