27 Oct Happy Halloween: 8 Nightmarish Scenarios in Cybersecurity
With this post, we really want to wish you and yours a Happy Halloween. While we’re having a bit of fun here, cybersecurity is a very real problem for every business. So below we have scenarios where mistakes in cybersecurity could potentially create nightmarish results.
It’s the spookiest time of year and if you like to be freaked out during the Halloween season, it’s really spooky to think about the reality that there is a nearly constant stream of cyberattacks around the world. A recent study out of the University of Maryland suggests that computers with an internet connection are attacked about once every 39 seconds. Of course the vast majority of these attacks are unsophisticated attempts to exploit weak password vulnerabilities. They mostly use simple software driven attacks that are unsuccessful.
But the spooky fact remains that cybersecurity is an ongoing, 24/7 concern. This is one of the reasons more and more businesses are using application hosting to secure their critical apps. Why? Because hosting providers may offer services like hosted desktop virtualization and other hosting services. This allows an internal IT shop to focus on curating solutions that deliver value to the organization while their hosting provider delivers access, performance and security services.
Learn more: What is a Hosted Application?
8 Nightmare Scenarios in Cybersecurity
1. Sharing Passwords – It’s scary to think that almost half of survey respondents say they share passwords, according to authentication software provider Beyond Identity. To protect your business, require separate user accounts with strong passwords for all users. It’s a good idea to leverage multi-factor authentication requirements and require password changes every 90 days.
2. Unprotected and Outdated Apps – Aging software is frighteningly more vulnerable to cyber attacks. This includes web browsers, email, web apps and operating systems. Keep your apps up to date and install security solutions and virus-scan applications. Set up regular auto-scans.
3. Firewall but No Monitoring – You’ve got your network firewalled so you should be safe, right? Well, if you aren’t monitoring your network 24/7 you could wake up in a cyber security nightmare. The good news is there are security monitoring services you can employ. If you are outsourcing IT networking, be sure your providers offer 24/7 monitoring.
4. Telework with No Telework Security Policy – These days, most offices have at least some teleworking in place. It is important for internal IT services to train remote employees and provide the tools they need to secure their home office. A telework security policy is important to ensure remote employees are taking the right precautions to protect the business and its clients.
5. Stolen or Lost Devices Go Unreported – If your employees access any systems from their personal devices they might not report when their phone, tablet or laptop is lost or stolen. If this happens there’s no telling what kind of ghouls have gained access to your systems.
6. No Backups – Without automatic backups that occur at least weekly with copies stored offsite, you could find yourself in a terrifying situation. This way, if a breach occurs, or even in the event of a natural disaster such as a fire or flood, your data is safely stored off-site.
7. No Audit Process in Place – Cybersecurity is not a one and done proposition. Regular audits by an in-house expert or outside consultant will help keep your security up to date and spare your business from becoming the next cybersecurity horror story.
8. Untrained Staff – In this day and age it would seem most people understand basic best practices for cybersecurity, but taking this for granted is a pretty scary mistake. Rather than assuming your team knows how to stay cybersafe, create and document security practices and policies and include internet usage guidelines and email usage guidelines. Then provide ongoing education to your team with the latest updates on common threats.
Cyber Security Stats that will Give you the Creeps
Cyber attacks on web apps in 2020 doubled compared to 2019, according to research from Verizon who said almost 90% of breaches were financially motivated. That’s pretty scary but it’s important to note that the number of web apps is growing at breakneck speed. Some apps are less reputable, while other web apps from reputable vendors like Microsoft, Google and Amazon are better secured than others. Still, the threat to security for businesses is very real. Consider these creepy cybersecurity stats.
22% of attacks were phishing scams
27% of malware attacks were ransomware
43% of attacks were made on web apps
70% of breaches were caused by outsiders
We thought this would be a fun post for Halloween, but we don’t want to downplay the reality that cybersecurity is a challenge that faces almost every business on the planet. About 28% of U.S. cyberattacks in 2020 targeted small businesses, according to research on cybersecurity trends. If you need help securing your systems, CyberlinkASP is here to help. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your business securely access systems from anywhere. But most importantly for this post, have a safe and happy Halloween weekend!